Inner Sphere SOTA Technology
Double Heat Sinks
Introduced in 2567 by the Terran Hegemony, double heat sinks were commonly available during the Star League era but became Lostech over the course of the Succession Wars. Although the technology was essentially extinct after 2865 and standard (single) heat sinks became the norm as they were the only ones still available, double heat sinks remained in use in some individual cases.
By the early 31st century, double heat sink technology was on the verge of rediscovery. The Federated Suns had a double heat sink project in its prototype stages by 3022 with individual samples built into operative BattleMechs, and in 3030, towards the end of the Fourth Succession War, the Capellan Confederation already fielded their BJ-3 Blackjack variant, the first regular ’Mech design sporting double heat sinks in decades if not centuries. (Although it is not generally known, the Confederation did not develop double heat sinks themselves; the Federated Suns had prototypes manufactured in the Lyran Commonwealth and a Capellan agent was able to siphon a share of the production off to the Confederation.)
Following the discovery of the Helm Memory Core and the subsequent dissemination of lost Star League knowledge throughout the Inner Sphere in 3028, double heat sinks gradually became a staple of ’Mech construction again and were extensively used in retrofits and new designs.
Introduced in 2609 by the Terran Hegemony and reintroduced to the Inner Sphere in 3037. Pulse lasers differ from traditional laser weaponry, in that instead of firing one powerful beam, they maintain laser beams fired off in quick succession. While offering an overall increased rate of fire, the heat output also increases accordingly. Pulse lasers increase damage because they allow vaporized armor to dissipate from the location of damage. This allows subsequent pulses to reach the target area without being diffused by the vapor.
Small Pulse Lasers, being the smallest pulse laser variant, have a very limited range. However, inside that range they are a lethal weapon, having a much smaller heat buildup compared to other pulse lasers, making them an excellent short-range support weapon.
Developed by Terran Hegemony scientists, these power plants first saw use by their armed forces in 2579. By the time Kerensky left in 2784, they were already widely deployed; the subsequent chaos of the Succession Wars caused the destruction of the last XL engine manufacturing plants by 2865. The technology wouldn’t resurface in the Inner Sphere until 3035, when it was rediscovered by the Lyran Commonwealth.
The Extralight Fusion Engine (often shortened to XL Fusion Engine) is mechanically similar to a Fusion Engine but uses much lighter radiation shielding. Replacing the dense tungsten carbide of standard fusion engines with a crystalline polymer similar to that of double heat sinks, the XL fusion engine is half the mass for the same performance.
There is a penalty in bulk, however. The XL fusion engine is twice as large as the standard fusion engine. The larger volume of the engines makes them much more likely to end up in the path of penetrating hits. Further, these bulkier engines intrude into the side torso bays of a BattleMech, exposing the ’Mechs to catastrophic engine damage from structural damage that would be otherwise survivable.
There is also a penalty in cost; an XL fusion engine is four times as expensive as a standard, a component that is already usually the largest cost in a BattleMech. Despite this, the allure of huge weight reduction means that the technology sees wide use among both manufacturers and retrofits.
Developed by the Terran Hegemony in 2487, Endo Steel was designed especially for use in BattleMech skeletons. Using zero-G manufacturing techniques that uniformly mix high-density steel with lower-density titanium and aluminum, the process produces a metal twice as strong per unit of weight as standard skeleton materials thus halving the weight of the chassis, but at an increase in overall bulk.
The orbital facilities that produced these weight-saving chassis were prime targets during the First Succession War, rendering the technology extinct in the Inner Sphere outside of the halls of ComStar by the Second Succession War. Thanks to the Helm Memory Core and examples from the advanced ’Mechs ComStar provided as part of Operation Rosebud, the Draconis Combine regained the ability to produce Endo Steel by 3035 with the other Successor States quickly following suit.