From: David Greenberg
Veracruz, March 18, 2006

Live from the Veracruz Operations Center!

Click here to see the movie

Ever wonder what an international scientific mission looks like? This short movie starts with a pan of the daily briefing held in the Operations Center, a large, windowless, but very air-conditioned, room at the Camino Real hotel. The names scrolling by on the left represent many of the aircraft groups who are operating from Veracruz.

An important part of the daily briefing is logistics, a discussion of issues whose resolution will facilitate the ability of the teams to accomplish their scientific goals. Contact information for various agencies, requirements necessary to fly the planes and similar issues are discussed. As time goes on, logistics seem to play a smaller part in these meetings.

After the logistics discussion, the groups give status reports on their operations. Flights completed and/or planned are shared with the other scientists in the room. Occassionally, data is presented using a computer and an LCD projector. The sharing of this information is an important way in which collaboration is fostered among the various teams.

Each meeting concludes with the weather briefing. We look at yesteday's actual weather and see how it differed from the computer models and then we look at today's weather in detail. Forecasts are presented based on a number of different computer models, altitudes, pollutant concentrations and wind speeds and directions. This report is extremely detailed but is of crucial importance to the folks who are about to spend significant money measuring atmospheric variables with the use of airplanes full of sophisticated equipment.

For more information on many of the aircraft stationed in Veracruz, you can look here.

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