In 2116, preeminent theoretical physicist and engineer, Emory Erickson, produced the first working model for the
matter/energy conversion transport system. Basing his work on subspace theories introduced to earth by the
Vulcans, Erickson developed the formulas and subsequent engineering required to take the next step toward a
working technology. His research culminated in 2136 with the unveiling of the first operable prototype.
After the matter/energy conversion transport system, or transporter, was introduced to the scientific community and
the public, many debates began about its safety and reliability. The technology was such a leap forward that few
people, outside of particle physicists and subspace theorists, could even begin to understand it. Fortunately, due to
Erickson’s close association with the Warp Five Complex, the transporter technology was tapped almost
immediately for cargo transportation in United Earth starships. Biological transport was left pending due to the need
for further research and testing.
The Transport Sequence
To initiate the transport sequence, a person or object must be placed within the transport chamber. Preferably the
object should be positioned within the center of the pad and remain as still as possible. Next the transporter
operator or technician verifies and establishes what is known as a coordinate lock. This “lock” focuses the targeting
scanners, located within the emitter pad on the outer hull surface, onto the final destination of the transported
object. The targeting scanners also verify the suitability of the destination site, determining environmental hazards
and resistance or interference to the incoming matter stream. Once the coordinate lock has been established, the
technician will begin the main energizing sequence using the sliding controls located on the main system control
The main energizing sequence begins with a quantum level scan by the molecular imaging scanner. This scan
establishes the exact location and composition of every single atom within the person or object being transported.
Next, the Heisenberg compensators map the position and direction of the subject’s subatomic particles. The
quantum scan and subatomic particle map are then sent to the main processor located just starboard of the
transport chamber. Here the kiloquads of data are compressed, broken down into data bundles and sent to twelve
redundant subprocessors to await transmission. As the subject is scanned, simultaneously, the person or object is
converted into subatomic particles by the primary energizing coils. This “matter stream” is then carried away from
the transport platform and processed by the phase transition coils. These coils remove any energy variations
contained within the stream, distilling the various conversions into a single uniform subspace frequency. The matter
stream is then passed into the pattern buffer. The particles are briefly stored here before moving onto the final stage
Before the matter stream is moved to the emitter pad, the targeting scanners again reassess the target lock and
compensate for Doppler shift or variations in the location. Once this final check is complete, the matter stream is
then redirected through dedicated conduits to one of the emitter pads on the surface of the hull. Here the stream is
jacketed with an annular confinement beam and transmitted to the destination. The annual confinement beam
maintains the integrity of the matter stream, protecting against signal degradation as it moves through other matter,
such as a planet’s atmosphere or another ship’s hull. Once the matter stream reaches its final destination, the
process is reversed. Using the stored quantum scan and subatomic particle map, the matter stream is
reassembled into the original person or object.
Due to the nature of the transport process and restrictions of the annular confinement beam, transporter use has
several limitations. For example, the system’s range is limited to only 10,000 kilometers and transport is
impossible in the presence of a high energy field or large concentrations of dense matter. High frequency subspace
fields also disrupt beam integrity. Time is also an important limitation to the system. Once the subject is
dematerialized, it can be held for no more than 70 seconds within the pattern buffer before the subjects “signal”
starts to degrade. Once the signal drops below fifty percent, the subject’s pattern is lost forever.
Each year, the science and technology behind the transporter is still being expanded. Erickson, along with several
groups of engineers and physicists, continue to refine this experimental technology. Erickson, after experiencing
several set-backs in recent years, plans to retire from the field in 2155 but his most recent research and
experiments into expanding the system’s range is promising. Work on particle confinement and data processing is
For more information about the ideas used behind the scenes to create the transporter, please visit the amazing
Star Trek Wikipedia Memory Alpha or the ultimate reference site Ex Astris Scientia.
In 2148, the technology was officially upgraded for biological
use and the transporter was immediately incorporated into the
designs of the first warp five starship, the NX-01. Since the
starship was already in production in the Warp Five Complex
Construction Yards in orbit above earth, the technology had to
be altered to fit within the vessel’s structure and power
systems. The changes to the system included a resizing of the
pattern buffer and redesigned power systems to include
necessary redundancy. The addition of the system also
required that much of the aft space between Decks D and E
be cleared for the system’s complex hardware. The outer hull
was also modified to include the emitter pad, installed on the
forward ventral section.
After the installation was complete, further testing and
refinement of the system was required. After nine months of
rigorous field and shock testing, Erickson himself signed the
system flight worthy in August of 2150. He and his daughter
were the first to be transported aboard the Enterprise as a
tribute to his work.
At the heart of the transporter system is the process of converting matter into an energetic particle stream and then
reversing the process. This unique theory has revolutionized particle physics and subspace theories. And unlike
earlier attempts at this technology, this approach was entirely different from anything seen before.
Many early transport theories involved copying the original subject and recreating it at another location, afterwards
destroying the original. This process was unstable, consumed massive amounts of energy and was plagued by
fatal errors in the copied subject. Research into this method of matter transport ended just before the third world
war due to its harsh limitations.
Erickson’s breakthrough surpassed the previous attempts completely. He found that the application of a certain
combination of subspace fields caused the bonds between subatomic particles to break apart without a loss of
energy. Once separated from each other, these particles could them be redirected or transmitted to another location
with relative ease. Instead of transmitting a simple copy, as previous attempts had done, the matter within the
subject is actually moved to another location. Matter was neither created nor destroyed in the process. This method
also consumed significantly less energy and was very stable, as long as the subspace fields were maintained.
The Transporter System
The system has three primary pieces: the transport chamber, the pattern buffer and the emitter pad. In concert, each
of these parts enables the technology to move matter from one place to another.
The first part of the system is the transport chamber. The chamber consists of the transport platform, molecular
imaging scanners, Heisenberg compensators, primary energizing coils and phase transition coils. Each of these
components is responsible for the rematerialization and dematerialization of the transported object.
The next part of the system is the pattern buffer. This component consists of the buffer, the data processors and the
matter stream conduits. The buffer holds and sustains incoming and outgoing patterns while the data processors,
fourteen in total, manage the kiloquads of information required to reassemble the transported object. The pattern
buffer and the processors together comprise the second largest collection of components onboard the ship,
occupying over a hundred square meters between D and E decks.
The last part of the transporter system is the emitter pad. This part is located on the exterior of the ship and contains
the targeting scanners and annular confinement beam generator.
Image copyright Paramount Pictures / CBS Studios, Inc. Original NX-01 Computer Interface Design by Mike Okuda. NX-01 Mission Logo/Patch by Wendy Drapanas.
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