Transporter Operations

Particle transporters have been a standard part of all Star Fleet ships and facilities for over 200 years. As such, every officer should be familiar with at least the emergency operation of transporters, and common sources of problems. There are four types of Transporter: Personnel, Emergency, Group and Cargo.


Mechanics
Transporters use the ships sensors to locate a target, then locks on and translates the target into a particle stream which reflects the quantum state of the target. The stream is transmitted into a pattern buffer, which holds the target pattern as it is beamed to the destination site. Once the transporter has engaged, the target is incapable of sensing or acting, but it also cannot be permanently affected or harmed by its environment. When transported, it arrives at the the same state it was in when lock-on was established - except for errors, of course.  Cargo Transporters can also transport humanoids, but are more often used for equipment and cargo - thus it is more prone to error when transporting organic material.

Current Star Fleet transporters can complete their operation within 2.5 seconds under optimal conditions, with 4 seconds being the standard. A properly maintained pattern buffer can hold signals for up to 7 minutes without significant loss of information. The transporter controls are thus designed to abort transport attempts after 5 minutes. System reset and cool down after each transport operation requires 15 to 45 seconds. Operating ranges vary depending on the Transporter Type (below).

'Basic' OperationTransporter Room
When the transporter is activated the auto-seqeuncers instruct the Annular Confinement Beam (ACB) to lock onto, then disassemble the subject into phased matter (through the phase transition coils) causing it to take on an energy-like state similar to plasma, called phased matter.  During this process, the Heisenberg compensators and the imaging scanners monitor the constantly moving Quantum state of the matter while it is sent into the energizing coils.  Here, it goes into the pattern buffer where and eventually through the biofilters.

The matter stream is then sent through waveguide conduits to beam emitters on the hull of the starship or base.  From there on, the rematerialization subroutines kick in, and a transporter carrier wave (the ACB) is relayed to a target point where the ACB reconstructs the subject.

It is important to note that Doppler Compensators selectively control the beaming of a person to and from a starship while it is moving (as in the term "Doppler effect"), and controls how much power goes in and out of the ACB to the phase transition coils to compensate accordingly.

The Energizer Coils determine the resolution of the object's materialization/dematerialization - including speed and reliability.  All transporters have a chance of failure.  Better Coil classes decrease that chance, but it can never be zero.

Chance of error increases substantially in case of battle; subspace or electromagnetic interference; excessive volume/speed/range of use. In such cases, errors can be much more of a danger, especially when transporting volatile or explosive substances. Errors can occur in three places: during translation, during holding, and during reintegration.

Translation errors usually result from sudden sub-space distortions. These errors manifest as changes in the target on a quantum level, and are usually unnoticeable. However, errors in an explosive substance could cause it to react before translation is complete.

Holding errors are rare, usually resulting from damage or improper maintenance of equipment. Safety restrictions preclude scanning or tampering with the pattern buffer. (The buffer uses an analog medium which could easily be altered by an intrusive scan). A passive sensor records the mass and rough density distribution of the transported objects, and automatically logs that information.

Armband pattern enhancerReintegration errors are cause by sudden changes of the conditions along the path to the destination point. These normally cause the transport to abort and retrieve the target, but sometimes other problems may cause this to become impossible.

Pattern enhancers and armbands worn around the arm of the person to be transported can help to eliminate these errors.

Emergency Transporters are often used to rescue personnel from imminent danger.  These devices originated aboard fighters and shuttles after 2320 and were built-in to the vessels.  A pilot or passenger had to activate the transporter for all personnel to be transported to the nearest transport-equipped location (facility or vessel).

By the 2360's the devices were small enough to be hand-held (tricorder size), and after 2379 small (commbadge-sized) emergency transporters became available.

All Emergency Transporters except the hand-held version are pre-programmed single-use 'site to site' devices.  The hand-held version may be used multiple times, but specific transporters in range must be located and authorized for use before it can be activated.

An extension of the single-use Emergency Transporter is a "Transponder" which, when activated can transport a single person (the activator) to a pre-programmed location that can be many light-years distant.  This trip is one-way only, the person would need a separately keyed 'transponder' to return to the original location.

Ranges for the devices vary greatly.  The badge-sized versions function similar to the transponder to increase the range up to 2 LY.  The hand-held version is limited to the specifications of the transporter within it's detectable area.

Transporter Rooms
Transporter rooms are 2 decks in height.  The major components are contained within the 'lower' deck.
Most transporter rooms have anywhere from 4-8 pads, but smaller rooms for emergency use may have 1-4 pads.
Larger facilities (such as starbases) may have rooms with 10 or more pads.

Transporter Types
Type
Range (KM)
Requirements
1
10,000
EPS "basic" class or above
ODN "basic" class or above
2
15,000
Unavailable before 2240
3
20,000
Unavailable before 2260
4
25,000
Unavailable before 2280
EPS "standard" class or above
ODN "standard" class or above
5
30,000
Unavailable before 2300
Cannot transport unstable biomatter
6
35,000
Unavailable before 2350
Cannot transport unstable biomatter
7
40,000
Unavailable before 2370
EPS "high" class or above
ODN "high" class or above
8
45,000
Unavailable before 2380
9
50,000
Unavailable before 2390
10
55,000
Unavailable before 2400

TRANSWARP BEAMING
Starfleet is currently testing "transwarp beaming" between two known points linked by a Transwarp Corridor.  Some successful tests have beamed test objects up to 100 LY with this method, but the pattern starts to degrade beyond that.
This method is not perfected, and is still considered too dangerous for personnel.

Cargo Transporters
Unlike Personal Transporter rooms there is no 'lower level' to contain the equipment, therefore it takes up more space.
Cargo Transporters above Type 5 may be reset to "quantam level" to allow organic (living) tissue.
Time to 'reset' the transporter varies, but cannot be less than 30 minutes per 5 meter pad.
Type
Range (KM)
Max. Mass (KG)
1
10,000
300
2
15,000
300
3
20,000
400
4
25,000
400
5
30,000
400
6
35,000
500
7
40,000
500
8
45,000
500
9
50,000
600
10
55,000
600

Portable Transporters
Portable transporters are single-pad, self-contained transporters.
They are generally only for temporary-use during emergencies.
Energizer Coils for Portable Transporters are limited to Class F or below.
An assembled device may be used immediately.
A disassembled device takes 15 minutes to assemble, plus 10 minutes to charge (unless connected to external source).
An incomplete device (missing coils/compensators, etc...) can take 45+ minutes to assemble, plus 10 minutes to charge (unless connected to external source).
Type
Range (KM)
1
5,000
2
8,000
3
11,000
4
14,000
5
17,000
6
20,000
Portable Transporters contain a micro-fusion power cell to operate, but must recharge 10 minutes between uses.
They may be plugged in to an existing power supply for regular use (a shuttlecraft for example).

Energizer Coil
The Energizer Coil class determine the resolution of the objects materialization/dematerialization (speed and reliability).
All transporters have a chance of failure.  Better Coil classes decrease that chance, but it can never be zero.
Class
Reliability
A
90%
B
91%
C
92%
D
93%
E
94%
F
95%
G
96%
H
97%
I
98%
J
99%

Mannheim Compensator
FOR USE BY TEMPORAL AFFAIRS ONLY

Location Works alongside / inline with the Heisenberg Compensator.
Function
  • Allows the transporters to actually send items not only through space, but through time - within a limited physical and temporal range.
  • Location can be accurate (within the normal transporter range).
  • The transporter will still function as a normal transporter if the Mannheim Compensator is not activated.
Limitations
  • Planet-based only!  Very massive and power-intensive.
  • Exact date can not be specified, only a 'rough' estimate within 10 year span.
  • Transporting living beings can be risky due ot the specific date issue.  Temporal Agents must be issued single-use "emergency transport" devices which will return them to the location (and time) of sending when activated.
  • Must have dedicated power supply.