Here is the basic outline for the drive:
- The drive, at its most basic, is a device that converts any matter into pure energy, and the operator can choose exactly what kind of energy is produced, and where it goes.
- For example, matter can be converted into kinetic energy, and applied to a ship, in the direction that the captain wants to go. It could also be converted into electrical energy, that can then go into the ships energy grid.
- The conversion takes place in a conversion field, which can be either a shell on the exterior of the ship to convert interstellar dust, gas, etc. into energy, or a small field within the ship to convert the ships trash.
Excess energy can be stored for later use, in a device like the niling d-sinks of Peter F. Hamilton's Commonwealth Saga.
What I want to know is, would this actually be a good drive system for a spaceship? Would this be more efficient than a matter-antimatter drive? What would happen if, say, due to a computer error, someone accidentally piloted their ship into a planet?