GVF503T Ed 2: SpaceTrack 4000 Installation and Maintenance, Ed. 2

Course details

  • Factory-authorized training for installation, commissioning, operation, and troubleshooting of SpaceTrack 4000-series marine stabilized antenna system. Animation and 3-D simulator-based interactivity are used extensively to explain concepts and provide realistic skills practice for the student.


Learn key aspects of how to install, configure, and maintain a SpaceTrack 4000-series marine stabilized antenna system (manufactured by Speedcast, and formerly by Harris Caprock and Schlumberger) through this online, self-paced, 3-D animated, highly interactive, simulator-driven course. Topics covered include principles of vessel motion, stabilized antenna operations, and SpaceTrack terminal details including configuring and monitoring techniques. All equipment is explained, including the SpaceTrack gimbaled mount, antenna and RF components, control system components, and navigation system connections. Details on satellite acquisition and tracking, mount balance concepts, operating modes, performing site surveys, installation and assembly, commissioning, maintenance, and troubleshooting are covered in depth.


This course is appropriate for engineers and field technicians who are responsible for installing and commissioning SpaceTrack marine stabilized terminals, support staff interacting with field technicians, and all personnel who need a solid understanding of SpaceTrack terminals.


Animated & interactive HTML/Flash, self-paced, on-line format. Requires Internet access while studying the course material. High speed access is preferred but is NOT required. Student's computer must have a current browser and the current version of the Adobe Flash player (free) installed.


Each lesson contains a mandatory quiz; some lessons may also contain simulator-based skill assessments. All pages must be viewed and all quizzes and simulator tests must be passed in order to complete the course.

Reference materials included:

Students may download and keep various reference documents for SpaceTrack 4000 installation and maintenance as well as the exclusive SatProf Field Handbook for SpaceTrack 4000.


16 lessons
  1. Course Introduction
  2. Configuring and Monitoring
  3. Hardware: Gimbaled Mount
  4. Hardware: Antenna and RF Components
  5. Hardware: Control System Components
  6. Hardware: Navigation Connections
  7. Acquisition and Tracking
  8. Balance Concepts
  9. Balancing Procedure
  10. Operating Modes
  11. Site Survey
  12. Installation Procedures
  13. Commissioning (part 1)
  14. Commissioning (part 2)
  15. Maintenance and Troubleshooting
  16. Final Test

Learning Objectives

  • Understand general SpaceTrack information and course prerequisites.
  • Compare purposes of front panel and M&C interfaces,
  • Navigate front panel menu,
  • Understand how to connect laptop to BDU, navigate M&C menu tree, and know the purpose of the different M&C modes/
  • Understand Real Time Status screens and move the antenna in MANUAL mode and DIAGNOSTIC mode.
  • Name and describe the axes of motion, the three gimbal axes and their purposes; identify coarse az, elevation, fine az, and polarization axis lines and associated motors and bearings,
  • Explain proper way to set polarization and understand how system maintains polarization.
  • Name and describe feed systems, identify main system parts, and name which signals pass through rotary joints.
  • Explain function of transceiver, BUCs, and LNBs, and determine modem IF frequencies and transceiver LO frequency settings.
  • Identify mounting locations for RF systems.
  • Name signals carried on IFL cables, explain importance of IFL coax cable length and DC resistance, explain why extra care required if DC is present on a cable/
  • Determine the max length for IFL cables, and configure older systems equipped with sliprings for 70MHz signal.
  • Learn function of the ADU and its appearance, location, and connections.
  • Learn fuse locations and replacement procedure.
  • Learn appearance, locations, and connections of the BDU, wiring, signals, and protocols of cross-decks cables,
  • Learn functions of connectors on BDU interface panel and above-decks connection plate.
  • Learn purpose, appearance, locations, and mechanical connections of ADTs.
  • Learn function and components of motorized feed/
  • Learn purpose, location, appearance and adjustments of brakes,
  • Learn function and location of inclinometers and function and location of ARS.
  • Learn why the system is connected to the ship’s GPS and compass equipment, protocol, voltage levels and physical wiring of NMEA interface,
  • Learn how to connect system to ship’s compass of different types.
  • Be able to compare and contrast modes of operation, name the principle of stabilization, explain sensors and sensor feedback,
  • Explain why system needs to know vessel location and describe calculation of pointing angles.
  • Configure system for 70MHz or L-Band operation and set the input attenuation.
  • Identify if torque parameters are correctly set.
  • Be able to define center of gravity and correct pivot point for a system, and explain why balanced system stays pointed, and why system should be accurately balanced.
  • Identify and locate adjustable weights in system, explain purpose of gimbal motors, and how adjusting weights affects antenna movement.
  • Be able to perform system balance procedure, explain why unbalanced system should not be in MANUAL mode, list steps to balance system, accurately balance the system, and test its balance.
  • Be able to name the six automatic modes and their normal sequence, name the two test modes, and describe system operation in each mode,
  • Explain function of the CD signal relating to TRACK mode, connect CD signal from modem to system, set scan parameters.
  • Be able to conduct a site survey, explain the purpose of and prepare Eclipsing Heading Chart, identify obstructions to satellite beam, determine if objects on vessel obstruct beam.
  • Determine maximum IFL length, define qualifications for connecting AC power, describe importance of GPS compass data for system operation.
  • Be able to explain and complete procedure for physically installing the system; identify correct orientation of plinth, pedestal, hatch, and ladder. Describe procedure for lifting system. Read moisture indicator.
  • Correctly bring cross-decks cables into radome.
  • Define when antenna should be balanced.
  • Name connectors and wire colors used in cross-decks cables, correctly terminate cross-decks cables, set AC voltage.
  • Be able to prepare system for initial tests, check voltages and apply power, identify M&C connection points, list tracking parameters and enter them.
  • Know how to connect and disconnect AC power to system.
  • Know how to use MANUAL mode to check operation, adjust coarse az, identify which ADTs should be adjusted, synchronize stepper compass with BDU, test compass and GPS operation, configure tracking receiver and set parameters.
  • Be able to explain why system performs spiral search.
  • Perform cross-pol check, configure transceiver and tracking receiver settings, enable and disable RTI, perform cross-pol check, test RTI, CD, imbalance readings, and test inertial parameters.
  • Demonstrate how to go to appropriate M&C screens, recognize system error messages, match BDU display errors with faults, troubleshoot tracking and stepper problems, resolve BDU errors, and identify which bearings require lubrication.


Essential courses GVF 510, 520 and 521 have been converted to HTML5 and are available for use on all device types.

We are continuing to convert the remaining courses in the Training Membership throughout 2021.

Cookie Policy