The sails are used to recharge the Kearny-Fuchida Drive on a JumpShip, which enables the JumpShip to traverse interstellar space in 30 light-year "jumps". The drive is very fragile and Jump Sails are the best way to slowly charge the drive. The sails themselves are between 800 and 1,300 meters in diameter. Created from a high strength polymer, a Jump Sail is coated in an extremely efficient photochemical that absorbs visible light, infrared, ultraviolet, and microwave radiation. This radiation is converted into electrical power and fed into the KF drive. One byproduct of the photochemical's efficiency is that jump sails are invisible to most deep space radar systems.
Since the jump sail must be so large, the polymer is very thin and easily torn by micrometeorites, interstellar dust, and rough handling. As a result, the crew of a JumpShip takes between 100 and 200 minutes (1.5 to 3.5 hours) to extend or retrieve the sail. In addition all jump sails have a large hole in the center which allows the exhaust from the JumpShip's fusion engine to pass through without damaging the delicate sail.
Jump Sails are manufactured on the following planets:
|Forerunner I||Tamarind||Forerunner A.G.||???|||
|Forerunner III||Tamarind||Forerunner A.G.||???|||
|Forerunner IV||Tamarind||Forerunner A.G.||???|||
- DropShips and JumpShips (Operations Manual), p. 12, "Energy Collector Sail"