Orbital jump or orbital bounce is a type of teleportation that appears in the main IDW continuity. It is typically used by Transformers to travel from an orbiting starship to a planet's surface and back.
When used, a shaft of red light descends from the sky, in which the teleporting object materializes, starting at the top and working down towards the ground. After materialization, the shaft of light seems to "retract" back into the sky instead of shutting off. Nightbeat says of this mode of travel, "not the nicest way to travel... but it gets you down fast, slips you past any kind of local sensor network."
Nightbeat "jumped" from his orbiting spaceship to the surface of Gorlam Prime. In a "bounce" the beam is presumably reflected off of something, though no further details have been revealed.
During Megatron's orbital bounce, Bumblebee detected "a buildup of charged anti-protons"; in context, this seems a standard indication of this technology being used. Judging from Nightbeat's statement, these anti-protons must be localized in a narrow zone near the landing point or along the beam.
It is undetermined whether the same technology can be used to perform a shorter-range teleportation. It seems likely that it can be, however, the (unknown) details of the equipment may make such jumps impractical, explaining why they do not seem to be in wider use.
Weaknesses and limitations
In every orbital jump seen in the comics, the jumping Transformer arrives in primary mode, even when doing so risks breaking cover or exposure to dangerous radiation. Based on this, it is not unreasonable to speculate that orbital jump technology is limited somehow. Some reasons might be that:
- The teleportation process requires a reaction with the Transformer's primary form.
- Shipboard orbital jump apparatus is not large enough to accept a Transformer in vehicle (or dinosaur) form.
- Orbital jump apparatus are unable to maintain a firm lock on the landing-zone, Transformers tend to remain in primary form in case of unexpected variance (loss of balance, materializing midair, etc.).
- It is fairly traumatic to organic lifeforms, including facsimile constructs and humans.