|Type||Pulse Energy Weapon|
|TechStatus||Star Trek Canon|
The modern Pulse Phaser emitter was developed as part of the drastic increase in weapons research following Starfleet's initial contact with the Borg in the 2360s. It is a devastating weapon when used in conjunction with other systems aboard an attacking craft.
It has long been recognized that the initial impact of Phasers on a shield system is the most damaging part of the firing sequence. Many cultures have sought to increase weapon effectiveness against shields by developing pulse cannons - that is, weapons which fire large numbers of tightly packaged bursts rather than a continuous stream.
Early Federation vessels such as the Constitution class were equipped with weapons which could fire such pulses, but the weapon was not without its drawbacks; the hardware involved tended to be very difficult to manage precisely, resulting in much poorer control over the beam characteristics.
The Federation's starship design ethic has always stressed that full control must be maintained over all weapons at all times, in order to allow non lethal force to be used in starship combat situations; in addition, many scientific experiments use weapon systems to apply energy in controlled amounts to external phenomena in order to study reactions.
Given this, the Federation gradually moved away from pulse cannons. The refit given to the Constitution class ships in the 2270s removed the pulse firing feature from that class, equipping them with a 'rapid burst mode' which was something of a compromise between pulse and continuous phaser beams. Further designs continued to de-emphasize the pulse firing feature, although all basic phaser hardware is capable of firing relatively short bursts and this has remained a feature of Federation combat tactics.
Following the Template:Enterprise-D's encounter with the Borg in 2365 the focus for Starfleet weaponry changed and research into the pulse phaser was relaunched because of its enhanced offensive capabilities.
The pulse phaser cannon, developed by Starfleet R&D in Tokyo on Earth, use nearly flawless emitter crystals artificially grown in microgravity chambers. These coupled with meter long cylindrical disposable power cells acting as rapid-discharge EPS capacitance banks along with high speed beam focusing coils allow the phaser discharge to be stored temporarily (up to 2.3 nanoseconds) and then released as a layered pulse.
Initial testing of the pulse cannon was aboard the new Defiant class of ships.