SALLJEX Field Operations Plan

South American Low-Level Jet Experiment (SALLJEX)

Field Operations Plan

January 2003


Compiled by:

SALLJEX Project Office

UCAR Joint Office for Science Support (JOSS)

P.O. Box 3000

Boulder, Colorado 80307 USA



  1. Introduction

The South American Low Level Jet Experiment (SALLJEX) is the first of a series of experiments that will attempt, during a rigorous data gathering field phase, to monitor, quantify, and analyze low-level circulations that modulate regional rainfall.

The field phase of SALLJEX is currently defined from November 15, 2002 to 15 February, 2003. 

This document represents the working version of the SALLJEX Field Operations Plan and describes the daily operations procedures that must be carried out to gather the data as specified in the SALLJEX Implementation Plan.  Some aspects of the daily operations procedures will be implemented prior to or no later than November 15, 2002.  The most intensive period will commence on January 10, 2003 when the NOAA WP-3D research aircraft is expected to participate in SALLJEX. 


The base of operations for SALLJEX will be established in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia during the period January 5 to February 15, 2003.  An intensive array of radiosonde, pibal and rain gauge sites will be established in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Peru, and Paraguay so as to meet the data requirements to satisfy the scientific objectives of SALLJEX.  Meteorological research flights during this period will cover territorial areas of all the participating countries. 


  1. SALLJEX Scientific Objectives


The scientific objectives of SALLJEX are to understand the role of the South American low-level jet in moisture and energy exchange between the tropics and extratropics, and related aspects of regional hydrology, climate and climate variability.

Specific hypotheses to be tested within this experiment are:


**Improved observational datasets on SALLJ will contribute to more successful weather and climate forecasts; and

**SALLJ have substantial variability on daily, intraseasonal and interannual time scales.


The ultimate goal of SALLJEX is to improve the short and long term prediction through the following strategy:


**obtain an improved description of the temporal and spatial structure of the SALLJ based on expanded monitoring activities and special field experiments;


**evaluate the veracity of numerical representation (forecasts and analyses) of SALLJ against special observations; and


**determine improvements of initial state representation and model parameterizations required to improve prediction.

       3. SALLJEX  Science  Working  Group  [SWG]



The SALLJEX Science Working Group members are:


Vera, Carolina [Argentina], Chair

Douglas, Michael [US]

Kalnay, Eugenia [US]

Maria Silva-Dias [Brazil]

Paegle, Julia [US]

Nicolini, Matilde [Argentina]

Aceituno, Patricio [Chile]

Marengo, José [Brazil]

Kousky, Vernon [US]


3.2 The SALLJEX Science Working Group 

The SALLJEX Working Group has the responsibility to ensure that all SALLJEX scientific objectives are met during the field phase of the experiment.

Scientific coordination for all operational aspects of SALLJEX will be the responsibility of the Operations Director who will operate under the guidance of the SALLJEX Science Working Group.  The Operations Director, assisted by the Deputy Operations Director, will chair the daily meetings, at which time scientific and operational decisions will be made by the Science Working Group members present in the field.  Once decisions are made as to the operational requirements for the ensuing 24-72 hour period, an implementation plan will be drawn up by the Operations Director and communicated to the participating investigators, staff, research platform facilities, and field sites.

Scientific/Operational Coordination during Field Operations

The SALLJEX Science Working Group will be responsible for the overall guidance of the research activities of the experiment and the accomplishment of the scientific objectives.

The Science Working Group will specify the operational requirements that need be met on a daily basis in order to satisfy the data collection requirements  necessary to meet the scientific objectives of SALLJEX.  The decisions made by the SALLJEX Science Working Group pertaining to the daily operations will be binding to all participating investigators, the Operations Director and his staff.  The Operations Center staff will communicate all binding decisions made by the Science Working Group to all participants, including field sites, and ensure that all tasks are accomplished.  The Operations Director will report daily to the SALLJEX Science Working Group on matters relevant to the operations of the experiment. 

Nearly all decisions made by the SALLJEX Science Working Group will be made during the Daily Operations Planning Meeting.  The Operations Director and his staff will execute these decisions and assist all participating investigators in securing all they require to carry out their field activities to the extent that changing conditions and safety considerations allow.

  1. SALLJEX Operations Center

The primary function of the SALLJEX Operations Center is to implement the requisite logistics and to conduct the daily operations during the field phase of the experiment as dictated by the SALLJEX Science Working Group and to assure the collection of the necessary data, including the collection of auxiliary datasets, to satisfy the scientific objectives.

To accomplish the requisite tasks, the SALLJEX Operations Center will conduct a daily operations planning meeting to review the present and extended forecasts, monitor all elements of the experiment, facilitate the coordination of the activities of the participating investigators, determine appropriate utilization of the observing systems and platforms, support all related data collection and communications, and maintain a near-real time data archive at the Operations Center.


Functional Organization and Staff

The SALLJEX Operations Center Staff are:

  • C. B. (Gus) Emmanuel, Operations Director;
  • José Meitín, Deputy Operations Director / Data Manager;
  • Gene Martin, Logistics Manager;
  • Brian Jackson, Logistics/Travel Coordinator;
  • Diane Lask, Shipping Coordinator; and
  • Carlos Ereño, Intl CLIVAR Representative / Field Logistics


The SALLJEX Operations Center encompasses five major functions:  scientific planning, operational forecasting, operational control, data management, and administrative services.

Scientific Planning:  It is expected that all SALLJEX investigators present, in addition to members of the Science Working Group, at the Operations Center in Santa Cruz will support the daily scientific planning process by providing input to the deliberations of the Science Working Group during its daily selection of the aircraft mission and operational procedures to be executed during the ensuing 24-72 hours.

Operational Forecasting:  The Administracion de Aeropuertos y Servicios Auxiliares a la Navegacion Aerea (AASANA) has agreed to provide SALLJEX two forecasters from the Santa Cruz Forecast Center.  The forecasters will be available during the entire SALLJEX period of operations in Santa Cruz and will provide on a daily basis at the Operations Center the forecast, forecast products, and required updates; at Viru Viru International Airport they will provide  to the P-3 flight crews the aviation forecast.

Operational Control:  The start-up, termination, and overall control of the experimental phase of SALLJEX will be carried out by the Operations Director and staff in accordance with the directives of the SALLJEX Science Working Group.  Any deviations from these directives, dictated by operational restrictions and safety, equipment failure(s), etc., will be the responsibility of the Operations Director.

Data Management:  Data management / archiving functions relevant to SALLJEX will be done by the Joint Office for Science Support (JOSS).

Administrative / Fiscal Services:  General administrative / Fiscal support, as required, will be provided, as appropriate,  by JOSS staff in Santa Cruz and/or Boulder.


Operations Center Facilities


In the Operations Center, JOSS will install a local area network [LAN] and telecommunications capabilities of adequate bandwidth to support the activities of the participants.  The primary connection to the INTERNET will be a 1.024-MB line. The LAN will be composed of a combination of 10-megabit-per-second and 100 megabit-per-second Ethernet, with standard RJ-45 twisted-pair connectors. A network printer will be available at the Operations Center. The standard connection provided to SALLJEX participants will be 10baseT.  Participants having a need for 10base2(ThinNet) connections should contact the JOSS systems administrator, Mark Bradford <> as soon as possible to make special arrangements.

The supported network protocol family will be TCP/IP.  IP addresses and TCP/IP configurations will be assigned to participants' computers dynamically, via DHCP.  Again, if a participant's computer does not support DHCP, or if it is required that a particular computer have a constant numeric address, the participant need contact Mark Bradford for assignment of a static configuration.



All necessary logistics to carry out the field phase of SALLJEX during the Santa Cruz operations will be the responsibility of JOSS. 

  1.  SALLJEX Planning Process:  Daily Operations


Physical Location

The SALLJEX  Operations Center will be located at the Buganvillas Hotel in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia. 

The installation of the Santa Cruz SALLJEX Operations Center will begin on 6 January, 2003 and be fully operational by 8 January, 2003.  The first daily planning meeting of all participating investigators present in Santa Cruz will take place on 9 January, 2003 at a time to be established by the SALLJEX Science Working Group prior to this date.  At the moment, the tentative agreement is to begin the daily meeting at 1400 hours and a decision for the next day's operations to be reached by 1600 hours.  Meetings will occur daily, including weekends and holidays, with the final meeting taking place on 14 February, 2003 or earlier should it be deemed appropriate by the Science Working Group.


The SALLJEX field operations will commence on 15 November, 2002 and terminate on 15 February, 2003.  Data collection from operational sources will begin on 1 November, 2002 and conclude approximately 20 February, 2003.  This extended period of receiving operational satellite data, surface data, model products, etc., is necessary to accommodate planned SALLJEX analyses activities.

The initial deployment of SALLJEX field facilities to the appropriate sites, such as radiosondes, pibals, and rain gauges, will begin sometime in late August, 2002 so that they may be installed and be fully operational by 15 November, 2002. 

Current plans call for the NOAA WP-3D research aircraft  to arrive in Santa Cruz de la Sierra on 8 January, 2003.  Research flights will commence on 10 January, 2003 and terminate on 8 February, or prior to this date if approximately 100 hours have been flown (about 12 flights).  All flights will originate and terminate in Santa Cruz.

Daily Planning Meetings:  Mission Selection

All scientific decisions pertaining to the field phase of the experiment will be made by the SALLJEX Science Working Group which is responsible for the overall guidance of the field program and the accomplishment of the scientific objectives.

It is tacitly assumed that all principal investigators participating in the field phase will contribute to the daily deliberations as the Science Working Group decides on the next day's research activities. 

The Operations Director will chair the daily Planning Meeting.  The meeting will begin at 1400 hours (LT) each day, including weekends and holidays, and terminate with a decision for the next day's operations no later than 1600 hours, during the entire field phase of SALLJEX.  During this time the Operations Director will formally convene the SALLJEX Science Working Group and all field phase participants so that they may be briefed on weather conditions expected over the SALLJEX domain during the next 24-72 hour period, as well as other factors influencing the selection of the next day's operations.


The agenda for the Daily Planning Meeting will be the same each day and will include the following:


**Weather Briefing-Forecast (24-72 hours); special products, analysis and discussion


**Status of the participating field sites


**Aircraft status (aviation, research systems)


**Data and Communications status reports


**Status of scientific objectives


**General discussion, deliberations, recommendations/proposals for next day's operations


**Selection of next day's operations (primary, alternate)


**Assignments:  Aircraft mission scientist; Mission scientist; Flight Scientists


**Schedule for aircraft operations (take-off time/PI participation)


**Administrative matters before the Science Working Group




Upon completion of the meeting, the Mission, Aircraft mission scientist, Operations Director and the appropriate aircraft personnel, prepare the operational flight plans and attendant requirements.  These plans and requirements, the Operations Director communicates via the Field Catalog to all SALLJEX participants; the AOC Facility Manager communicates the same information to the aircraft facility staff.


The Airborne Mission Scientist:


**has overall responsibility for the execution of the chosen airborne mission;


**defines and coordinates the airborne mission requirements;


**selects other participating investigators for the mission;


**conducts pre- and post-flight briefings;


**makes airborne mission "in progress" decisions regarding modifications

    of specified flight tracks, research system operations, etc.;


**prepares a written report of the mission and briefs the SALLJEX SWG and

    the Operations Director.


The Mission Scientist:


**assists the Airborne Mission Scientist with flight plans;


**monitors forecast analyses and trajectory model projections and advises

    the Airborne Mission Scientist;


**assists with post-flight debriefings and preparation of mission report.


Flight Scientists:


**participate in the actual research flight scheduled during the next 24-hr. period    

    in support of data gathering requirements.


It is important to note that the daily planning meeting and the daily status reports will occur every day during the January Ð February experimental period.  However, other meetings, such as evening updates, pre-flight briefings, etc., may be required if aircraft operations are being considered within the subsequent 24 hours.


For a research flight mission, notification to the Aircraft Facility Manager must be given at least 15 hours in advance of the proposed take-off time.  This allows adequate time for flight crew rest and preparations for the pending operations.


An evening update may be required when weather conditions in the experimental area are changing rapidly.  When such a meeting is deemed appropriate by the Field Operations Director, the Airborne Mission Scientist, the Mission Scientist, and the Aircraft Project Manager will be so notified.


A pre-flight briefing is usually conducted by the project forecaster, generally two hours prior to take-off to give the science and flight crews the latest information on weather conditions in the experimental area.


A post-flight debriefing will be conducted within a reasonable time after landing of the aircraft.  The purpose of this meeting is to gather first impressions of the flight's accomplishments and to report critical research system or aircraft instrument problems.  This meeting usually involves the Operations Director, Airborne Mission Scientist, Mission Scientist, Aircraft Project Manager, and all interested participants.  A written airborne mission report should be completed within 24 hours of the completion of the mission.


Daily Briefing Report


A daily briefing report will be developed from the inputs to the Daily Planning Meeting.  This report will be prepared by the Operations Director, appropriate staff and participants.    

The Daily Briefing Report will be distributed within three hours of the end of the Daily Planning Meeting and posted on the SALLJEX on-line Field Data Catalog.

The report will include:

**operational  status of sites and aircraft;


**forecast summary;


**mission selection;


**Airborne Mission and Mission Scientists designated for next day's operations;


**today's operations, if any;


**staffing support for the operational period;


**time of next update;


**pre-flight briefing time;


**proposed debrief time.



 SALLJEX Forecast Support

SALLJEX forecast support at the Operations Office will be provided by the AASANA Santa Cruz Forecast Center.  The Forecast Center will make available the services of two forecasters to support the SALLJEX requirements.


  1. SALLJEX Data Management


The SALLJEX SWG has made a strong commitment to provide timely and efficient access to all datasets generated during the field phase of the experiment.  The UCAR Joint Office for Science Support [JOSS] has been assigned the responsibility to coordinate the SALLJEX data management activities.  SALLJEX investigators, and others, are encouraged to become familiar with the contents of the SALLJEX Data Management Plan

SALLJEX on-Line Field Data Catalog

The SALLJEX Operations Center in Santa Cruz will provide an on-line data catalog and data browse capability for use during the field experiment.  It will be accessible to all participants residing in Santa Cruz or elsewhere for that matter.

The catalog is intended for use by the SALLJEX investigators for planning purposes and operations review activities only.  It will have simple plot capabilities for review of the operational and preliminary research datasets residing on the system.