A jumpgate (or jump gate) is s large hyper generator mounted on a space platform, used to open portals to hyperspace for use by starships not equipped with their own gravity drive. Generally used to keep such portals open more or less constantly, to allow tachyon relay beacons to be used through from normal space to hyperspace and vice versa, in order to permit real-time communication between neighboring star systems, and to provide the navigational hyper beacons used to navigate in hyperspace.
Hyperspace Jumpgates come in two varieties: commercial and military. Commercial Jumpgates and hyperspace lanes can be used freely by cargo freighters and passenger liners. Military Jumpgates are limited to Imperial warships and require military-encrypted activation codes to operate. This is mainly to keep civilians away from dangerous systems like the Bug-infested planets of the Arachnid Quarantine Zone, or the Soul Eater on Fieras 5.
Since the end of the Ascension War, most jumpgates in human space have been shut down or even dismantled. In their place, regular convoys of civilian ships are escorted into hyperspace and between systems by one or more Imperial warships equipped with a Gravity Drive or even Tunnel Drive. The need to wait for scheduled convoy runs, and the frequent shortages of available hyper-capable warships to open jump points, has choked off much interstellar trade.
Behind the ScenesEdit
Of course, these are heavily inspired by the jump gates from Babylon 5.