The Time Displacement Equipment is the time travel device used in the Terminator series of films.
Located within Skynet's main complex in the Navajo Mountain, the TDE is reached by a huge freight elevator that leads deep into the bowels of the building, descending at a 45-degree angle into a concrete lined tunnel. At the bottom of the elevator, huge vault-like doors open to reveal a chamber that is the size of a high-school gym and consists totally of machine surfaces. Wafer-circuit terminals are stacked everywhere, stretching from floor to ceiling, and complex configurations of cabling run beneath panels in the floor. Three enormous chrome rings, one inside the other, are suspended in a circular hole in the center of the room's floor. These rings float freely in a humming electromagnetic field.
Once co-ordinates are fed into the machine and it is set in motion, the rings begin to move, slowly rotating around each other on different axis like some form of complex gyroscope. The floor begins to split open, like wedges in a pie which then begin to pull back from the center. The rings begin to spin faster, suspended in space in the middle of the receding floor wedges. The rings then begin to descend, dropping into an unbelievably vast circular space. This is the biaxial node of the time-field generator. The rings rotate at a tremendous velocity, blurring from sight, as an energy charge builds up, causing small electrical sparks to spit out from the generator walls, searing the ionized air. Lightning then begins to arc across the vast room, until eventually there is a blinding flash and space from the two different time periods are displaced - they swap with each other.
In order for this time travel to occur, the subject must be a living organism (or must be surrounded by living tissue) in order to generate the bioelectric field needed for the TDE to operate. The subject must also be injected with amphetamines, and smeared with a thick, bluish, sour smelling super conducting jelly so that the time-field will follow its outline.
It has come to our attention that Skynet is able to send T-1000 Series Terminators back through time, but as they do not possess living tissue, we are at a loss to explain how they can be transported. Current theory states that either the T-1000 is capable of generating a synthetic bioelectric field, or that Skynet grows a synthetic flesh pod, or cocoon, around the T-1000 especially to send it through time. Once through, the T-1000 would rip out of this cocoon and begin its mission.
It is not known exactly how, technically, this TDE works, however, it is known that the process creates large quantities of faster-than-light tachyon particles. The execution of the TDE causes huge power drains to Skynet's operating systems and can cause unprotected electric circuits within a 100 meter diameter to fuse, so it is rarely used. The process by which Skynet can transport people, or battle units, back in time is known as "chronoportation".
It would appear that Skynet has more than one TDE laboratory, with more than one form of Time Displacement Equipment. This second TDE laboratory is very similar to a third TDE laboratory captured and used by the Resistance. These two TDE's differ dramatically from the previously seen Skynet equipment.
Officially designated the Continuum Transporter, this other form of time machine begun as a series of Special Action Projects (SAP's) carried out at the Air Force's high security research and test base Area 51 in the New Mexican desert. Funded by the Department of Defense, Central Intelligence Agency, National Reconnaissance Office, and National Security Agency, it was able to create an artificial wormhole - a passageway through space-time. Einstein and Stephen Hawking had worked on the problem in the past, but it appeared to need too much energy to be possible. By most calculations the wattage required to create an infinitesimally tiny wormhole would take almost all the energy ever produced in the universe since the moment of the Big Bang. However, an Oxford graduate student developed a mathematical model, melding Einstein's relativity with Heisenberg's quantum mechanics, creating a 10-Dimensional wormhole at the superstring level. It would produce a passageway that would automatically expand exponentially like a virus gone wild. But only so long as power was applied to what was thought of as an artificial singularity.
In the mid 90's, under the guise of launchings of dozens of military and NSA technical means satellites, a solar sail made of extremely thin Mylar, 200 km each side, was positioned in an extremely rare geosynchronous orbit that kept it stationary over the North Pole. The sail focused sunlight, beaming it to the reception antenna and singularity equipment at the CRS facility on the desert east of Los Angeles. Capable of transporting several hundred terawatts of energy over time periods of less than one nanosecond, a wormhole could be opened.
The Continuum Transporter equipment is very different from the Time Displacement Equipment seen previously. Whereas the TDE is huge, the CT is relatively small. The subject enters a holding chamber, which, when activated, moves to line up with a spherical transmission chamber. The subject then moves into the transmission chamber and places one bare knee and two hands on the pad. The transmission chamber clear bubble door is then closed. By un-caging the firing switch and flipping the toggle to the transmit position outside, the chamber takes on an eerie blue cast, and the subject is transported back through time.
The Continuum Transporter bubble witnessed by one or two Resistance members differs in many ways from the original opaque blue time bubble surrounded by blue lightning. Still surrounded by blue lightning, the CT bubble is clear, with a highly reflective mirrored surface. This outer structure covers a 3 m diameter layer which appears to be constructed from some form of metal alloy wire mesh. This mesh glows red hot and vaporizes upon chronoportation, leaving just the person or battle unit that has been sent through time.