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Mass driver: Misc



Up to date as of February 08, 2010
(Redirected to Mass Driver article)

From Halopedia, the Halo Wiki

(4 votes)
There is more information available on this subject at Mass Driver on the English-language Wikipedia.

The Mass Driver[1] was a somewhat primitive United Nations Space Command weapons system and orbital launch assembly. The operating principle of the Mass Driver is essentially the same as that of the Magnetic Accelerator Cannon: a coilgun that magnetically accelerates a package consisting of a magnetizable holder containing a payload.

A mass driver, or "electromagnetic catapult", is a space launch method that would use a linear motor to accelerate payloads up to high speeds. All existing and contemplated mass drivers use coils of wire energized by electricity to make electromagnets. Sequential firing of a row of electromagnets accelerates the payload along a path. After leaving the path, the payload continues to move due to inertia. Once the payload has been accelerated, the two separate, and the holder is slowed and recycled for another payload.


Mass Drivers consisted of flexible "gimbal" assemblies that were linked with magnetic induction devices. They could be loaded with payloads of limited weight, and by means of magnetic induction, mass drivers could propel low-weight payloads into orbit, such as hazardous nuclear waste for easy disposal. Mass drivers were used on developing colonies such as Harvest for orbital lifting, but their capacity for loads of limited mass eventually forced colony worlds to adapt more robust mechanisms for lifting.

Sometime after the colonization of Harvest, the shipping operations AI Sif had a critical failure in her data center's power supply. Trying to be as helpful as possible, another AI, Mack, used the mass driver to boost the component into orbit - literally shooting the power supply into the Tiara's coupling station. This was a very risky move, seeing as Mack could have easily destroyed Sif's main data center, effectively "killing" her.


  • The mass driver was used during solstice celebrations on Harvest.[2]
  • Mass drivers could be used as impromptu weaponry, as demonstrated in the First Battle of Harvest; their magnetic induction technology could be used to propel projectiles at extremely high speed with a high degree of accuracy, even going so far as to disable a Covenant ship, Rapid Conversion, in two well-placed shots. Later in the battle, the UNSC Planetary Security Intelligence Loki used a mass driver to destroy Harvest's orbital facility, the Tiara.
  • The magnetic induction technology of the mass driver was later applied to a whole field of magnetically-operated UNSC projectile weaponry, such as the M99 Stanchion and the Magnetic Accelerator Cannon.
  • The Mass Driver on Harvest was originally used for firing nuclear waste into Epsilon Indi, Harvest's sun.
  • The Rubble possessed two Mass Drivers which were used to break up larger asteroids to make mining them easier. They were later used to disable the UNSC Midsummer Night and were later destroyed by the Covenant ship Infinite Spoils.


  1. Halo: Contact Harvest, Page 118
  2. Halo: Contact Harvest, Page 117

This article uses material from the "Mass Driver" article on the Halo wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

ST Expanded

Up to date as of February 07, 2010

The Star Trek Expanded Universe Database is for fanon and related content. See for the canon Star Trek wiki.

For the vessels in Star Trek: Pioneer (STP), see Mass Driver (STP).

Mass drivers are a type of electromagnetic catapult, with applications for propulsion or orbital bombardment. In the latter instance, mass drivers collect meteoroids and other debris in space, condense the material, and catapult it toward the surface of a planet. Used in such a manner, mass drivers are considered weapons of mass destruction.

In the Pendragon timeline, the Klingon Defense Force used mass drivers to bombard the surface of Cardassia Prime, resulting in billions of deaths and incalculable ecological damage. (Star Trek: Pendragon)

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This article uses material from the "Mass driver" article on the ST Expanded wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


Up to date as of February 04, 2010
(Redirected to Mass-driver cannon article)

From Wookieepedia, the Star Wars wiki.

A mass driver was a type of projectile cannon.[1][2]



They inflicted damage by hurling projectiles at high velocities, which imparted kinetic energy and force to the target upon impact. Damage was thus a result of the mass of the projectile and its velocity. They also had the benefit of bypassing shields entirely, to slam into a targeted ship's hull and weapons emplacements.

A mass driver projectile in space.

The velocity the projectile could achieve is limited by the method by which it is initially propelled. For a chemical explosion (how a conventional slugthrower works), the peak velocity was ~1.8 km/s. For a plasma driven round from an electrothermal cannon (an electrical arc vaporizes the propellant into a plasma to create the requisite pressure to propel the slug), the peak was ~2.5 km/s. For a gauss/coil gun (where the mass is accelerated by passing through sequenced electromagnetic fields) the limit was ~2 km/s due to the rate at which the fields can be created and collapse.

For a rail gun (where the slug is accelerated by Lorentz forces and electromagnetism between two parallel rails) there was no real limit (except the speed of light), only a practical one based on rail erosion and, when in atmosphere, ablation of the projectile. Typically this speed was 6 km/s.


The roof-mounted mass-driver cannon on an AT-TE walker.

Mass drivers were used to launch missile weapons carried internally, projectiles, and explosive shells. They could be found on a variety of craft from the missile launchers on the LAAT/i,[3] the siege weapons on the Dreadnought battle tank, the flak guns on most capital ships,[4] or serving as artillery on the AT-AP or the SPHA mass driver.[5]

The Kumauri Battleship line, of which the Cal-class battleship was the last model, utilized massive mass-driver cannons that were slung on top of the dorsal hull.[1] The Vengeance-class frigate of Tyber Zann's Consortium was armed with four mass driver batteries, each comprising two bundles of three individual cannons. Unlike conventional beam weaponry, these heavy orange rounds were not affected by ray shields, allowing these frigates to bypass an enemy's shielding and destroy it.[2]


This list is incomplete. You can help Wookieepedia by expanding it.
  • Star Wars: Republic Commando
  • Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (First appearance)
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars game
  • Star Wars: Clone Wars – "Chapter 4"
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Weapons Factory"
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Grievous Intrigue"
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Deserter"
  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
  • Star Wars: Empire at War: Forces of Corruption


Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 Cracken's Rebel Operatives
  2. 2.0 2.1 Star Wars: Empire at War: Forces of Corruption
  3. Attack of the Clones: Incredible Cross-Sections
  4. Revenge of the Sith: The Visual Dictionary
  5. Star Wars: Clone Wars – "Chapter 4"

This article uses material from the "Mass-driver cannon" article on the Starwars wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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