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Planning ahead for retiring VRC


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On 5/21/2021 at 1:55 AM, Ross Carlson said:

I may use an established format such as GeoJSON, which should allow FEs to use existing GIS tools for creating new maps.

This would be a much-appreciated feature. Would it be possible to have a (or have someone other than yourself make) .sct2 to .geoJSON convertor? This would speed up the transition process immensely.

I do have a few questions about how large-area-wide surveillance will be performed (i.e., TMU or supervisory duties). From the TMU side, these features (though not limited to just these) are really useful from VRC:

  • simultaneous display of scopes at different scales (en route, terminal, and ASDE-X views; sometimes multiple of each)
    • with this, different color and radar profiles for different windows
    • I presume whatever new TDM capability is will cover this
  • the compactness of the ATC chat on the bottom of the screen (with a configurable number of lines to display)
  • custom sector file (just one all-in-one file needed currently) due to the scope of what we're doing
    • especially during CTP or inter-divisional events, it allows us to have visibility beyond the confines of the U.S.

These are just a few things I could come up with in this moment but I am curious how this capability will/can be transferred via a new radar client (also recognizing that controlling functionality is the priority).

Jeremy Peterson (HP)
VATUSA Command Center National Operations Manager (NOM)/VATUSA9
[email protected] or [email protected]

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Hello all, I'm posting to let everyone know with as much advanced notice as possible, that I have begun planning for the eventual retirement of VRC. I have not done any new feature development fo

Everyone, thanks very much for the feedback and productive discussion so far. Regarding the balance between realism and ease-of-use, I still lean strongly in favor of realism when it can be achie

Step back for a minute and think how the real world systems keep trying to improve the interface so that the operator spends less mental capacity on using the tool and more on accomplishing the result

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9 hours ago, Jeremy Peterson said:

Would it be possible to have a (or have someone other than yourself make) .sct2 to .geoJSON convertor?

Most likely, the final format will be something compressed so that it downloads quickly when an update is available. GeoJSON support will probably come in the form of an importer, and an importer for sct2 will also exist. (In other words, no need for an sct2 to geojson converter, unless people want to load the sct2 into a GIS application for modification before importing into the facility definition file for the new client.)

This plan is not set in stone yet, but that's what I'm currently envisioning.

9 hours ago, Jeremy Peterson said:

I do have a few questions about how large-area-wide surveillance will be performed (i.e., TMU or supervisory duties)

I think the plan is for SUPs to use vatSys since it has special functionality for SUP communication.

As for TMUs, you could probably use the new client in Generic mode and load a "fake" facility definition for the entire globe, with a world map.

10 hours ago, Jeremy Peterson said:

simultaneous display of scopes at different scales (en route, terminal, and ASDE-X views; sometimes multiple of each)

This will definitely be possible.

10 hours ago, Jeremy Peterson said:
  • with this, different color and radar profiles for different windows

Why is this necessary for TMUs?

10 hours ago, Jeremy Peterson said:
  • the compactness of the ATC chat on the bottom of the screen (with a configurable number of lines to display)

The new client will use a separate window for text comms, similar to vERAM/vSTARS.

Developer: vPilot, VRC, vSTARS, vERAM, VAT-Spy

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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13 hours ago, Ross Carlson said:

Why is this necessary for TMUs?

I don’t want my ASDE-X windows to look like my approach windows 😛 but I assume this will be automatic in a new client.

 

Thanks for hitting the other points 👍🏼

Jeremy Peterson (HP)
VATUSA Command Center National Operations Manager (NOM)/VATUSA9
[email protected] or [email protected]

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On 6/7/2021 at 11:15 AM, Ross Carlson said:

I'm asking why the different UIs are useful for TMU purposes.

We care about surface congestion (ASDE-X), the approach airspace and final boxes, and of course the en route flows, as an example. We need the NAS-wide perspective.

Jeremy Peterson (HP)
VATUSA Command Center National Operations Manager (NOM)/VATUSA9
[email protected] or [email protected]

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6 hours ago, Jeremy Peterson said:

We care about surface congestion (ASDE-X), the approach airspace and final boxes, and of course the en route flows, as an example. We need the NAS-wide perspective.

But you said specifically different color and radar profiles. Why does the color matter for TMU purposes? And I'm not sure what you mean by "radar profiles". I assume you meant the different radar modes that you can select from in VRC, which really just changes the data block.

If what you need is to be able to see surface targets, and to be able to see approach airspace and final boxes, then yes, that will be doable in the new client. As I described earlier, you'll be able to have multiple windows, each in a different radar mode, as these are necessities for not just TMU, but also top-down controllers.

Edited by Ross Carlson

Developer: vPilot, VRC, vSTARS, vERAM, VAT-Spy

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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Out of curiosity, will it be feasible to run this on a laptop at all?   I know any client technically can operate on laptops without multi-screens, etc., but the question is more of is it realistic to.  Personally I can/do operate VRC in center ops on a laptop and enjoy the experience without the need for larger monitors and keyboards.  vSTARS as well...although vERAM is difficult with that setup.  It is one thing I will miss about loosing VRC....the ability for anyone/everyone to use, even with laptops, without the need for a larger setup. 

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14 hours ago, Ross Carlson said:

If what you need is to be able to see surface targets, and to be able to see approach airspace and final boxes, then yes, that will be doable in the new client. As I described earlier, you'll be able to have multiple windows, each in a different radar mode, as these are necessities for not just TMU, but also top-down controllers.

This is fine. I did not mean to make it unnecessarily confusing. 

Jeremy Peterson (HP)
VATUSA Command Center National Operations Manager (NOM)/VATUSA9
[email protected] or [email protected]

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9 hours ago, Lee Sacharin said:

Out of curiosity, will it be feasible to run this on a laptop at all?

The Generic mode will be much like VRC, so that's what you'd likely want to use on a laptop. But I am trying to come up with a way to make even the ERAM mode more suitable for top-down controlling on a single screen. It won't be a design priority, though, as the Generic mode will most likely be the best option for that situation.

Developer: vPilot, VRC, vSTARS, vERAM, VAT-Spy

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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  • 3 weeks later...

Quickly revisiting this.

 

@Ross Carlson, do you remember off the top of your head if the latest version of VRC was compiled against the 32bit or 64bit C++ libraries? 

I ask, because with the announcements today from M$, Windows 11's minimum requirements are soon going to start to force our hand. For those not in the know, Windows 11 minimum requirements are:

  • a 64bit CPU (or SoC),
  • 4GB RAM, and
  • 64GB of disk space.

This means that while Windows 11 will not run on 32bit hardware, it still will run 32bit software. So VRC is safe for now if it were compiled against 32bit libraries, but I wouldn't be surprised if they truly go all 64bit, libraries included, putting all 32bit binaries and libraries out to pasture. If VRC is truly 64bit and compiled against 64bit libraries, it's safe until VATSIM makes its decision.

BL.

 

Edited by Brad Littlejohn

Brad Littlejohn

ZLA Senior Controller

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  • 2 weeks later...
2 hours ago, Josh Glottmann said:

Would it be possible to add a feature to quickly re-track aircraft if you accidentally get disconnected?

I'd like to keep this thread to just discussion relevant to the goal of retiring VRC and bringing about a suitable replacement. After that, we can talk about new features, in other threads.

That being said, the feature you suggest is already on my list as it has been suggested before, so it will likely happen at some point, but maybe not with the first release of the new client.

Developer: vPilot, VRC, vSTARS, vERAM, VAT-Spy

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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9 hours ago, Josh Glottmann said:

Would it be possible to add a feature to quickly re-track aircraft if you accidentally get disconnected?

this is a fantastic idea; i'm already using vatSys; i'm in the process of geting trained up to be a air traffic controller for YMML; i've read through the Control Tower Moudule already

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  • 3 weeks later...

I am working on the Miami metroplex impact analysis and realized how easy the sector file format has made my life. Therefore, I wanted to share. I'm not really arguing for or against anything here, just stating how the current VRC and sector file definition format has made this task faster.

We created a "mock up" sector file with the new fixes from the preview AIRAC so we can turn on/off the new procedures with different colors side-by-side with old procedures and sectors. That's super helpful for the analysis phase of large airspace changes. The sector file allows us to "draw" the new diagrams simply and toggle a whole bunch on/off easily.

Without it, I think it would take a lot longer to translate the nav data into geometry for video maps (which might be throw away work) or wait for official maps from whatever source derived. 

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