Transporter beam and shields

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by JesterFace, Nov 19, 2016.

  1. JesterFace

    JesterFace Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    As we know, transporting through shields is not possible. It gives a good plot device for writers and I'm OK with that, but this occured to me. Do the shields have to be down all around the ship for the transporter beam to reach the ship?

    Here's a very nice image I made with unvelievable photoshop skills.

    OR... is the transporterbeam such a delicate energy pattern that even getting close to the shields would be a problem.

    [​IMG]
     
    Go-Captain likes this.
  2. The Old Building & Loan

    The Old Building & Loan Auld Lang Mod Moderator

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    Think I'll send this one down to Trek Tech, since this is really in their ballpark.
     
  3. USS Firefly

    USS Firefly Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Your photoshop skills are magnificent!
    Maybe if they have the shield frequency they don't have to lower the shields?
     
  4. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'd argue shields are a very complex entity with all sorts of spatial and temporal variation.

    That is, okay, there may be a "frequency" to them, but it only helps tell which frquency area is the weakest against weapons fire - it doesn't offer a window wide enough for a transporter beam to safely squeeze through. And the frequency isn't something you can measure from the outside, or else tricks like ST:GEN would be meaningless. But in addition to the frequency, there no doubt are all sorts of "cycles" or "frequencies of frequencies", one of which was exploited in "The Wounded" in a noncombat situation against a semi-friendly and well-known vessel. And then there may be segments or faces to the shielding, with interesting things happening at the edges even when everything is working fine, let alone in combat where specific segments get hurt in specific ways.

    I'm also pretty sure it's a matter of strength vs. strength: if your transporter signal is strong enough, it can get through shields less harmed than if it were weaker - and the same if the shields are weak enough vs. your regular signal. We have seen transport happen when only a single segment of shields is down, say, in ST:NEM - but we don't know how many transportees were lost in the supposedly risky process, and how healthy those who made it through would have been if subjected to Crusher's medical sensors rather than Worf's phaser rifles.

    So the lower pic is closer to the truth, but to get in Scot free you need a really big hole, lots of luck and a Scot to your side.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  5. SWHouston

    SWHouston Commander Red Shirt

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    I don't see why the Shield Freq couldn't be altered (even momentarily) to allow Transportation. If not, why not a "field" like the Warp Field might be locally generated where a dedicated area could allow passage. The Borg seem to be experts at altering Weapons Frequency to get through Fed Shields... seems like by now, with all the Fed's sensor readings of encounters, they would have come up with some way. But no, Feds don't plagiarize even if it means the loss of life.
     
  6. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Obviously shields can be altered to allow transportation. It's called dropping them, and we don't know of any alteration that would not amount to dropping. This can be done "momentarily" to tactical advantage sometimes; often, heroes won't risk it.

    Could shields be dropped on a specific segment to create a physical hole? Yes - that's shown in ST:NEM. But the hole might still need to be so big as to amount to the dropping of shields, in most combat scenarios. Could shields be "dropped" to allow for standard transport but not standard weapons fire? Probably not - because that's not shown anywhere. Could shields be "dropped" to allow for super-transport but not standard weapons fire? There's little need for such dropping when your transport is super enough, as shown in DS9, but it can be speculated that any conflict featuring super-transporters would also feature super-weapons, resetting things.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  7. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    What is odd is that sometimes they can managed to pull off beaming in through cycles and frequencies on other ships, but why don't they set up their transporters to beam through their own cycles and frequencies? Or would such a thing give the enemy the clue they need to shot through their shields?
     
  8. Tenacity

    Tenacity Commodore Commodore

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    A ship can apparently fire out through it's own shields.

    And if what is happening there is a opening being created to let the phasers/torpedoes out, then why not something similar for the transporter?
     
  9. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Maybe the transporter function takes too long and could be easily exploited?
     
  10. Paradise City

    Paradise City Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    A transporter would be very complex with people in there that would have to be reformed. An intricate process no doubt. I could see how putting the beam through the shields wouldn't happen. Phasers and the torps are a blunter affair. Presumably the shields are weak on the internal surface but strong on the other side. Thus allowing torps to be punched out but rebuffing the torps coming in.
     
  11. Paradise City

    Paradise City Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Remember K'Ehleyr travelling around in that torpedo? I wonder could you send an away team in a volley of torpedoes without lowering the shields?:devil:
     
  12. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Glass can be like that:

    Or the shield itself is like unto a speaker. The shield is unbroken--just radiates like a drumhead.
     
  13. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    We've seen examples in Trek with transporter beam penetrating active shields.

    These situations usually depend on whether the shields themselves are strong enough to go through the shields in the first place.
    Obviously for larger ships that are more up to date (and without any shield fluctuations that can be exploited), the task might require appropriating shield frequencies for transport, or another technical solution... or in other situations... the shields themselves need to be lowered.

    But yes, if the shields are sufficiently weak, or the transporter beam modified enough, transporters could work through shields.
     
  14. Solariabsg25

    Solariabsg25 Commodore Commodore

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    My understanding of shields was that the frequencies stated were just a device to allow weapons fire to pass out from the ship while blocking incoming enemy fire, unless you happened to match the frequency (the Duras sisters in Generations for example). A phaser blast or photon launch takes only a fraction of the time that a transport beam does, which would perhaps expose a greater window of opportunity to allow an enemy to discover this frequency.

    IIRC TOS referred to individual shields, so I would have assumed it possible that a starship could lower the port shields to allow beaming up or down while still protecting the ship with the starboard side facing the enemy (a factor in many Trek starship combat games), but in dialogue it seems to indicate that lowering the shields would leave the ship defenceless while beaming (Arena). The shields displays in both TWOK, and TFF/TUC appear to indicate that operating the shields is an all-or-nothing affair.

    TWOK image

    TUC image
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2016
  15. Unwrapped

    Unwrapped Continuity Spackle Moderator

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    I modified the images into links, since they seemed to be hotlinked. In the future, please use an online image host for posting images.
     
  16. Solariabsg25

    Solariabsg25 Commodore Commodore

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    Thanks Unicron
     
  17. Sgt_G

    Sgt_G Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Don't know if this will help answer your questions, but in the game Star Fleet Battles (based on TOS/TAS), a ship has six 60-deg shields. You must drop one face to beam in/out in that direction. The other five faces may remain up and will lock transporters in those directions.
     
  18. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    And transport, too - in "A Taste of Armageddon", the very episode to establish that shields and transporters don't mix, Scotty first says he won't be dropping his shields, and the villain then swears he will fire at the ship the moment the shields drop - and Ambassador Fox then beams down, and the ship is not fired upon.

    Curiously, no TOS episode ever contradicts the idea that beaming out through shields would be impossible or even difficult. It's the beaming in that is impossible, meaning anybody who goes out will be unable to get back in, which is why our heroes worry about shields vs. transporters.

    TNG tries to muddle the issue in "Datalore", where Lore's silly plan of beaming out a tree involves the dropping of shields. But we know it's not Lore's real plan, and we know Picard and friends don't buy it anyway, and we again get a villain interested in doing damage the moment the shields drop yet no damage is done. Beyond that, the TNG era shows, too, are in agreement with the idea that getting out through shields is trivial in all situations, no matter what the means. VOY just inserts a case or two of a hero being beamed in while combat is ongoing...

    One would then assume the frequency is changed after each outgoing shot, yet ST:GEN sort of suggests this does not happen, by giving the frequency as a single figure. Although it might actually suggest the exact opposite: when shields prove ineffective, the heroes should forcibly change their frequency in addition to all the automatic changing going in - but LaForge immediately relaying the new frequency to the villains would hide and negate all changing.

    "Arena" is telling in the sense that the Gorn ship is supposedly far away, and couldn't easily flank Sulu's ship. Then again, Sulu has just been informed there's a Gorn ambush down on the surface - so there are good odds that the beams coming from the direction of the planet would include not just our heroes' transporter beam but Gorn death rays as well!

    As for the displays, the TWoK/TSfS one does consist of "segments" or dots, random ones of which go dark when the shields are compromised - but that's more like the display fritzing out than the actual shields behaving in a certain manner. In TUC, though, Chang is consistently striking under the belt, or then hitting the top of the saucer - so a top-down view might well show "uniform" weakening even though the side shields are much stronger than the top and bottom ones. :devil:

    Timo Saloniemi
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2016
  19. Tenacity

    Tenacity Commodore Commodore

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    Chekov's dialog in The Journey to Babel seems to indicate that there isn't a single shield around the ship, but instead segments. One or more segments can weaken or "buckle," but the others are unaffected.
     
  20. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Now which episodes or movies put this in graphic form? ST:NEM shows explicit segmented shields, but are there others?

    Timo Saloniemi