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Set in the year 3020 CE, every crew on board has a personal issued portal gun to easily get around the interior of the spaceship. The handheld portal gun can instantly teleport the user along with whatever belonging as specified in the setting to the designated location but unfortunately tragic accidents do happens either due to improper setting or the spaceship encounters a violent stellar winds in space. How can such situations be avoided if portal gun is to be an essential part of their daily lifestyle?

Operation manual:

  1. Load individual profile and layout of spaceship into portal gun.

  2. Select correct designation on board spaceship, range is twice the size of spaceship.

  3. Energise and target is being transported at speed of light.

  4. Portal gun can only transport up to 199kg of mass at a time and requires recharging every use so no spamming.

Specification: Dimension - similar to standard flare gun

Weight - 199 grams

Colour - pearl white/ vantablack/ azure blue

Display - holographic projection covers all visible spectrums

Power - deuterion heliotron arc nano reactor

Memory - 199 qubits (ram)/ 1.99 Pb (rom)

Network - 199G WiFi

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    $\begingroup$ Violent stellar winds in space, eh? Do elaborate. $\endgroup$ – Starfish Prime Feb 28 at 11:54
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    $\begingroup$ Ahh, a coronal mass ejection, notable for being exceedingly diffuse and being something you can see coming giving you plenty of time to prepare. Still, they are something of a radiation hazard. So you're a thousand years in the future and have teleporters, but can't manage some decent magnetic shielding? $\endgroup$ – Starfish Prime Feb 28 at 12:19
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    $\begingroup$ Why worry about such a trivial problem? You know anyone who makes this mistake will only do it once. The captain should wag his or her finger at the crew and admonish them, saying "Anyone who does this is off my ship. Understand?" It's that simple. Ho hum! $\endgroup$ – a4android Feb 28 at 12:34
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    $\begingroup$ More to the point, you need a mechanism to stop the idiots from zapping themselves into critical engineering spaces (and these may seem empty, but you don;t want to stand there !) or into walls, bulkheads, the shower and toilet cubicles or other private areas or into the middle of other people (or deliberately zapping them into trouble !). See the geo-fencing idea of @adrian-colomitchi below. Better solution : don't give them such over-powered devices, give them e.g. skateboards. $\endgroup$ – StephenG Feb 28 at 14:01
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    $\begingroup$ @SRM I think that, like me, you initially imagined a portal gun like in Portal where you shoot at where you want your portals to be. It sounds like this is more of a portal gun like in Rick and Morty where you input your coordinates so you can go somewhere you don't see. $\endgroup$ – Thymine Feb 28 at 14:17
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Similar with geofencing in today's drones - do not allow the destination be set outside the volume of the ship, at height above void volumes inside the ship or inside ships reactors/walls/hull or be operated in dangerous conditions.

It's not like this would require much of a computation power, certainly not more than fits on a RaspberryPi of today.

Those guns will likely need to implement extra security features too. Like: "Do not allow teleportation of two bodies in the same spacetime destination". Or "Do not operate if triggered by unauthorized beings: like underage children, those that didn't pass the licensing exam and elderly with diminished intellectual capacities"

Should I continue or can you extrapolate?

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Training, training, and some more training.
Just like today's guns can near instantly "teleport" a bullet into someones brain, these guns can be instantly lethal when used incorrectly. The staff using these will require extreme training to prevent this. No amount of programming or error prevention will ever be flawless in unforeseen circumstances, meaning blind trust in your equipment is not an option here. Therefore the staff will need extensive training to manually double check each and every jump is correct. This might take some extra time, but depending on the size of your spaceship this might still be much faster than other means of travel.

Fixed locations
Another idea is to only allow teleport to a number of fixed self-calibrating locations. These locations will test if jumping is safe independently from the gun, and then communicate this to the gun pre-jump. If any issues whatsoever are present, the jump is cancelled.

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  • $\begingroup$ The energy commitment to this is so extreme that another reason to use the tech might be because something requires the various parts of the ship to be completely sealed off from one another. There's no door at all, so you've got to use the gun. There's something dangerous/whathaveyou in other sections so each jump has to be carefully handled. Defeats what seems to be OP's 'rule of cool' reasoning, but it might explain why you'd bother to have these things at all. $\endgroup$ – lly Feb 29 at 6:56
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Adequate UI design

How do you select a destination? i would want an easy to navigate map of the ship on which i can touch a point i want to be transported to.

Points outside the ship simply aren't accessible via the user interface.

Stellar winds which for some reason make targeting unreliable are detected by the ship sensors and a deactivation signal is sent to all devices.

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Select correct designation on board spaceship, range is twice the size of spaceship.

Well, there's your problem right there.

[Adjusts some settings...]

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Design the coordinate s of the portal gun configuration to be only internal coordinates of the spaceship

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unfortunately tragic accidents do happens either due to improper setting

Pay your IT staff well. Skillful, well paid developers produce less bugs, and know how to make it so that misconfigurations don't cause applications to misbehave in catastrophic ways.

or the spaceship encounters a violent stellar winds in space

Forbid the usage of the portal gun during strong stellar winds. This can be done through software.

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  • $\begingroup$ [Souce needed]. Further, OP was asking for what the fleet IT staff's putative solutions to the problem would be, not asking them if they wanted a raise. $\endgroup$ – lly Feb 29 at 6:45
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Accept them as a sad reality.

Speaking from an American perspective, we have a history of accepting many totally avoidable deaths as a consequence of technology. It is readily apparent how these deaths could be avoided but these steps are not taken - or if they are, only after someone is sued for a lot of money. Sometimes not even then.

Perhaps tighter safety measures on portal guns means that the controllers will know when and where individuals are using them. Portal gun users feel that their freedom is at risk! They will feel constrained by Big Brother. Give me Liberty or give me Death!

And so lifesaving measures are not put in place or are routinely circumvented. Your spacefarers offer their prayers to the loved ones of those who wind up in space, and shed a tear for the sanctity of freedom.

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  • $\begingroup$ "Speaking from an American perspective" - oh, gosh, that's inhuman :grin: $\endgroup$ – Adrian Colomitchi Feb 29 at 6:47
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    $\begingroup$ Funny, but that attitude doesn't show up in the army or navy admin, who essentially own their recruits. They have no rights to their devices, which are owned by Uncle Fhthagn. It's perfectly valid that you'd have some members hacking the system to steal provisions or sneak out to light up or make out, though, so some hacked or badly hacked device could still be used for plot reasons despite most being perfectly safely designed. $\endgroup$ – lly Feb 29 at 6:48
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    $\begingroup$ Also, this is set a thousand years into the future and the device is limited to 199 kg of cargo. No Americans would be able to use it. $\endgroup$ – lly Feb 29 at 7:00
  • $\begingroup$ @Ily - Could we maybe make 2 trips? $\endgroup$ – Willk Feb 29 at 15:44
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The portal gun initiates an effect, but cannot actually produce that effect all by itself.

This actually has a real world answer, though most non-specialists are probably unaware of it.

As one of the world's foremost Portalologists, I knew immediately upon reading the title of your question that anything one might call a "portal gun" and assign to each individual crew member of a ship cannot possibly be sufficient to allow for teleportation by itself. It could, however, easily interact with an established Portalization Field, which is something that a construction on the scale of a starship could easily accommodate.

So such a portal gun would be enough to initiate, plan, and execute the complex tasks involved in teleportation through direct interaction with the ship's Portalization Field, but can't possibly operate independent of such a field. And, of course, the integrity and exact dimensions of the field can be influenced by external factors, such as strong bursts of radiation or unfortunate GLaDOS incursions. During hazardous conditions, teleporting will never be quite 100% safe.

It's sort of like using an older-fashioned vacuum cleaner: it must be plugged into a wall outlet to work, but as long as it is you can vacuum anywhere you like, along any route, at your discretion. But the instant you move far enough away that the power cord would have to be disconnected from the outlet, the vacuum cleaner immediately ceases to function.

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  • $\begingroup$ This is very amusingly written, but obviously wrong. If the gun does nothing besides tapping into a shipbased system, you might as well just skip the gun altogether and have the person touch their communicator and beam around Star Trek style. $\endgroup$ – lly Feb 29 at 6:50
  • $\begingroup$ @lly Communicators are too small, and this answer says it interacts with the field, not that the ship does any of the work. And given that we're talking about a science fiction technology you might consider that a phrase like "obviously wrong" is overwrought. $\endgroup$ – Upper_Case Feb 29 at 14:51
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Maybe it's something the technology requires or maybe it's an add-on like Roomba barrier strips, but something in the bulkhead walls allows it to operate, either a key the portal machine needs to ID before operating or a property of the wall itself that enables the technology. Then don't put it into bulkheads leading out of the ship. If it's active, you could keep people from going through bulkheads if lethal conditions are detected on the other side.

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  • $\begingroup$ Can bulkheads lead anywhere? Something seems to be getting lost in translation. $\endgroup$ – lly Feb 29 at 6:52
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    $\begingroup$ @lly: If you can teleport through walls, then walls can lead somewhere. I believe Cristobol is thinking of the gun as more like the Portable Hole from The Multidimensional Thief — it allows you to open a portal in any wall and walk through to the other side. This is different from the portal guns in Portal, and yet again different from OP's apparently(?) _Rick and Morty_–inspired conception. $\endgroup$ – Quuxplusone Feb 29 at 18:05

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