This morning we drove over to McMurdo base to discuss our UAV operations with Air Traffic Controllers and Helicopter Operations Manager.

We set out our proposed operations in the Taylor Dry Valley and discussed the way in which we could ensure the safety of all airspace users, i.e. helicopters.  Essentially, we will notify Mac Centre of our intentions to fly 24 hours prior to commencement and a NOTAM will be issued.  We will then use our SOPs and make voice advisory 30 minutes prior to launch and immediately before launch.  At completion of the flight, a further voice advisory will be made and when operations cease for the day, a final call will be made.

The whole purpose is to deconflict our operations and that of other air traffic.  To this end, some flights will be conducted after normal helicopter operations have ceased - there is no problem of twilight or darkness here!  However, we are coordinating our work with other researchers using the WorldView 2 satellite, so we will need to synchronise our flights with the passes of the satellite.

This afternoon, I assembled the Fox and GCS and went through the pre-flight checklist to ensure that the systems are working.  All appears to be in order, so the Pelican cases have been weighed and are ready to be transported to the Taylor Valley on Thursday if the weather permits.

We will be out of Internet coverage for the next two weeks or so; there will be no further posts until our return to Scott Base.

To give readers a flavour of our location, here is a picture taken at the Scott Base sign and one at the flagpole in front of the Base.