Part V – Coordination

Part V – Coordination

Overal Coordinators

General coordinationM. Lothon
SurfaceF. Lohou
Aircraft operationP. Durand
Tethered BalloonsE. Pardyjak
RadiosoundingsD. Legain
RadiationG-.J Steeneveld
MicrobarographsC. Yagüe
Lidar coordinationA. Dabas
UAS coordinationJ. Cuxart and J. Reuder
Modelling ForecastF. Couvreux
Field catalog web site J. L. Boichard
Web siteL. Mastrorillo
Data policy and database L. Fleury
ComputingE. Bargain
LogisticY. Bezombes

Time schedule

There will be one briefing per day during IOP days, at 8 UTC.
Assuming an IOP day D.

  • At D-2, we may foresee a good window for D day, and be in pre-warning.
  • At D-1, an IOP during D day is planned (warning for D day).
  • The IOP day D starts with the launch of a radiosounding at 6h UTC (launched at 5h15 UTC) from site 1.
  • Between 6 and 8 UTC, products available on the BOC are used to make the forecast for the day, and next 3 days (see previous section part IV about forecast).
  • At 8 UTC, the briefing is taking place at site 1.
  • The briefing starts with a forecast, and continues with the report on the functioning of the continuous observations. Discussions follow on the planned IOP. The decision is confirmed (from the night before) to operate intensive observations during this day D. The flight missions for aircraft, UAS and tethered-balloons are defined, with an accurate time schedule for all of them. This defines the time and space area of exploration of each type of spaceship, and separate them in time and/or space.
  • from 9 UTC to 10 UTC, the aircraft, UAS and tethered-balloons are separately defining more accurately their flight plan, given the mission defined during the briefing.
  • from 10 to 13 UTC: lunch and preparation of the afternoon operations


As explained before, there will be continuous observations and intensive observations (IOPs).
The latter depend on the weather, and are triggered during the morning briefings depending on the forecast.
During the campaign, coordinators of the IOP will be designated for the aircraft, UAS, radiosoundings, and tethered balloons operations for each period of successive IOP days. Those, with the help pf the secretary, will work together for the coordination of the operations and the communication.
People involved in the IOP coordination are:

General coordination M. Lothon, P. Durand, F. Lohou, E. Pardyjak, F. Couvreux, J. Reuder
Scientific secretaryF. Couvreux, D. Pino, C. Darbieu, F. Guichard
Aircraft operationP. Durand, D. Pino, J. Vila Guerau de Arellano
Tethered BalloonsE. Pardyjak, F. Lohou, M. Lothon
RadiosoundingsD. Legain, F. Couvreux, F. Lohou, M. Lothon
UASJ. Reuder , A. van Kroonenberg, S. Martin
ForecastJ. Cuxart, M. Jonassen, F. Guichard, F. Couvreux, A. Moene, G. J. Steeneveld

The scientific secretary has a key role: (1) collecting the info from the PIs about the functioning of the instruments, and about the operations made during the day, (2) reporting the info, (3) taking notes during the briefing about the forecast, the decision and plans made, etc…
All those people will turn approximately every week according to a planning set in advance. The following planning is not the definite planning, as it will probably be adjusted according to the IOPs dates, the meteorological conditions, the needs in operations of instruments, etc…

Communication during the IOP

For IOP operations, the following diagram explains how the communication is transmitted among the aircraft, UAS and balloon operating groups:

Each group airplane/UAS/tethered-balloons/Radiosounding-balloons have their own (non aviation) frequency to work internally.
Communication on the civil aviation 123.45 MHz frequency:
The 123.45 MHz is a civil aviation frequency used by airplanes to communicate together. The 2 BLLAST airplanes will use it to communicate together, but also other external airplanes and gliders flying around.
This frequency will be used by:

  • the Sky Arrow and Piper Aztec airplanes to communicate together
  • the Sky Arrow and Piper Aztec airplanes to inform UASs and balloons operators each time they are about to penetrate the TRA.
  • the UAS coordinator, the tethered balloon and the radiosounding balloon coordinators, to receive the information by the manned aircraft and to inform about any major problem (loss of control of a UAS, loss of tethered balloon, or impossibility of drawing down the tethered balloon, etc…).

UAS and balloon coordinators do not need to inform the 123.45 MHz frequency about their operations (launches/landings, soundings up and down…).
This frequency should be used only for the emergency situations described above, but be let free the rest of the time, for the airplanes flying in the area.
It needs to be listened to carefully during the entire duration of the respective operations.
A white board in the hall will display on a daily basis: the local forecast from the Tarbes Meteorological Center, the designated coordinators of the current IOP, some of the experimental maps (flying areas), important phone numbers for emergency, the list of participants and their phone number, and some information on coming meetings or events.
In the back of this board, people will register for lunch booking.