Operations

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Personnel Allocation

Coordinating shift rotations with department managers

All department heads enter their rosters into LCARS {Library Computer Access and Retrieval System}. Once the information is in the system, OPS can then coordinate with the departments on the allocation of personnel.

NOTE: THE OPS OFFICER IS NOT IN CONTROL OF SHIFT ROSTERS. The OPS officer DOES NOT control personnel he or she ALLOCATES the information stored on LCARS of the personnel.

If an emergency should arise, the OPS officer will check to see who is or is not on duty then informing the department heads who will then decide who can attend to the emergency. Except in the case of "Battle Stations", ALL personnel will then be on duty. As per regulation, a red alert brings alpha shift on duty automatically.

Shifts are as follows:

Alpha 0800 to 1600 hours
Beta 1600 to 2400 hours
Delta 0000 to 0800 hours

Most senior officers are assigned to Alpha shift but, from time to time anyone may be called to do double shifts or work evening or nights.

Also, if a department is in need of extra help, the department head contacts the OPS officer, who then checks LCARS to see who is available and who has the training to perform the task. OPS will then contact the appropriate department heads to ASK for the personnel required to perform the task.

Ranking personnel and assigning away teams

The OPS officer is responsible for notifying crew members of their being assigned to an away team and where to report. The OPS officer DOES NOT decide who goes on the away team. This is decided by the person or persons the CO has placed in charge of the away team who then informs the OPS officer of the type of personnel he or she requires and who specifically they want. The OPS officer then checks LCARS to see if that crew member is available. If so, he or she is informed of the away team assignment. If not, the Away Team Leader is informed that the crew member is not available, the reason for their not being available and who would be best suited to replace the unavailable crew member.

Assign Crew Quarters

When new personnel are assigned to a Starship or Station, they are assigned living quarters. This responsibility also falls to Operations. The OPS officer checks LCARS to see what quarters are available, how suitable the quarters would be for the new crew member in association with their job and weather or not the crew member has a family or not. Also, coordinating with engineering to develop specialized quarters for those with handicaps, different species requiring special atmospheres and/or requiring special instrumentation.

Resource Allocation

Many shipboard operations involve scheduling of resources or hardware (such as power or the use of sensors) that affect a number of departments. In many such cases, it is common for various operations to present conflicting requirements. It is the responsibility of the Operations Management Officer (normally referred to as the Operations Manager or OPS) to coordinate such activities so that mission goals are not jeopardized. Having a crew member in this decision-making loop is a crucial importance because of the wide range of unpredictable situations with which a starship must deal.

The OPS panel presents the Operations Manager with a continually updated list of current major shipboard activities. This list permits OPS to set priorities and allocate resources among current operations. This is especially critical in cases where two or more requests require the use of the same equipment, entail mutually exclusive mission profiles, or involve some unusual safety or tactical considerations.

An example might be a situation where the Stellar Physics department is conducting an experiment using the lateral sensor array to study a nearby binary star. Simultaneously, part of the same array is being time-shared with a long range commentary population survey. A request from the bridge for a priority scan of a planetary system might jeopardize both studies unless OPS authorizes a minor change in ship⤙s attitude, permitting the Stellar Physics observations to use the upper sensor array. Alternatively, OPS may weigh the option of placing one of the ongoing studies on a lower priority to provide the bridge with immediate use of the lateral array.

Priority levels for resources / ranking essential systems

Most routine scheduling and resource allocation is done automatically by the OPS program. This frees the Operations Manager from routine activity, leaving him/her able to concentrate on decisions beyond the scope of the artificial intelligence software. The level of these decision filter programs can be set by the Operations Manager, and also varies with the Alert status of the ship.

In cases where priorities are ambiguous or where specific OPS approval is required, the panel will display a menu of the most probable options for actions. IN virtually all cases, the Operations Manager also has the ability to input choices beyond those presented by the action menus. This is important because it is impossible for mission planners to anticipate every possible situation. Action menus may be displayed for any current activity (even those which would normally be handled automatically) upon keyboard request from OPS.

During crisis situations and Reduces Power Mode operations, OPS is responsible for supervision of power allocation in coordination with the Engineering department. Load scheduling on nonessential power usage in such situations is based on spacecraft survival factors and mission priorities.

The Operations Manager is also responsible for providing general status information to the main computer, which is then made available to all departments and personnel. OPS routes specific information to specific departments to inform them of anticipated changes and requirements that may affect their operations.

The example is a scenario where an Away Team is to be sent on a mission to a planetary surface. Typical OPS responsibilities might include:

  • Notification of Away Team personnel of the assignment and providing said personnel with mission objective information. When Away Team personnel are drawn from operational departments, OPS will sometimes coordinate to provide cross-trained personnel from other departments.
  • Coordination with Mission OPS for assignment of comm. relay frequencies and preparations to monitor Away Team tricorder telemetry.
  • Notification for issuance of tricorders, phasers, environmental gear, and other mission-specific equipment.
  • Assignment of personnel transporter room to handle transport operations, as well as the assignment of a transporter chief to the mission. If available, OPS will also provide transport coordinates to the transporter chief.

Such notifications are generally accomplished automatically without the need for active intervention by OPS. However, because preprogrammed functions cannot be expected to anticipate all possible situations, OPS is responsible for monitoring all such coordination activity and for taking additional action if necessary. Such flexibility is particularly important during alert and crisis scenarios, during which unpredictable and unplanned conditions must frequently be dealt with.

Power allocation and rerouting power during emergencies

The Main Bridge is directly responsible for the supervision of all primary mission functions. Through the Operations Manager, the bridge also monitors all secondary mission functions to provide an optimal operating state. The multimission operational profile of {any ship} requires extensive coordination between different departments.

Bridge Operations During Alert Conditions

Cruise Mode
This is the normal operating status of the spacecraft. Cruise mode operating rules require a minimum bridge staff of Commanding Officer (typically the Captain), Flight Control Officer, Operations Officer, and at least one other officer available to serve as Tactical or other stations as required. Other stations may be attended as specific mission requirements dictate.
Yellow Alert
During Yellow Alert condition, all active bridge stations are automatically brought to Full Enable Mode. Auto diagnostics (Level 4) are initiated for all primary and tactical systems. OPS is responsible for evaluating all current operations and shipboard activities and suspending any that may interfere with ship⤙s readiness to respond to potential crisis situations.
Red Alert
All tactical and long-range sensors arrays are brought to full operational status. Secondary mission use of sensor elements is discontinued, except with the approval of OPS.
Red Alert can be invoked by the Commanding Officer, Operations Manage, Chief Engineer, or the Tactical Officer. Additionally, the main computer can automatically invoke Red Alert Status in some cases upon detection of certain type of unknown spacecraft, as well as upon detection of certain types of critical malfunctions or system failures. In such cases, the automatic declaration of Red Alert status is subject to review by the Commanding Officer.

Reduced Power Mode

When reduced Power Mode is invoked, a level 5 system analysis is performed for the entire spacecraft, with the results made available to the Commanding Officer, the Chief Engineer, and the Operations Manager. The purpose of this analysis is to determine an overall energy budget for the spacecraft, to help plan power allocations that will minimize operational compromises.

Hourly energy budget and consumption reports to be made by the Operations Manager to the Chief Engineer and the Commanding Officer.

All use of tactical and lateral sensor arrays for secondary mission to be discontinued, except where deemed essential by the Operations manager.

Scheduling usage of recreational facilities

The holodeck and other recreational facilities are vital to the emotional well being of the crew, especially on long missions without a port of call. Operations is responsible for overseeing the scheduling and appropriate use of these facilities, especially if the occupants are guests and/or civilians. Some priorities in schedule are used. For instance, the CO and XO have first priority followed by the senior staff in regard to their rank. This is due to the idea that because of their duties, relaxation time is scarce and any time they have available should be given to them.

After the senior and command staff, all other personnel are treated on a first come first served basis regardless of rank or position. Except when ordered by the medical staff, any 'prescriptions' for the use of the recreational facilities will always be given top priority even over the senior staff.

Mission OPS

The third aft station is Mission OPS. This station provides additional support to the Operations Manager, and is specifically responsible for monitoring activity relating to secondary missions. In doing so, Mission OPS acts as an assistant to the Operations Manager, relieving her/him of responsibility for lower-priority tasks that must be monitored by a human operator.

Mission OPS is responsible for assignment of resources and priorities according to guidelines specified by the Operations Manager and by operating protocols. For example OPS may determine that a particular research project is to have usage of specific elements, subject to priority usage of those same sensors by the bridge. Although the actual minute-to-minute assignment of resources will be automatically handled by the OPS panel software. Mission OPS will monitor the computer activity to ensure that such computer control does not unduly compromise any mission priorities. This is particularly important during unforeseen situations that may not fall within the parameters of preprogrammed decision-making software.

Mission OPS is responsible for resolving low-level conflicts, but will refer primary mission conflicts to the Operations Manager.

A Mission OPS tech generally serves as relief Operations Manager when the duty OPS officer is away from station.

Other Mission OPS Duties

This station is responsible for monitoring telemetry from primary Away Teams. This includes tricorder data and any other mission-specific instrumentation.

Mission OPS is also responsible for monitoring the activities of secondary missions to anticipate requirements and possible conflicts. In cases where such conflicts impact on primary missions in progress, Mission OPS is required to notify the Operations Manager.

During Alert and crisis situations, Mission OPS also assists the Tactical Officer, providing information on Away Teams and secondary mission operations, with emphasis on possible impact on security concerns.

Traffic Control

  • Coordinating shuttle bays
    Coordinating the shuttle bays is a process that puts the OPS officer and the FCO working together to make sure things are handled properly. While the FCO is responsible for shuttles the OPS officer is responsible for communicating with incoming and outgoing shuttles to make sure there are no accidents.
  • Starship protocol leaving and docking at a station and/or docking rings
    The OPS officer is responsible for communicating with base operations and relaying that information to the FCO when the ship is docking or leaving. During this time they are also responsible for relaying the information to the engineering department for switching power accordingly.

Procurement

  • Where to obtain additional materials
    Every Starbase and station has a supply depot. Plus there are supply runs continuously throughout the quadrant. Anything that is Starfleet issued and not replicatable can be obtained from these supply depots and supply drops.
    One other Starfleet resource is other ships. Many times extra parts can be found on a sister ship. Every OPS officer should be aware of who is in the area and where they are. Disasters can often be prevented by the quick procurement of parts.
  • Possible resources outside Starfleet personnel
    There are many items that are required for a ship or station due to the diverse amount of species. Although many of these items can be found in Starfleet stores, personal icons, exotic foods and even some custom furniture may need to be gotten from elsewhere. There are several resources available. Civilian shops along the promenades of most stations and starbases. Even on various planets. But the biggest resource is the independent trader.

A good OPS will build a network of traders with their territory. Although latinum is the currency most used in the quadrant, there is a large bartering system in place. Older OPS often mentor newer OPS in the ways and means of bartering, although Starfleet 'unofficially' looks for those qualities in their OPS candidates.

One thing that a good OPS officer must be aware of is the different bartering systems in different areas. What may be valuable in one sector may be common place in another. OPS officers are in constant communication with each other so that these things may be shared.

Communications

OPS is responsible for all communication systems and the use of any of those systems. Although engineering works hand in hand with the OPS department, the regular care and maintenance of the entire communications system falls under the responsibility of the OPS department.

Any communications coming in or going out passes through the OPS station. Although most of it is handled automatically there are many instances where a message is flagged or needs special handling. All traffic going to and from the bridge must be handled directly through the Operations Console.

Certain criteria can be set on each individual ship or station to scan for anything within any communication leaving or arriving, regardless of who sent it and to where. This must only be done at the direct order of the Captain or the Executive Officer and then must be able to be justified to Starfleet Command at a later date. This is due to Starfleet's profound respect for individual rights and privacy.

Transportation

  • Transporters responsibilities
    The OPS department is responsible for the maintenance and usage of all of the transporters. Including the ones in all of the cargo bays. Each transporter room has a transporter chief on duty at all times. Regularly scheduled maintenance is performed and each circuit is meticulously checked and double checked. Tests are done at the beginning of each shift.
    OPS is also responsible for equipping away teams with pattern enhancers if there is a slight chance that they will be needed.
  • Maintaining transporter lock
    From the bridge it is the OPS responsibilities to maintain a transporter lock on whoever they are assigned to. In the case of multiple away team members scattered throughout different areas...the OPS officer will divvy up the personnel among the transporter rooms and even the cargo bay transporters if needed.

Ship/Station Computers (LCARS) Administrator

The computers on board a ship or station are immense, with the core extending down through multiple decks. Next to the crew, the computer is probably the most important single operational element. It could be and has been described as being the central nervous system of the ship or station. It is responsible in some way for the operation of virtually every other system. The maintenance and upgrading of this system is an immense task and one that falls under the responsibilities of the OPS department. Extensive programming knowledge and skills are required and the ability to quickly diagnose and correct any problems are mandatory.

Maintenance

The main interface used by virtually every crewmember is provided by the Library Computer Access and Retrieval System software (LCARS). LCARS provides both keyboard and vocal interface ability. It is composed of highly artificial intelligence routines. These routines have the ability to run diagnostics on itself to check for anomalies, but the output must always be reviewed by the OPS officer before being signed off as operating within standard parameters. Periodically these routines need to be upgraded or additions and enhancements added. This is done by the OPS officer. No one except the OPS officer, the XO and the CO have access to the central core operating system.

Depending on the Operating mode on the ship, diagnostics are run on different schedules. Although separate departments are scanned depending on the situation, the computer systems within those areas are also included. They are as follows:

Cruise Mode
A level 4 diagnostic are run on the entire computer system throughout the entire ship at the beginning of each shift.
Yellow Alert
Level 4 diagnostic run on all ship's primary & tactical computer systems to determine ship's current readiness status. This also includes the computer systems in the engineering department, concentrating on the warp core and engine computers systems.
Level 5 automatic diagnostics are performed to verify systems that maintain the readiness of autonomous survival and govern the recovery vehicle systems (lifeboats).
Red Alert
Level 4 diagnostic run on all ship's primary & tactical computer systems. OPS is given immediate notification of any significant change in the ship's power and computer systems while the bridge is given immediate notice of any change in the ship's readiness status.
Immediate Level 3 diagnostic on the computer systems that monitor warp propulsion systems, level 4 series at every 5 minutes.
Level 3 diagnostics to the computers systems that control the phaser banks
Level 4 automatic diagnostics are performed to verify systems that maintain the readiness of autonomous survival and govern the recovery vehicle systems (lifeboats).

Whenever a system has crashed a Level 1 diagnostic will be run on that system. And whenever it is feasible a level 1 is run on the entire core and network. This is usually done when docked and the major systems are run from the station or port through an umbilical cord thus ensuring that life support, power and engineering are not interrupted in anyway.


Software and Data Storage and Retrieval

Isolinear optical chips are a sophisticated information storage and processing device that can be used for both data storage and processing. Composed of linear memory crystal material, these isolinear chips are often mounted in wall racks permitting the computer access to anywhere from a dozen up to hundreds of chips at one time. These must be regularly check for both physical or data damage. These chips can be found in almost every unit and system.

User Access and Control Interfaces

User Accounts

As part of their computer administrator duties, OPS is responsible for creating user accounts for each new crewmember so that they have connectivity to LCARS and their own personal files. These accounts are based on the following criteria: Their security clearance which is established by Starfleet Headquarters. Their job requirements. Their rank. Whether their assignment is permanent or temporary. And what their current access level is, which again is established by Starfleet Headquarters. All of this information will be provided in the personnel database which is kept in a secured section of the computer. OPS cannot change or set a person's clearance and/or access level. That must be done through Starfleet Headquarters. All crewmembers are given at least the most basic accounts so as to allow them to enter their personal logs.

Access to all Starfleet computer systems is highly regulated. A standard set of authorization codes have been programmed in to the starboard and engineering computer cores of all ships in order to stop any undesired access to the systems. The codes are as follows:

  • ALPHA - TWO
    Unlimited access to all ship's records, systems, commands and computers.
  • ALPHA - ONE
    Unlimited access to all ship's records, systems and computers. Limited access to ship localized command functions.
  • BETA - TWO
    Unlimited access to all ship's records, systems and computers. No access to command functions (except if stated otherwise by Commanding Officer).
  • BETA - ONE
    Unlimited access to all ship's records, and computers. No access to command functions (except if stated otherwise by Commanding Officer). Access to ship systems is limited to duty related functions.
  • DELTA - TWO
    Limited access to all ship's records, systems, commands and computers. Access Limited to duty related functions.
  • DELTA - ONE
    Limited access to all ship's records, and computers. Access limited to job related functions.

The following codes have been assigned to:

Fleet Admiral ALPHA-TWO
Commanding Officer ALPHA-TWO
Executive Officer ALPHA-TWO
Operations Officer ALPHA-ONE
Chief Engineering Officer BETA-TWO
Chief Medical Officer BETA-ONE
Chief Science Officer BETA-ONE
Chief Tactical Officer BETA-ONE
Flight Control Officer BETA-ONE
Counselor BETA-ONE

The Commanding Officer reserves the privilege of permitting limited access to unspecified section of the ship to any personnel whose functions, in the eyes of the CO, require it.

This section also deals with access levels. Access to all Starfleet data is highly regulated. A standard set of access levels have been programmed in to the starboard and engineering computer cores of all ships in order to stop any undesired access to confidential data.

The following access levels have been assigned to:

Admirals and Commodores Level 5
Captains, Commanders, Lieutenants Commanders and certain specific personnel (duty related) Level 4
Lieutenants, Lieutenants Junior Grade, and certain specific personnel (duty related) Level 3
Ensigns and all personnel in operational duties Level 2
All personnel and Civilians in Starfleet service Level 1

Above and beyond that, OPS also assigns the personal access codes for all personnel. The method for this varies from ship to ship and station to station.

Troubleshooting

Level-4 memory fragmentation
Serious cascading memory degradation in a sophisticated computer program...such as the EMH or a holodeck program