Lechner Gates (colloquially known as "Jump Gates") are the invention of an Earth German physicist Dr. Johannes Lechner in 2189. Lechner Gates operate by creating a linked set of wormholes between two separate gates, effectively creating a "space highway". This allowed in-system travel times to be reduced dramatically, opening up the planets towards the outer rim of the Sol system to mining and subsequent colonization.
In 2181, Dr. Johannes Lechner was a researcher at TU Berlin, when he came across the idea of combining a then unproven Mesner Drive to power a magnetic wave generator of his own design to create a wormhole. By 2185 a working prototype was in operation capable of transporting small steel objects across a lab instantaneously. Eventually Dr. Lechner brought his technology to Innovative Technology Unlimited (ITU) in the hopes of developing his prototype further.
ITU had a working Generation I gate in place between low earth orbit and the moon by 2189, cutting travel time from hours to minutes. Within the next decade, Earth had Generation I Lechner Gates connecting almost the entirety of the inner solar system.
The Generation I Lechner Gate made use of two Mesner 155 Interstellar drives to power a resonant magnetic field between two paired gates, which in turn formed a small turbulent wormhole between two points in space. The maximum operational distance of the gate, the maximum distance each gate could be apart before the wormhole would either fail to form or collapse after formation, was 3 AU.
After ITU performed its initial test run between low earth orbit and the moon with scaled up prototype models, it immediately began production of a second pair and sent one to Mars. After a successful test run with an unnamed drone making the trip safely from Earth orbit Mars in a record setting 5 hours and 47 minutes, ITU received permission from the UEF to perform a manned test flight.
The first manned test flight happened in 2190, with test pilot Olga Vasiliev flying a then standard solid-propellant spacecraft meant for running goods between earth and mars, the Nissan Horu-class 980Z. It was initially thought that standard radiation shielding would be sufficient for use inside the wormhole, however it proved too much for classical shielding methods to handle. The intense radiation from the wormhole killed the pilot just minutes after entering through the gate, though the craft arrived at its destination unharmed. Innovative Technology Unlimited turned to physicist Takayoshi Fuchida to come up with a solution that would be both inexpensive, and mass-marketable.
Testing continued on the Lechner Gate, with Dr. Lechner himself leading the way. Several refinements were made to the design during this time. With the end product being the first true Generation I gate. Its overall design theory and function were identical to the prototype gates, but it was constructed of a much lighter plastisteel frame, had a simpler design, and was more energy effecient. The overal result being a cheaper to produce gate, that produced a more stable wormhole.
By 2197 ITU had a new ship capable of generating a magnetic field using the newly designed Fuchida radiation shielding using the Mesner Interstellar 155 drive as a power plant. The second flight test went smoothly, and Lechner Gate production went into full swing.
In 2215, ITU unveiled its Generation II gate. With the same general setup as the Generation I gate system, ITU implemented several efficiency upgrades and switched from the then obsolete Mesner 155 Interstellar drive and upgraded to the more powerful, cheaper, and more compact Mesner 265 Interstellar drive. While the Generation II gate was physically larger in order to accommodate larger vessels, it managed to maintain wormhole stability with a lower power requirement.
Another improvement came in the form of a dialing system between gates. Where Generation I gates were a paired set, Generation II gates introduced a dialing system.