Standard ship drive cores build up static electricity, and require periodic discharge on a planet or at specialized facilities to prevent static from building to dangerous levels. With few such suitable discharge points in dark space, the ODSY drive core was developed for the arks' long-haul journey to Andromeda. The Tempest's drive core is an experimental small-scale variant based upon the original design.
The ODSY (out-galaxy distributed static synch) drive core is designed to minimize static build-up, and transfers the remaining charge to specially designed capacitors attached to the core. The recycled electricity is used to run ship systems, reducing power requirements and lowering heat generation.
Cross-galaxy, the arks gathered hydrogen using an electromagnetic ramscoop, converting it into protons with an ionizing laser. Proton collision in the arks' fusion reactors provided power for their thrusters. The Tempest's thrusters run on conventional helium-3, though Initiative breakthroughs in fuel efficiency means their helium-3 requirements are drastically lowered.