A pattern enhancer is a portable device that makes it easier for transporter systems to lock onto people or objects in its area of effect. This phenomenon is presumably related to the practice of linking two separate transporter systems at the departure and destination points to boost performance.
Pattern enhancers are typically carried by away teams who are beaming into an area protected by inhibitor fields or other phenomena that would interfere with their retrieval, as it is often possible to beam into such an area but much more difficult to beam back out again.
Pattern enhancers are generally used in groups of three placed in a triangular formation; the area inside the triangle benefits from the enhancement effect. Units forming the triangle are placed just a few meters apart.
Pattern enhancers can be modified to generate other types of field effects.
- TNG "Frame of Mind" (viewed in a dream state, but presumably consistent with their normal use)
- TNG "Power Play"