Starfleet Command > Technical Manuals > Starfleet > Transporter Systems

Transporter Systems Introduction

Transoprt to an from a starship is accomplished by several transporter systems, which allow crew members and cargo to be transported up to 40 000 km away from the ship. Emergency transporters are also provided for emergency evacuation. Each pair of transporters is designed to share a single pattern buffer tank, generally located on teh deck directly below the actual transport chambers. The emergency units share the primary transporters' pattern buffers, but this only means a reduction of 31% in payload ccapacity, but yields a nearly 50% increase in system throughput. Mounted on the hull of the starship are a series of transporter emitter arrays. These incorporate long-range virtual focus molecular imaging scanners and phase transition coils, and are strategically located to provide 360° coverage in all dimensions. There is enough overlap of emitter coverage to provide adequate operation, even if 40% of the emitter arrays fail.

Transporter Systems Operation

Transporter operations can be split into five major stages. Because of the criticality of this system, a transporter chief must supervise system operation at all times. Here is the typical set of stages for a routine beam-down sequence.

Target Scan & Co-ordinate lock

During this initial stage, the destination co-ordinates are programmed into the transporter system. Targeting scanners verify range, relative velocity, as well as confirming that the destination co-ordinates are suitable for transport. An automated set of diagnostics is performed on all the transporter subsystems to verify that the system is functioning suitably for personnel transport.

Energise & Dematerialise

The molecular imaging scanners derive a realtime quantum-resolution pattern image of the transport subject while the primary energising coils convert the subject into a subatomically debonded matter stream.

Pattern Buffer Doppler compensation

The matter stream is held briefly in the pattern buffer, which allows the system to compensate for the Doppler shift between the ship and the destination. The pattern buffer also acts as a safety device, in case of system malfunction, allowing the transport sequence to be aborted to another transport chamber.

Matter stream transmission

The actual point of departure from the ship is one of seenteen emitter pad arrays that transmit the matter stream within an annular confinement beam (ACB) to the transport destination.


The matter stream is rematerialised into the original pattern at the destination. The transporter system verifies that transport was successful.

System Components

This section lists the major components of the transporter system

Transport chamber

This is the protected volume within which the materialisation/dematerialisation cycle takes place. The platform is elevated above the floor of the transporter room to reduce the possibility of static discharges which sometimes occur during the transport process.

Operator's Console

This station permits the Transporter Chief to monitor the transport, and also gives him control over all functions. It permits manual override of autosequencer and other emergency abort functions.

Transporter controller

This is a dedicated computer subprocessor located to the side of the transporter room. It manages the operation of transporter systems, including autosequence control.

Primary Energising Coils

These are located at the top of the transporter, and create the powerful Annular Confinement Beam (ACB) through which the matter stream is transported to the destination. A secondary field holds the transport subject within the ACB; this is a necessary safety feature, as early disruption of the ACB can result in a massive energy discharge.

Phase Transition coils

Located in the platform ot the transport chamber, thse wideband quark manipulation field devices accomplish the actual dematerialisation or materialisation process by partially decoupling the binding energy between subatomic particles. All personnel transporters are designed to operate at quantum resolution (necessary for successful transport of lifeforms). Cargo transporters are optimised for molecular resolution, as this is more energy-efficient, but they can be reconfigured to quantum resolution if necessary.

Molecular imaging scanners

Each upper pad incorporates four redundant sets of 0.0012µ molecular imaging scanners at 90° intervals around the primary axis of the transport pad. Error-checking routines permit one scanner to be ignored if it disagrees with the other three, but if two or more scanners fail, operating procedures require that the transport sequence is aborted. Each scanner is offset 3.5 seconds of arc from the ACB axis, allowing realtime derivation of quantum state data using the Heisenberg compensators. Quantum state data is not recorded for transporters in cargo resolution mode.


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