The French company Novespace is contracted by ESA to provide the campaign logistics and supervision of the experiment technical preparation. The DGA Essais en Vol (the test flight unit of the French government agency developing and evaluating technology for the French military) provides all of the in-flight support and flight personnel. The aircraft technical support is provided by a branch of the Sabena Technics company in Bordeaux.
A typical ESA campaign is normally scheduled for a period of two weeks, with the first week dedicated to experiment receipt, followed by installation, test and calibration within the aircraft. The second week is assigned to the parabolic flights themselves. At the start of the second week (on a Monday), attendance at a medical and safety briefing is mandatory by all persons planning to fly.
Three flights of 30 parabolas are nominally scheduled for the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings, with a flight duration of approximately two-and-a-half hours. In the case of inclement weather or technical problem with the aircraft, a flight is delayed to the afternoon of the same day or morning of the next day. The Friday of the second week is reserved as a back-up flight day.
Last update: 3 June 2010