|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 a Puddle Jumper is a small, roughly cylindrical shape with an angled front and rear. The front section contains the cockpit of the vessel with all control functions, four seats for passengers, and a large view port at the front of the ship. The aft section contains a passenger and storage area with a hatch in the back to access the ship.
Similar to the Tel'tak, the craft is split into two sections, the cockpit and cargo hold, with a bulkhead door to separate them. This door is quite strong, capable of holding back the pressure of deep ocean water and retaining atmosphere in space.
Entry and exit to the Puddle Jumper is provided through the use of the cargo bay door in the rear. This door can be lowered and raised in normal operation, or can be jettisoned by use of the emergency release located in the rear section of the cargo bay. A smaller hatch installed by the Federation also exists in the ceiling of the cargo section allowing for entry.
The cargo area also serves for additional seating within the Jumper for more than the flight crew. Jumpers have a limited power supply, but it is presumably rechargeable. The vessel contains an arsenal of Drone weapons and engines pods on both the port and starboard sides.
The Jumpers can be used as bombers by attaching explosives to the bottom of the craft and later releasing them. There are also lights built into the Jumper's underside for seeing underwater. Jumpers going to Starbase Atlantis go into autopilot upon entering a certain distance of the starbase.
Puddle Jumpers are susceptible to electromagnetic fields, which can actually disrupt their systems enough to disable them if the field is strong enough, such as on M7G-677.
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, compound grenade launchers, as well as miniature photon burst and quantum burst launchers and type 2-F phasers. There are lights built into the jumper for seeing underwater. There is also enough equipment in the Jumper, including desktop monitors and tools to fix the Jumper in case of a breakdown.
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 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.