I have not been able to find any data on this. Are the transporters on a starship linked to the main computer, or are they separate and have their own processors to carry out the transport functions?

  • I doubt that anything is separate from the main computer (why would it be?) I can't think of an example right now, but I seem to remember the bridge crew instructing the computer to transporter something somewhere.
    – Blackwood
    Dec 25, 2018 at 3:44

1 Answer 1


Everything on a starship is linked to the main computer in one way or another, but the transporter also possess it's own systems to perform the bulk of the transport operation.

You can see a nice schematic of the transporter at Ex Astris Scientia.

Here's the explanation of how a transport works, quoted from page 191 and 192 of the Player's Guide of the Star Trek RPG by Decipher (Emphasis on subsystems name is in original text):

When the transport begins, the molecular imaging scanners in the transport pad analyze the transportee and tie in with the ship's sensors to locate the destination or target. Next the energizing and transition coils (1) dematerialize the transportee and later reconstitute him at the destination point, using an annular confinement beam (ACB) to create the spatial matrix for dematerialization. Other fields keep the transportee's energy pattern locked inside the ACB.

The transporter holds the transportee's energy pattern in the pattern buffer, a magnetic holding tank, until beam-out begins {microseconds after the Doppler compensators adjust for relative motion between ship and destination}.

While the pattern is in the buffer, the transporter biofilters scan it for all known bacteriological and viral agents and eliminate them from the pattern if detected.

Once the filters complete their task, the emitter and receiver arrays on the ship’s hull complete the process by transmitting (or receiving) the energy stream.

(1) Noted as 'Primary Energizing coils' on the schematic.

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