The Ring Transporter is a device used in the Milky Way for short-range transportation, for example, between proximate ships, between a ship and a nearby planet, or within a planet-side facility.
The Goa'uld used ring transporters on board their ships and in their pyramid temples ("Stargate: The Movie" and others). They also installed them on planets to travel within large facilities, for example to and from underground laboratories (5.22 "Revelations").
The technology for the rings came from the Ancients. O'Neill was once able to use his temporary Ancient knowledge to modify their function (7.22 "Lost City Part 2"). Daniel confirmed they are of Ancient design when SG-1 suspected a set of them might be in Avalon (9.01 "Avalon Part 1").
Ancients left behind ring transporters on Earth in two places: in the Antarctic outpost (7.22 "Lost City Part 2") and in the caverns of Avalon (9.01 "Avalon Part 1"). Earth adopted the technology for its large ships, beginning with the Prometheus (6.20 "Memento" and others), although they later augmented this with Asgard beaming technology (8.10 "Endgame").
Independently, the Ori developed a similar technology, except that theirs can be used for long-range transportation, even across interstellar distances. The Ori use it in place of a Stargate (9.03 "Origin Part 3" and others). They also use mobile ring platforms to transport troops from passing ships onto planets in order to engage in battle. They drop the platforms then immediately ring in the troops (10.12 "Line in the Sand").
We first saw the ring transporter in Stargate: The Movie.
A set of rings is five concentric disks, with open centers. (Ra's ring transport consisted of 7 rings, but only the 5-ring model has ever been seen since.) Each disk is comprised of segments marked by radial separators. The material is similar in appearance to the Stargate, so the rings are likely made of naquadah. At the origin or destination is a ring platform of the same size as the transport rings, typically on the floor of the ship or facility. This platform encircles the area where objects or people should be placed before activation, and it may be that the rings are housed beneath it. The mass of the platform is 12.9 metric tons (6.08 "The Other Guys").
The ringing process begins when the rings materialize one at a time around the objects to be transported (including people). The rings surround the objects and cause them to dematerialize. The rings then dematerialize as well, and the objects travel in a matter stream to the programmed destination. There the process reverses. The rings retake solid form, then the objects do the same, and finally the rings disappear, one at a time. Sometimes the rings disappear into the floor, while at others they disappear upward. There is no clear pattern for this behavior. ("Stargate: The Movie", 6.03 "Descent", and many others)
In the case of some ships, for example a Goa'uld cargo ship, when the rings activate, a circular panel on the bottom of the ship opens before the matter beam leaves (4.12 "Tangent" and others).
If an object or person is not completely within the circle created by the rings when the process starts, the portion outside the circle will be severed. In the case of a person, this can be fatal. ("Stargate: The Movie")
The rings operate relatively slowly, with several seconds required between activation and dematerialization. During this period, the persons traveling are vulnerable to attack from outside, for example, by automatic weapons fired at the spaces between the rings. (4.14 "The Curse", 4.22 "Exodus Part 1")
The rings may transport objects in both directions during one ringing event ("Stargate: The Movie", 9.12 "Prometheus Unbound").
The transport rings may be activated by a wrist-worn device (Stargate: The Movie), by a button on a ribbon device (4.14 "The Curse"), by a control panel nearby (5.08 The Tomb and others), or by ship cockpit controls (4.12 "Tangent" and others). Presumably the control device has an activation switch as well as a way to program the destination when there are multiple sites available.
The rings typically work between two ring platforms. They can also be used between a platform and an arbitrary location, for example, to or from the surface of a planet and to or from the vacuum of space. (4.12 "Tangent", 7.12 "Evolution Part 2" and others). With the correct timing, a ship (or other mobile platform) with rings may move into position to intercept the rings' matter stream and thereby "steal" the objects from their intended destination (3.13 "The Devil You Know Part 2"). When ring controls are set a certain way, they will seek out the nearest companion set even if those are inside a cloaked ship (9.06 "Beachhead").
Ring Transporters have been used many times and in many ways over the years that Earth has known about them. Here are some occasions in which they were used extensively or beyond their routine capabilities.
Daniel used the ring transporter to bring Sha're to the sarcophagus after a Jaffa killed her. O'Neill used the Jaffa's own wrist device to activate the rings while the Jaffa's torso was outside the platform; his body was cut in half. Once Daniel and Sha're returned, O'Neill transported the nuclear bomb to Ra's ship using the rings, killing Ra and saving himself, his men, and the people of Abydos. ("Stargate: The Movie")
Teal'c used the rings aboard a tel'tak to rescue the the rest of SG-1 as well as Martouf and Jacob. The rings were set to transport the group from Netu to Sokar's ship. Just as Martouf activated the rings in Apophis's chamber, Teal'c maneuvered the tel'tak into place to catch the rings' matter stream. The group materialized on board the tel'tak instead of Sokar's ship. (3.13 "The Devil You Know Part 2")
In order to rescue Thor from Osiris's ship and Anubis's upcoming interrogation, Carter suggested that SG-1 ring onto Osiris's ship at the exact same time Anubis was ringing aboard. This was the only way to penetrate the shields of the ship, which were being adjusted momentarily to let Anubis's rings through. O'Neill and Teal'c arrived at a different ring room from Anubis's and began the rescue of Thor. (5.22 "Revelations")
After working underwater to fix the forcefield on their sunken mothership, Jonas activated rings to get himself out to a non-submerged area. The water within the rings transported with him, but fell away once the rings disappeared upward. (6.03 "Descent")
In the battle against Anubis and his forces over Earth, O'Neill used his downloaded Ancient knowledge to modify the ring transport system on board a Goa'uld cargo ship. After his modifications, the ring system was able to burn a hole through the Antarctic ice and down to the Ancient outpost there. He then removed the modifications so the rings could transport SG-1 down to the outpost, where Jack took his place in the Ancient defensive chair. (7.22 "Lost City Part 2")
After Vala took control of a disabled al'kesh, she asked the Prometheus to help using a distress signal, and they transported to the al'kesh via the rings. Vala used the rings to go aboard the Prometheus, then managed to disable them. She then sent the rest of the crew but Daniel to the al'kesh via the rings. Later, when Hammond was in danger of dying aboard the nearby disabled cargo ship whose crystals he had gone to scavenge, Reynolds had to ring over to rescue him at the same time that the crystals were transported to the al'kesh. (8.12 "Prometheus Unbound")
When Prometheus was trying but failing to prevent the Ori from completing their Supergate above Kallana, Vala went against orders and sent herself to a cloaked cargo ship nearby. She knew if she set the controls a certain way, the rings would find the nearest set, even on a cloaked ship. Vala maneuvered the cargo ship into place on the Supergate to disrupt it. She tried to ring back to Prometheus just as the singularity from Kallana formed and the Supergate activated. Instead of coming back to Prometheus, her matter stream was pulled into the Ori galaxy, where she somehow reintegrated. (9.06 "Beachhead")
Daniel was saved from certain death on the Korolev when he ringed himself onto an attacking Ori ship just before Korolev exploded. He was trying to ring over some warheads after the Asgard beam had proven ineffective, but ended up only with time to leap onto the platform himself. (10.01 "Flesh And Blood Part 3")
Including all episodes in which rings were used; some not discussed above.
- Stargate: The Movie
- 2.01 "The Serpent's Lair Part 2"
- 2.11 "The Tok'ra Part 1"
- 2.22 "Out Of Mind Part 1"
- 3.02 "Seth"
- 3.12 "Jolinar's Memories Part 1"
- 3.13 "The Devil You Know Part 2"
- 4.12 "Tangent"
- 4.14 "The Curse"
- 4.21 "Double Jeopardy"
- 4.22 "Exodus Part 1"
- 5.06 "Rite Of Passage"
- 5.08 "The Tomb"
- 5.15 "Summit Part 1"
- 5.22 "Revelations"
- 6.02 "Redemption Part 2"
- 6.03 "Descent"
- 6.08 "The Other Guys"
- 6.20 "Memento"
- 7.01 "Fallen Part 1"
- 7.02 "Homecoming Part 2"
- 7.11 "Evolution Part 1"
- 7.12 "Evolution Part 2"
- 7.22 "Lost City Part 2"
- 8.10 "Endgame"
- 8.12 "Prometheus Unbound"
- 9.01 "Avalon Part 1"
- 9.02 "Avalon Part 2"
- 9.03 "Origin Part 3"
- 9.06 "Beachhead"
- 10.01 "Flesh And Blood"
- 10.09 "Company Of Thieves"
- 10.12 "Line In The Sand"
- 10.15 "Bounty"
- Col. Jack O'Neill
- Dr. Daniel Jackson
- Capt./Maj. Samantha Carter
- Jonas Quinn
- Vala Mal Doran
- Gen. George Hammond
- Jacob Carter/Selmak
- Jay Felger
- Simon Coombs
- Abydos and the Abydonian People
- Asgard Beaming Technology
- Super Stargate
--Michelle 23:05, 6 May 2008 (PDT)