The Federation relies on an advanced transportation system that can convert matter into energy and
beam it to distant locations.
One of the 24th century's most versatile and dynamic technologies - the matter transporter system, or
transporter for short - is a fixture on every Starfleet vessel. Transporters allow individuals to
travel thousands of kilometers in a matter of seconds, and mean that ships do not have to be capable of
landing. Transporter technology was originally developed to a usable level in the early years of the
23rd century, and the general look and layout of the transporter system has been an intergral part of
Federation starships for over 150 years. Always a complicated technical system, the transporter is very
reliable in modern times, with malfunctions far less common than in the pioneering days.
The transporter provides a speedier mode of travel than vessels making planetfall, and allows rescues,
repair, and covert assignments into otherwise inaccessible locations. The operating range of a
transporter can reach 40,000 kilometers, and a standard transporter can handle up to six people at a
time. Most starships also carry emergency transporters in case of evacuation; these tend to have a more
restricted range of about 15,000 kilometers, depending on the available power. It is impossible to
transport when deflector shields are raised, and transport between objects moving at warp speed is only
advisable when both are traveling at the same velocity. Failure to precisely maintain the same speed
could be fatal for living subjects.
Transporter operations are extremely complex. The slightest error can result in the deaths of those
involved, so most of the process is automated. Even so, transport is always supervised by a specially
trained transporter chief, who verifies the transporter lock and system status. This helps to make the
procedure almost entirely risk-free.
"TRANSPORTERS" - JULY 1999 ISSUE 3 STAR TREK: THE MAGAZINE COPYRIGHT OF PARAMOUNT PICTURES.