A GN Drive Tau (aka GN Drive [Τ], GN T Drive, pseudo-solar reactor, pseudo GN Drive) is an imitation of Celestial Being's GN Drive technology in Mobile Suit Gundam 00, produced to effectively imitate the performance of mobile suits equipped with GN Drives.
Description & Characteristics
The technical data of the GN Drives are regarded by Celestial Being as one of their most important and valuable secrets. In order to prevent exploitation, most of its data was kept within Veda at its highest security level and is impossible to steal directly. Regardless, the Corner Family obtained the information through an investigation team from the Corner Family that visited the satellite Europa, which the team found a Haro that contained data of the GN Drives.. In the early stages of development, the focus was on complete replication of the original solar furnaces. This was to the point where even the first GNX-603T GN-X series was built with specifications that catered towards their usage. Their efforts on replicating the original GN Drives was eventually abandoned since they were unable to produce the special cores needed and focus shifted to creation of the pseudo solar furnaces instead.
GN Drive Taus (or pseudo solar furnaces) are imitations of real GN Drives, and while they are able to perform the same functions as real GN Drives, they are incapable of semi-perpetual energy generation or storage because they lack TD Blankets (the aforementioned special core), a component relevant to GN particle generation and utilization. The GN particle energies that derive from such drives disperse orange-reddish hues. The earlier Tau Drives that appeared in A.D. 2308 produced GN Particles that are optimized for beam weaponry, but produced a toxic form of the particles with high concentrations of it in beam weapons, which were harmful to the human body, such as shown with the cases of Louise Halevy and Lasse Aeon. By 2312, this issue has been resolved and conventional Tau Drive beams are no longer poisonous.
GN Drive Taus possess weaknesses that will always make them inferior to their genuine counterparts. Firstly, its particle output rate is less than a GN Drive's, meaning that one-on-one, the performance of a Tau Drive will not be able to keep up with a true GN Drive. Another handicap of the Tau Drives is that they require a special starter machine to charge and "activate" the Drives. The only known exceptions to this are the Gundam Thrones, who possess their own miniature start-up machines. It is unclear at this point whether these miniature start-up mechanisms were ever adapted in future Tau machines post 2308. However, the biggest weakness of the GN Drive Tau is that these drives depend on electrical power to continuously generate GN particles and is not self-sufficient without recharging, meaning that Tau Drives will have a limited operational time compared to true GN Drives and, ironically, technologically-inferior, solar-powered mobile suits, such as the Flag and Enact, which are lower in terms of performance. Because of these shortcomings, any machines powered by these drives will always have limitations against original GN Drives. While original GN Drives are superior due to their perpetual operations, the GN Drive Taus' advantage is that they are very easy to produce. In order to take advantage of this "ease of production" trait, large output mobile armors are installed with multiple Tau Drives.
By 2312, the Tau Drives used by the Earth Sphere Federation have been upgraded and improved as such their output performance can rival a 3rd Generation Gundam's GN Drive. However, because the original GN Drives have received further upgrades since then as well, the Tau Drives of 2312 still lag behind the Original GN Drives of the same period in performance. Prior to the latest (2314) Tau Drive mobile suit models, Tau mobile suits like the Ahead are equipped with sub batteries to help supply electrical Driving force (things other than beam weaponry, armor and thrusters). The latest Tau mobile suits are not equipped with a sub-battery due to the increased output of the latest Tau Drives.
The only currently known difference between a true GN Drive and a GN Drive Tau is the lack of a true TD Blanket, which has been substituted with something described as an "energy converter".
No official name was given to it; however, it is noted that this improvised component was used in the place of a TD Blanket. It should also be noted that the GN Drive Tau was manufactured without the true core blanket and allows for its mass-production. In theory, the substitute module is likely involved in particle-energy conversion but much of its properties are not known, making it a debatable subject.
The original GN Tau Drives did not have a Trans-Am system. Trans-Am was a secret system built into the black-box of the original five GN Drives. The data for it could not be found in Veda, thus it was not part of the schematics given to Laguna Harvey (by Ribbons Almark). In 2312, Billy Katagiri used analysis notes left behind by Ralph Eifman in his home and discovered the secret to the Trans-Am system and incorporated it into Mr. Bushido's new mobile suit. Contrary to popular belief, Billy Katagiri and the Innovators developed their Pseudo Trans-Am systems separately. Billy's self developed system however was far more inferior and he went to work on the GNZ-004 Gaga for the Innovators in order to obtain their perfect system (which was directly copied from Celestial Being's data). The system was not mass-produced at that time and was used by only a handful of A-Laws/Innovators mobile suits. One large fallacy of the Pseudo Trans-Am system is that it will cause the Pseudo Solar Furnace to be heavily damaged, rendering it unusable. The mobile suit will then function solely on its remaining Condenser supply  By 2314, the system is considered standard equipment on GN Tau Drive suits and even larger Tau ships. It is unknown whether the Drives are still heavily damaged after Trans-Am or whether they have been improved to nullify this.
The Twin Drive System is the use of two GN Drives to produce GN particles in synchronous particle generation (two drives acting as one). It is an experimental GN Drive system used by the Fourth Generation 00 Gundam and was initially the only unit of its kind to support such a system. The system's data would be later be stolen by Anew Returner and would be implemented on the Reborns Gundam, which sported a pair of GN Drive Taus. It should be noted though that Reborn's systems, while impressive, cannot match the performance of a true GN Drive system. The GN Drive Taus still produce particles at a limited rate and would possess other weaknesses that applies to GN Drive Taus, such as the heavy damage to Drive after Trans-Am is used and limited operational time.
While exact output of a Twin Drive using GN Drive Tau is unknown at this moment, but it has been determined that the total amount is less than squared of a single drive. Thus, its total output should be far lower compared to a true Original Twin Drive system because the lower of the base output of a single GN Drive Tau as well as the weaker multiplier it uses when mathematically calculating the output.
Linear Train Industries Production
GNW Gundam Throne Series
After Laguna Harvey completed creating the three Gundam Thrones, he successfully created his own shadow group of Celestial Being to eradicate not just war, but anything considered a tactical threat. The Thrones supremacy didn't last as 30 GN-T Drives were produced and given to the world governments.
Alejandro Corner later leaked information on the location of 30 GN drive Taus mounted on GN-X units to the three power blocs. This gave them an advantage against the Gundams as they now had mobile suits equipped with the same type of beam weapons and had the same type of maneuvering capabilities as the Gundams. Although it was quickly determined that in a one-on-one fight the Gundams were still superior, their larger numbers helped to equalize this weakness.
United Nations Forces Deployment
Earth Sphere Federation Development
Four years later, approximately 328 countries had united to form the Earth Sphere Federation, having developed the means to mass-produce the GN Drive Tau.
Mal-Developing The Middle East
To further the Federation's agenda of unifying independent nations, the army had placed GN particle dispensers across the Middle East to choke the nations' economies. However, the side effect of this is that Katharon bases are undetectable.
As the Autonomous Peace-Keeping Force of the Federation, the A-Laws were given nothing but the best. Their forces were outfitted only with the latest mobile suits of the GN-X line and later with the more advanced Ahead, which were equipped with a newer and more efficient version of the GN-T Drive. Thanks to their support from the government and private source of funding (Louise Halevy), the A-Laws were able to go further in GN Drive development than anyone associated with the Federation previously could. This lead to the development new units such as the aquatic mobile armor Trilobite, which was equipped with three GN Drive Taus, and the GNX-U02X Masurao, the first Federation/A-Laws built mobile suit with a Trans-Am System.
The Innovators, led by Ribbons Almark and backed by Veda, did their own secret research into GN Drive technology. Their research led to the development of GN-T Drives that had longer life-spans than the original three mounted on the Thrones. They would also incorporate the Trans-Am System that they copied from Celestial Being via Anew Returner, create a stand-alone operating system similar to those used by the Gundams, and even build a suit with a Twin-Drive System similar to 00 Gundam (also copied from Celestial Being via Anew Returner).
Notes & Triva
- In Super Robot Wars Z2 Saisei-hen, units with GN Drive Taus have the Small EN regen ability, same as those equipped with GN Drives.