Building a functional, temporary city in the desert every year is a remarkable challenge. The Burning Man organization does a remarkable job of pulling off one of the biggest and most challenging events in the world. Throw in a temporary airstrip (88NV) with thousands of aircraft flights and you now have a unique challenge that most event organizers don’t have to face.
Ben, a staff member and pilot explained:
I don’t know [the number of flights] off the top of my head. If I recall correctly it is in the low thousands of ops. Like 2000-3000 over the course of the week that it is open.
Just to give you an idea of what it is like, I made 27 ops last year myself there are about 10 pilots who fly people around like I do. The ultralight guys do close to a hundred each. Then we have the charter ops, I have no idea how many of those there are but it is lots, and parachute operations and medivac… We had something like 160 planes on the field for the people who flew their own planes in.
It is pretty impressive, we spend most of the year planning and then put it all together in a week use it for a week and then tear it apart in a few days.
To the air boss, local and remotely accessible weather data is an important component.
Dyacon weather stations provide surface weather data through a cable connection to a local PC while also sending data to DyaconLive and Weather Underground. Additionally, text messaging is used for weather reports, remote debugging, and configuration.
Burning Man first deployed a Dyacon station in 2017.
These stations are erected every year by their aviation staff and stored until the next year.
After sitting idle for the year, the 2017 station required a firmware update when it was deployed. This was easily done over-the-air, no programming tools, cables, or software utilities required, just a simple text message command.
The Burning Man staff do a remarkable job. We are proud to be a part of their dusty venture. (And we are glad that they now have two Dyacon stations serving their needs in 2018, one with cell phone and one on WiFi.)