All flights are expected to be night time. Aircraft daily ops schedule is subject to adjustments as the project progresses but is expected to be as follows (all times are local MDT):
- 0130: aircraft roll-out
- 0200: aircraft take-off, transfer to Centennial for fueling
- 0300: take-off for research operations
- 0900: recovery at RMMA (Jeffco)
The operations are fully night time. The crews will be on the night schedule, including instrumentation maintenance on non flight days. Maintenance nights will start earlier, likely at 2200-2300 MDT and carry on until maintenance is completed.
Please note that there is a mandatory 12 hour crew rest every day. This means that night maintenance cannot start earlier than 12 hours after the crew is dismissed after a flight.
RAF staff will support any removal of instruments after a flight for daytime maintenance by daytime instrument teams. RAF project crew will not be supporting re-installation of instruments during daytime hours, re-installation should be planned for night time maintenance unless special arrangements are made with the RAF project manager (PM). Such arrangements will depend on availability of non-MPEX RAF staff committed to another project and the accommodation of a request cannot be guaranteed.
If daytime operations are required, a 36 hour adjustment time is mandatory. Staff is considered on duty during these 36 hours but do not report to the GV and the aircraft will not be accessible, unless under special arrangements with the RAF PM. Therefore it is recommended that such switch is not made more than once.
MPEX ops center will be located at Foothills. Ground flight coordinator will be located at Jeffco, and will be in constant contact with a flight coordinator onboard the GV via Xchat. Communications between FL and RAF will be via telephone and RC chat.
It is expected that flight plans, once established, will not change significantly by the time of take-off. One possible change is elimination of a particular drop point from a pre-programmed flight plan.
Updates on the operations, including flight dates and times, will be distributed using the mpex mailing list.