Image from Steve Bowers

Ultratech is the highest grade of technology that can be maintained and operated by subsingularitan sentients, only requiring transapient assistance to set up the initial training and support structure. Unlike Hitech, ultratech is derived, in part or in whole, from technology originally devised by transapient entities. Very often the original idea for an ultratech concept has been conceived by a modosophont scientist or imagineer, but the actual technology has been brought into reality by transapient minds.

Ultratech can, in theory, be reproduced and maintained by a modosophont society indefinitely without further transapient assistance. For that reason it is popular with many clades and polities that wish to remain autonomous from transapient hegemony. It is also very popular in modosophont Free Zones, and widely used in many NoCoZo polities and member worlds. A very decent interplanetary-scale civilization can be maintained just through ultratech alone.

Particular examples of ultratech are monopole and magmatter engineering, conversion technology and deep well industrial zones (transmutation forges).
Ultratech artifacts and products not uncommonly can be found in High, Middle, and Low tech civilizations, polities, and worlds, and may be acquired by trade, foreign aid or inheritance or more rarely through a direct gift from some friendly transapient. It can also be found in Transapientech Civilizations, usually as fads or curiosities.

Augmented Superbright sophonts or even special dedicated hyperturings are typically required if a civilization needs to operate ultratech though in some cases the devices can be mastered by augmented sapients with some effort. Much depends on the type of tech. Although most ultratech is configured to be baseline friendly and "idiot proof", this is not always the case.

Ultratech is ubiquitous throughout the Sephirotic polities and other developed worlds; most commonly in the NoCoZo and Terran Federation, but also very often standard elsewhere. It is even found commonly in many polities isolated from the Wormhole Nexus, as well as in the hinteregions and Outer Volumes; in fact anywhere that sophonts can set up an advanced manufacturing base and have good access to data and raw resources.

Ultratech civilizations and societies differ from hitech societies largely in the degree of their interdependence with transapients and of course in the even higher degree of power and wealth they provide to members.

  • Angelnet  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev, with additions by John B and Stephen Inniss
    Any dense network of technology and artificial intelligences that establishes a very high degree of control over a region, generally with beneficial intent towards the inhabitants. The archetypical angelnet is under transapient control and makes heavy use of utility fog, and may cover an entire large hap or a planetary surface, atmosphere, and orbital space environment. Less pervasive or less sophisticated angelnets are also widely used.
  • Audubon Engenerator, The  - Text by Steve Bowers
    The first interstellar use of engenerator transfer technology.
  • Biomachine  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev and AI Vin
    Any machine or device based on organic components rather than inorganic mechanisms.
  • Bionano, Bionanotechnology  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Any molecular nanotechnology based on such biomolecules, genetically modified micro-organism or other biotech.
  • Conversion Technology  - Text by Luke Campbell, Adam Getchell and Steve Bowers
    The generation of energy from matter using reactions between magnetic monopoles and normal atoms.
  • Deep Well Industrial Zone  - Text by Todd Drashner
    Heavy duty industrial and manufacturing zones, most often found in the Inner Sphere and most heavily developed areas of the Middle Regions.
  • Demon-net  - Text by Stephen Inniss
    Angelnet technology that is hostile or harmful in one or several ways.
  • Dumbo - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Dumbdowned tech; ultratech that has been modified so that even a baseline can use it. There are two types of dumbdo - augie and duh. Augie requires augmentations such as DNI, waldos,and so on. Duh, also known as ugie, can be used even by an unaugmented baseline. Even augie dumdo is limited relative to what can be done with the tech by a hyperturing or power. Duh is even more restricted.
  • Dyson Node - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A dyson sphere made mostly of computronium and dedicated to processing needs, as submind of a larger archailect. Such megastructures (such as linked Jupiter brains) are part of a larger archailect; connected via interstellar wormhole buses to other nodes. Generally there will be shells concerned with non-processing functions (manufacturing, maintenance, defence, wormhole bus control system) as well.
  • Dyson Ring Swarm  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A partial dyson swarm in which the component orbitals and other megastructures follow conventional orbits and form a ring, or Rings around the star around the star.
  • Dyson Swarm, Dyson Sphere  - Text by Todd Drashner and Steve Bowers with extra material by Mike Parisi and M. Alan Kazlev
    A huge spherical megastructure or habitat swarm constructed around a star in order to maximize living space and capture the entire energy output of that star.
  • Engenerator Technology  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Technology which allows uploaded personalities to be transferred into physical bodies, sometimes at interstellar distances.
  • Exotic Energy  - Text by Steve Bowers
    The common term for averaged null energy condition (ANEC)-violating negative energy, also sometimes known as phantom energy.
  • Exotic Matter  - Text by Stephen Inniss
    In popular usage any highly unusual "unnatural" matter that is not composed of protons, neutrons, and electrons. This includes such substances as quarkonium, magmatter, harmonium, pentaquarks and Q-balls.
  • Hypertech Economics  - Text by John B
    There are, in various sectors, subsets of the archailects whose sole purpose is tracking and correlating economic data. Economics thus becomes a synergistic add-on to memetics - "Gee, those doodads are expensive - must be good!" or "Gee, those doodads are expensive - gotta be overpriced!", depending on the memetic spin.
  • Interstellar Singleship  - Text by ROM 65536
    A small, light duty interstellar craft that can be operated for long periods of time by a single individual.
  • Mechology, Mechosystem  - Text by Todd Drashner
    Colloquial term for the entire system of non-sophont machines, databases, programs, etc. that supports and controls the infrastructure throughout most of the civilized galaxy.
  • Monopoles  - Text by Adam Getchell
    Elementary particles that carry units of magnetic charge. Artificial monopoles have a great many uses.
  • Muschine  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev and AI Vin
    Subsentient biomachines. Widely used in the Zoeific Biopolity and elsewhere.
  • Niven Clouds (Smoke Rings)  - Text by AI Vin and Steve Bowers
    Circumstellar freefall environments.
  • Power and Energy Storage  - Text by John B, Luke Campbell and Steve Bowers
    There have been many different systems used to store energy throughout the ages.
  • Progression of Technology in the Terragen Civilisation  - Text by Todd Drashner and Steve Bowers
    A short outline of the development of technology in the Orion Arm.
  • Relativistic Kinetic Kill System (RKKS)  - Text by Todd Drashner, with additional material by Luke Campbell
    RKKS (pronounced rocks) are relativistic weapons system consisting of an unmanned launch vehicle and dense projectiles.
  • Shellworlds  - Text by Michael Beck, amended by Steve Bowers
    Worlds with several concentric habitable layers.
  • Shkadov Thruster  - Text by Andrew Broeker
    Moving stars using light pressure.
  • Star Lifting  - Text by Dave Criswell, in Anders Sandberg's Transhuman Terminology
    Removing material from a star for industrial use or for stellar husbandry. Methods include increasing its rotation until material begins to drift off the equator or squeezing it using intense magnetic fields from particle accelerators.
  • Starbooster - Text by Todd Drashner
    A solar output enhancement array. It consists of solar sails placed in balanced positions above the northern and southern hemispheres of a star. The array reflects the output of the star back onto its surface, thereby heating the outer layers and causing the star's spectrum to shift upward. The result for planets and habitats orbiting in the plane of the ecliptic is that the star appears to change from its original classification (typically M or K) to a more Sol-like spectrum (G-class).
  • Stellar Husbandry - Text by Dave Criswell, in Anders Sandberg's Transhuman Terminology
    A type of stellar engineering which involves controlling the evolution and properties of stars, especially to stabilize them, prolong their lifetimes, manipulate the stellar wind, lift off useful material or create new stars. Typical methods include star lifting or mixing the stellar core with envelope material to make hydrogen burning last longer.
  • Stellification Engine  - Text by Todd Drashner and Luke Campbell
    Class of macroengineering devices designed to convert white dwarf, jovian, or brown dwarf class bodies into radiant, star-like objects.
  • Supramundane and Suprastellar Worlds  - Text by AI Vin
    Shells suspended above planets or stars using mass-stream technology.
Related Topics
Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev and Steve Bowers

Initially published on 01 January 2007.