The stellar converter came out of research during the Antaran war. Since the Mrrshan couldn't beat the Antarans on land, they decided that in order to eliminate the threat, they would eliminate the planet. Thus, researchers developed a highly advanced Multi-Dimensional Phased Plasma Cannon with the capability to crack planets open, or even to cause instability in stars in order to cause a super nova. If the weapon is not used to crack planets open, it can be used as an anti-ship weapon, as the plasma beam will all but overwhelm the ship's shields and armor plate.
Not much is known about what makes the Stellar converter so devastating, other than the fact that the weapon pumps so much raw power into the energy stream. Some scientists theorize that this massive power is enough to cause microsingularities to form in the target object that release high energy tachyons, damaging the target. Indeed, the singularities potentially cause damage to the targets in and of themselves. Research has also shown that the energy is such that antimatter is formed around the impact site/target point, supporting the idea the microsingularities are indeed formed, as this has also been seen in microsingularity reactors.
The Stellar converter beam consists of an intense plasma stream jacketed in a graviton beam. The Graviton beam maintains an intense compression on the plasma stream, allowing more plasma to be pushed into the stream while compounding the damage power of the beam. In addition, the Graviton beam is jacketed in a Phased tachyon beam, which will compound the damage even further. The Beam, upon impact with a planet or other target will rapidly cut through the crust and impact the core. The interaction between the target and the beam causes a massive release of energy, and the interaction between the Graviton beams and plasma are able to induce supercompression in the materials, creating micro-singularities, with a miniscule half-life. As the singularities decay, they produce antimatter and release tachyons. The antimatter reacts with the matter in the crust, causing a massive release of energy that assists in cracking the planet open, shattering it into pieces no larger than 20 kilometers.
In addition to cracking planets, the stellar converter can be used to blow up suns. In this case, the energy beam is set to degrade within the star's core. The addition of high energy plasma, in addition to the interaction of the Graviton field, the high energy tachyons, and the creation of microsingularities and antimatter is enough to cause the star's core to destabilize, resulting in the sun going supernova. The use of a Stellar Converter on a sun is enough to cause any star to go supernova, regardless of age. A 30 second blast is enough to cause the destabilization process, and in another 2 minutes, the fluctuations will induce a nova. Any ship within the system will be destroyed, or at least heavily damaged, with the crew being killed by radiation, so it is imperative that the attacking vessel leave before that occurs. Theoretically, p
Finally, the stellar converter can destroy ships. The massive amount of power released is enough to tear through both shields and armor, while using only a fraction of the energy required to crack a planet. Otherwise, the effect is pretty much the same as the attack on the planet, except it requires a bare fraction of the power required to crack a planet (A mere 5-10%), dependant on where the ship is targeted. Depending on the vessel, it may take more or less power.
The power requirements are massive, and as such, power (Even from a ZPR) is routed through multiple Krellium-based Megafluxers, in addition to the plasma stream being directed through a crystal jacket of the material. To charge the weapon to planet cracking capacity takes approximately 3 hours, less if all available energy is pumped into the capacitors. However, that will reduce the battle-capability of the starship, and could result in damage to the power conduits. To charge for a ship killing burst, it takes approximately 5-10 minutes. Targeting the ship is not so much an issue, as the emitter section can rotate 30 degrees in any direction, in addition to using the ship as the aiming system.
Coolant for the system is handled by a Laser cooled Optical slurry, and alternatively by a regenerative Dual-Phase helium loop. In either case, the weapon is cooled to a fraction of a degree kelven. This ensures that the conduits and Krellium crystals do not degrade, as well as maintaining a superconducting capacity, which will result in the stellar converter being able to recharge even faster.
The Stellar converter comes in two main Varieties. The Full-powered planet cracker, which is generally mounted on starships 5000 meters and larger, and the smaller ship destroyer, which can still inflict major damage on a planet, (It just cannot destroy a planet in a single shot) which are mounted on ships 1250 meters and larger. If a ship is sufficiently large, it can support more than one Stellar converter system. However, only the Oberon Class Dreadnought is capable of supporting more than one of the weapon systems. When mounted on a ship, the stellar converter is always a spinal mount canon, although graviton lensing and movable emitters allow for easier targeting.
In addition, there is a planet-mounted system that utilizes an Annular Confinement Beam to keep atmosphere out of the beam path. These systems are capable of even faster recharge rates due to dedicated reactor systems, and the fact that they are entirely dedicated to the role of anti-ship weapons. In the case of planetary mounted systems, the main beam generator is centralized, while emitter systems are placed on major longitude and latitude intersections. This allows the converter to hit just about any target in relation to the planet.