Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Sileas, Nov 13, 2016.
In TNG or thereabouts, do shuttles ever have transporters? Or would that be considered redundant?
The runabouts definitely had them. I'm sure one or two of the other types had them, at least some of the time.
We know the little flyers that the cadets used in "The First Duty" had emergency transporters to get the pilots to safety when exploding, so It may well be that all small craft in TNG could be so equipped. On the other hand, those might have only been there cause they were training craft and actual duty craft don't have them.
On the other hand, if a script needed them I'm sure there would be room.
Worf and Data's shuttle in Best of Both Worlds Part II has an ``escape'' transporter, although they're able to use it to return too.
And the "speedboat" model from VOY (supposedly intended to be called Type 12, but we never heard that onscreen) had invisible emergency transporters that saw use in a couple of eps, notably "Day of Honor". I'm not sure if the other VOY shuttles were shown using transporters, but I suppose we can claim they would be standard gear by that time, if not yet in TNG.
(The emergency unit in that TNG TYpe 7 shuttle was an actual addition to the prop, a box on the ceiling. Clumsier than in VOY, so perhaps fairly recent tech at the time?)
The dialogue on "First Duty" is ambiguous. Did the training craft themselves have full-fledged transporters, or just some sort of a transponder setup that allowed a giant machine at Mimas to target them? The beaming in that episode is the second-longest conventional transport in Star Trek history, bested only by Gary Seven's interstellar trip: Titan and Mimas are separated by a million kilometers even at best. I'd hate to attribute that to something that fits under the hood of those tiny fliers.
That's a good point, I had forgotten the fact that there were two different moons involved.
It's an issue requiring us to do the pseudoscience for the writers, who apparently forgot that the two moons would be way apart. The exact phrase used is this:
The craft were right next to Titan as per preceding dialogue. We might say Mimas had rare supertech, or we might say Mimas had a quite typical planet-based transporter whereas starship-sized machines can do much less and shuttle-sized ones can do just the 10 km quoted in VOY "Future's End".
Or then the craft were part of an as such conventional chain of transporters, whisking the pilots to nearest relay buoys which then moved them forward until they reached those evac stations...
Thanks, all, for the response! I think what I'll do is gift the capn's gig and one of the big shuttles with a transporter. The context is Ent-D has a buncha people to rescue really, really fast---like, a couple thousand---and picard is going to panic at one point and order the shuttles capable of transport to be revved up and used for transport as well, to up their capacity. it won't add a LOT but.... it's a bit of a panic thing.
...Just make sure that the transport won't be across too great a distance. It's not until VOY that shuttle transporters start doing orbit-to-surface, and the 10 km limit quoted there might be what they still consider the upper limit of safe in TNG.
I was thinking about that one, but didn't those armbands they were wearing play a part in getting back?
This was the first time we saw a transporter being operated "remotely", without anybody at the controls next to the "pad". That is, we had previously seen people set the controls of a transporter for beaming out, but here the heroes needed to beam back in. The armbands might have been the remote controls needed for this.
Remote controls for transporters supposedly reappear in VOY "Non Sequitur" - a remote, rather than a pocket-sized actual transporter, is what the alternate Paris has to offer to Kim. But in between, DS9 routinely showed the heroes remotely controlling their runabout transporters with simple commbadges... I guess the functionality can be built into all sorts of devices, and the armbands were "rugged field gear" with additional pattern-enhancing properties and whatnot, configured to be activated with a "field" slap rather than with a complex verbal command.
Didn't they usually use their communicators to contact the shuttle for beam-back?
I thought the armband things might've been enhancers of some sort.
In TNG, there was no "beam-back to shuttle", except in this single episode with the armbands. In DS9, the runabout computer always was smart enough to handle verbal beaming requests. And then came VOY. We could say we saw progress being made in the field of remote control.
Regarding the Tittan-Mimas transport, have we ever had dialogue suggesting you couldn't "hand off" a transporter beam from one station to another? I'm thinking the Sol system might have a transporter relay network around key areas to circumvent the 40,000km range limit...
Perhaps planetary transporters can support longer range transports if it is pad to pad. Giving a reason to beam someone from one transporter complex or ship to another complex.
I could well see a giant machine on Earth sending people to another giant machine on Mars. The problem here is the size mismatch: one half of the equation is a tiny training spacecraft, not much larger than the TNG shuttlepods that certainly seem to be too compact to ever carry transporters of any sort. I'd hate to see that suffice for half the pad-to-pad setup...
We don't hear of other Federation long range transport (that is, beyond the usual tens of thousands of kilometers), unless we count certain warp or near-warp transport tricks where we don't know all the specs. Apparently, beaming from Earth to Mars just isn't done. But whenever long distance beaming does happen, be it this single UFP example or, say, the Dominion trick Dukat supposedly used in "Covenant", we can argue that it is done using the hand-off method, with dozens or hundreds of relay buoys. Although for "Covenant", Dukat would need millions...
Perhaps within one planet's system (Jupiter and its moons, Saturn and its moons, Earth and Luna, that sort of thing), but AU distances needed for planet to planet transport isn't possible for the Federation. At most I could guess Earth to Venus at closest approach, but Earth to Mars is quite a lot farther away.
I wonder what the limiting factor is.
Site-to-site is possible, but is site-to-site-to-site already ruled out (as we never really hear of transporter relay chains in canon)? Or does it become impossible at some high value of n? Why does it become impossible? Does the signal degrade at each relay, and if so, why and how? Or is it a matter of how long the signal spends in the system, and this is in linear relation to the distance spanned? Why is it linear - can't the signal be made to travel faster? Indeed, what is its speed usually supposed to be - lightspeed, less, more?
We really don't know how interplanetary is handled in the respective Trek eras. We don't see transporters, but OTOH we don't see ships or shuttles or really long monorails, either. At Bajor, it's done with ships, but Bajor is Third World...
There's another option, given that we know relays are possible, it stands to reason that transporter distance is a matter of overcoming diffraction, like with a laser. Following the analogy, a more sensitive receiver could overcome limitations of the sending platform by better perceiving weak signals. This fits in with how the Sikaran quarts mantle allowed 40,000 light year long beaming; the mantle is used as an amplifier, creating a stronger signal, rather than using a more sensitive receiver. This should mean a conventional ship to ship beaming should result in ranges better than 40,000 km versus ship to surface beaming sans receiver.
That would allow for what should be a weak transporter in the training craft to beam millions of kilometers, given appropriate facilities. The only explanation needed is the fact that training happens out there frequently, so it follows they would have specialized safety gear, in this case a sensitive transporter receiving station. Why it is not used regularly for Earth to Mars travel could be as simple as expense or safety. It's safer to make a risky beam out in case of emergency than it is to regularly make long distance beaming for commuting.
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