Transporter operations can be divided into five major stages. Because of the criticality of the system, normal operating rules require a transporter chief to supervise and monitor the process. (Note: This section describes a beam-down sequence from the transport chamber to a remote destination. The beam-up sequence from a remote site to the transport chamber involves the same system elements in a somewhat different configuration.)

• Target scan and coordinate lock: During this initial step, the destination coordinates are programmed into the system. Targeting scanners verify range and relative motion, as well as confirming suitable environmental conditions for personnel transport. Also during this stage, a battery of automated diagnostic procedures assures that the transporter system is functioning within operational standards.

• Energize and dematerialize: The molecular imaging scanners derive a real-time quantum-resolution pattern image of the transport subject. The primary energizing coils and phase transition coils then convert the subject into a sub-atomically de-bonded matter stream.

• Pattern buffer Doppler compensation: The matter stream is briefly held in the pattern buffer, which allows the system to compensate for the Doppler shift between the ship and the transport destination. The pattern buffer also acts as a safety device in case of system malfunction, permitting transport to be aborted to another chamber.

• Matter stream transmission: The actual point of departure from a ship is one of several emitter pad arrays. These transmit the matter stream within an ACB to the transport destination.

Transport operations require a large number of highly intricate procedures, to be performed within milliseconds of each other and with extremely small margins for error. For this reason, much of the actual transport process is highly automated, although operating protocols generally require the supervision of a Transporter Chief. The operator will usually verify the coordinate lock and overall systems readiness. The actual transport sequence is conducted by the auto-sequence programs of the transporter controller, under supervision of the operator.