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  • Largely based on TNG Technical Manual description, modified as necessary by other presentations
    • All specifics below assuming Federation technology; likely similar but not identical for other implementations
  • Essentially based on disassembly of a target object into matter stream structure, transmission and reassembly by a stored pattern to a destination
  • Molecular imaging scanners generate quantum-resolution pattern of object to be transported
    • Cargo transporters or other devices not cleared for transport of living objects scan to molecular level only to save storage, allow for faster transport rates by increasing capacity
    • Transporters can be set for wide-beam capture rather than particular target, though this inevitably introduces quantum-level errors in the transport pattern; not recommended for live transport as a result (TNG Novel: A Time to Heal)
  • Target held in annular confinement beam (ACB) while phase transition coils disassemble target object into largely-debonded matter stream
    • Phase transition coils cannot themselves be safely transported by standard processes without disrupting internal balance (TNG Short Story: "On the Spot")
    • Consciousness and self-awareness persists throughout transport via some means (TNG: "Realm of Fear")
      • Consciousness seems decoupled from material form via transport process (TNG: "Lonely Among Us")
      • Possibly connected to general phenomenon of ascendance to energy beings, existence of non-corporeal life? (TOS Novel: Ex Machina)
    • Heisenberg compensators allow for overcoming fundamental uncertainty limitations of particle measurements through indirect entanglement with internally-maintained Bose-Einstein condensate in deconstruction, reconstruction of pattern, averting need to measure directly (TNG Novel: The Buried Age)
      • Sufficiently high power can cause compensators to fuse and burn out (ENT Novel: The Good That Men Do)
  • Matter stream directed into pattern buffer, held in suspension during transport cycle
    • Matter stream can be suspended before rematerialization for up to 420 seconds in standard operation in 24th century design before embedded pattern begins to deteriorate and subject is unrecoverable
  • Biofilter applied to matter stream to detect patterns corresponding to known dangerous forms of life, removing them from suspension
  • ACB projected to destination in preparation for rematerialization, to clear destination of pre-existing matter and establish reference matrix for rematerialization
  • Matter stream transmitted via subspace to projected ACB, reassembles according to embedded pattern and reference matrix (DS9 Novel: Millennium: Inferno)
    • Stored in linearly-propagating carrier wave on particular subspace frequency (DS9 Novel: Gamma: Original Sin)
  • Full transport cycle takes 5 seconds, with 60 second cooldown before reset for new transport (TNG Novel: A Time to Heal)


  • Vulcan transporters established well before 22nd century
  • Emory Erickson begins development into human transporters 2103 (Reference: Federation: The First 150 Years)
  • First successful transportation of a living object 2118 (Reference: Federation: The First 150 Years)
    • Banana
  • First cargo transporter completed 2138, research continues into personnel transporter (ENT: "Daedalus")
    • Installed in ECS vessels shortly after
  • Erickson personnel transporter completed 2151 (ENT: "Broken Bow")
  • Transporter technology spreads through trade to other races in Sol-local space
  • Single-bit error rematerialization issue discovered 2162 (ENT Novel: A Choice of Futures)
    • Starfleet policy sets transporters as emergency use only until issue is resolved
  • Starfleet Mark I transporters developed
    • Improvements include enhancements to error correction resolving single-bit transposition issue
  • Transporter psychosis first diagnosed 2209, Delinia II (TNG: "Realm of Fear")
  • Transporters re-established in general use by 2255 (TOS: "The Cage")
  • Starfleet Mark IV transporters begin production 2312
    • Improvements include development of multiplex pattern buffer, eliminating transporter psychosis (TNG: "Realm of Fear")
  • Starfleet Mark VI transporters begin production 2356 (DS9: "Family Business")
  • Starfleet Mark VII transporters begin production 2369 (DS9: "Family Business")
    • Improvements include enhancements to phase transition inhibitor allowing transport of unstable biomatter in the proper configuration (DS9: "Family Business")

Known Components

  • Annular confinement beam
    • Forcefield used to exclude matter from destination, hold target in place during dematerialization and rematerialization (SCE Short Story: "Invincible, Part One")
    • Power requirements rise logarithmically with increased magnitude (SCE Short Story: "Invincible, Part One")
      • Little-known fact given that ACB magnitude is usually relatively limited (SCE Short Story: "Invincible, Part One")
  • Heisenberg compensator
    • Stable Bose-Einstein condensate that entangles with target entity in order to encode quantum state information without measuring it (TNG Novel: The Buried Age)
    • If not engaged, results in random errors in rematerialization of particles, near-instantaneous death (TOS Novel: Ex Machina)
  • Quantum phase scanners (TOS Novel: Ex Machina)


  • Couriered handcrafted items are usually not passed through transporter if possible (DS9 Novel: The 34th Rule)
    • Being dematerialized and reconstituted often seen as negating the point of requesting a handcrafted item; no better than just replicating one (DS9 Novel: The 34th Rule)
  • Most buildings in the Federation constructed of materials that impede beaming in and out of the structure (DS9 Novel: Gamma: Original Sin)

Related devices

Cargo gun

  • Handheld transporter device used for capture of large objects (TNG Short Story: "'Til Death")
  • Scans, dematerializes objects into backpack-mounted transporter buffer for easier transportation without access to a full unit (TNG Short Story: "'Til Death")
    • Object held in stasis as matter stream pending later dematerialization (TNG Short Story: "'Til Death")
    • As pattern deterioration often results from long-term suspension, device usually used by less reputable individuals with less interest in preservation (TNG Short Story: "'Til Death")
    • As mass of stored matter stream would be identical to mass of original object, likely only applicable to objects whose mass could be toted but whose shape prevents easy transportation by hand

Clothing transporter

  • Short-lived fad on Starfleet vessels c.2270s; eventually abandoned for lack of any significant use case (Star Trek: The Motion Picture; TOS Novel: Ex Machina)

Pattern enhancer

  • Portable molecular imaging scanners used under inclement conditions that would otherwise prevent pattern acquisition by the transporter unit (TNG Novel: Immortal Coil; TNG: "Power Play", "Inheritance"; DS9: "The Alternate"; VOY: "The Omega Directive", "Counterpoint", "Dark Frontier", "Friendship One")
    • Usually deployed in sets of three, producing a triangular border of energy demarcating the space being scanned (TNG: "Power Play", "Inheritance"; DS9: "The Alternate"; VOY: "The Omega Directive", "Counterpoint", "Dark Frontier", "Friendship One")
    • Developed by c.2305 (TNG Novel: Immortal Coil)

Transgenic field

  • Energy field preventing usage of transporter (VOY Novel: Mosaic)
    • Based on name, definition of "transgenic", presumably works by confounding transporter scanners into misidentifying genetic structure, resulting in failure to identify or properly rematerialize targets
  • In use by Cardassian Union by mid-2350s (VOY Novel: Mosaic)

Transport inhibitor

  • Projects a general scattering field to prevent transporter sensor lock (Star Trek: Insurrection)
    • Potentially works by emission of high-powered scanning beams to interfere with the scanning beams of another (ENT Novel: Uncertain Logic)

Transport scrambler

  • Projects a field disrupting annular confinement beam establishment, allowing transport but preventing proper materialization (DS9: "Nor the Battle to the Strong", "Empok Nor", "Change of Heart"; TNG Novel: The Battle of Betazed)