|Armaments:||12+ Drone weapons|
|Defences:||deflector shields, cloaking device|
The Puddle Jumper is the Human nickname given to a set of small ships used by the Ancients found by the Atlantis Expedition in 2379. It was coined by John Sheppard, an experienced pilot, who found a serendipitous double meaning when describing the craft. The nomenclature of the ship was immediately protested by Rodney McKay and Aiden Ford, who preferred "Jumper ship", although their suggestion was rejected. They are operated via neural interface, and so the Ancient Technology Activation gene is required to activate and pilot the ship. The Asurans referred to these ships as "Gateships", possibly indicating that the Ancients also called them that in their language. However, the Wraith are shown to refer to them as Jumpers or Lantean Jumpers.
- "Ancients like to fly in style."
- — Daniel Jackson
The design of the Puddle Jumper is of a cylindrical shape, with two inner sections. The front section contains the cockpit of the vessel with all control functions, four seats for passengers and a large viewport at the front of the ship. The aft section contains a passenger and storage area with a hatch in the back to access the jumper. Outside, the vessel contains a weapons and engines pod on both the port and starboard sides. A large view port occupies the ship's forward section, with a smaller port at the stern for individuals in the back.
The ship can support roughly a dozen individuals in the event of a rescue (including seats for the pilot and co-pilot in the forward compartment), though this is not recommended for extended travel time. The cargo area also serves for additional seating within the jumper for more than the flight crew. There are no rest facilities aboard the craft, nor are there any emergency escape pods. A partition may be lowered to separate the forward and rear compartments, and the rear contains junctions by which basic ship functions, such as drive pod control, may be accessed.
Though the Puddle Jumper can be piloted by hand controls, these may be secondary, as the craft interfaces with the mind of the pilot.
On-screen geographical readouts as well as relevant technology may be immediately put at a pilot's disposal with a simple thought. A center console sits between the pilot and co-pilot seats. The craft is capable of impressive speeds, but perhaps even more impressive are the breaking thrusters. The ship must aslo therefore possess advanced intertial dampeners for the safety and comfort for its occupants. The Jumpers can be used as bombers by attaching explosives to the bottom of the craft and later releasing them. Puddle Jumpers are susceptible to electromagnetic fields. Rodney Mckay designed a virtual prototype for a hyperspace window generator for the Puddle Jumper. In 2380, Rodney Mckay develops a way to install a hyperdrive in a Jumper, though the hyperdrive has a range of only 2,000 light-years.
The sensors of a Puddle Jumper are very advanced and powerful for the size and power of the ship. These sensors are capable of scanning almost half solar system and give information of ships, energy sources and life signs.
A various assortment of items can be attached to a Puddle jumper, typically on the underside of the vessel, or can be carried. Examples include objects that need to be launched (that can be carried, such as a Naquadah generator), or a grapple.
As the jumpers are used on a regular basis by the Atlantis expedition to explore planets, their jumpers have been equipped with a large amount of Starfleet equipment. All of their jumpers possess plenty of food, medicine, weapons and other supplies on board, suspended over the seats in the rear compartment by rubber netting and behind the seats in the forward compartment.
As off-world teams are likely to come under fire, there is a healthy supply of weapons, and tactical vests on board, including type 3-A compression phaser rifles, type 3-B phaser rifles, type 3-B compression phaser rifles, type 3-E phaser rifles, type 3-E phaser pulse rifles and type 2-F phasers. There are lights built into the jumper for seeing underwater.
During the brief time that Dr. Rodney McKay was being accelerated towards Ascension, he designed a virtual prototype for a hyperspace window generator for the Puddle Jumper. At one time, McKay and Dr. Radek Zelenka formulated a plan to use the experimental Jumper's hyperdrive, so the team are able to fly from Starbase Atlantis to Asuras.
Unfortunately this took a lot of power and the only way they would have been able to fly it back would be to interface the Zero Point Module they stole.
McKay stated that he and Zelenka were working on fitting Asgard transporters onto Puddle Jumpers, but were only in the early stages.
- "You said you want a tactical advantage?"
- — John Sheppard
The Jumper's weapon systems consist of at least 12 Ancient Drone weapons, the Puddle jumper is equipped with two weapons pods, located on both sides of the ship at the front end in hidden hatches.
Each jumper utilizes drone weapons which fire by command of the pilot's thoughts. These pods must be extended before the drones can be fired. Radek Zelenka was also able to modify the cloak on a puddle jumper to act as a shield against the pressure of ocean water.
The Puddle Jumper is only armed with 12 Drones. The jumpers can be used as bombers by attaching explosives to the bottom of the craft and later releasing them.
It was theorized by Dr. Rodney McKay that these drones could also be used to pilot the Jumper, although this was never tested. It is assumed that the craft would not be very maneuverable or fast, however, it would require very little power.
A Puddle Jumper has no true defensive shields at all, suggesting that it was designed to be an exploration and trading ship. Its only defense consists of an advanced cloaking generator capable of masking the ship to both the naked eye and sensors, much like those on Goa'uld Tel'taks and Al'kesh, although far smaller and more powerful. The Jumper's cloak cannot be penetrated by Wraith, Federation, Goa´uld or Asgard sensors, apart from the sensors of the ZPM powered Xindi-Reptilian warship. The cloak conceals the full interior of the vessel and its occupants even if the hatch is open. The Jumper's cloak is not limited to the size of the craft, as it can be extended around other objects.
However, through modifications the cloaking generator can be altered to act as a shield, capable of withstanding the pressure of the ocean and even one Drone without falling, although this drains the Jumper's power rapidly. The cloaking generator can only project either the cloak or the shield, as both are generated from the same device.
Dr. Rodney McKay was also able to modify the Jumper's cloak to emit an Anti-Replicator field that would destroy all Asurans in range (9 decks of a starbase). Furthermore, Michael Kenmore was able to interface Wraith technology with a stolen Jumper to emit a Stun bubble around the ship.
An Ancient scientist named Janus created at least one Puddle Jumper, known as a Time Jumper, which is capable of Time travel by means of a device installed in the cargo hold.
In the main timeline, this experimental technology was banned by the Lantean Council in order to prevent dangers associated with time travel.
A Time Jumper was encountered by the Atlantis expedition in an alternate timeline and Stargate Command in the current timeline.
Gateships, like other Ancient technology, utilize crystals to control its systems. These crystals are located in the rear section of the ship behind the bench seats and in panels hanging from the ceiling. As most of the control conduits go to the rear section of the Gateship, it is possible to control the ship from that location as well. The control crystals, such as the one for the cloaking generator, can be removed from a Jumper and implemented on other Ancient ships.
Puddle Jumpers are equipped with two anti-gravity drive pods, which may either be extended or retracted during flight. However, the drive pods when extended are capable of propelling the craft at far greater speeds. The engines of Puddle Jumpers also allow the craft to hover silently above ground in one spot. This, in conjunction with the cloak, has proven to be a useful ability in surprise attacks. Puddle Jumpers are also capable of reverse flight. As they are also capable of operating underwater, Puddle Jumpers may also be used as submersibles.
The power of these engines—while impressive for a craft of their size (capable of flying through a star system in 15 hours, about 17000 Km/sec)—is greatly exceeded by that of larger capital ships, such as those of the Daedalus-class, capable of making the same cross-star system trip in a matter of minutes.
The hyperdrive uses too much energy, is only capable of attain 2000 lightyears and is very slow, capable of attain about 150 LY/h. This hyperdrive is only capable of making one to two jumps.
The Puddle jumper utilizes a subspace communications system to facilitate real-time communications between locations, although it is not as powerful as the ones on the rest of the Ancient fleet or the Deep space carriers.
Heads up displayEdit
Like many of the other onboard systems, the heads up display of a Gateship is entirely intuitive. Appearing on the main viewing window of the Jumper, it displays pertinent information about anything the pilot is thinking about. It also activates automatically to display important information to the pilot, such as nearby vessels, weapons fire or anomalous energy readings.