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ASDE-X on VATSIM


Anthony Atkielski 985811
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I think what Nate is referring to (correct me if I'm wrong Nate!) is that real world radar systems allow controllers to track any primary radar return, regardless of whether or not the target has an [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ociated beacon code and data block. For example, a controller could start a track on a flock of birds if he so desired, even giving it a "callsign".

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

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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Ross, you're basically right. You don't even need something to start a track on though. You can pick any random point on the scope and initiate a track if you so wish. It is very useful for, say, departing aircraft off small, non-approach control airports, among other considerations. If you start a track near a primary target that is strong and moving in a consistent direction, your track will follow that primary target around until it loses radar (whereby it coasts) or it gets confused with another primary target moving in a manner consistent with an aicraft and leaps over to the other one.

 

Anyway, unlike the way radar clients operate now on VATSIM, targets and tracks (or, more precisely, targets and their position symbols with [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ociated data blocks) are separate entities that just happen to be correllated with eachother for most operations. The way we "track" aircraft now is a compromise from how it's really done. Unless and until there comes a point where a controller will be able to independantly [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ign a call sign to an track, it won't be possible to track like they do in real life. Suffice it to say, it would be great if controllers could just change a callsign that's logged in like "UNITED43" to "UAL4317," rather than having to go through the sometimes tactfully difficult process of telling a pilot their aircraft ID is wrong, and asking them to disconnect and reconnect.

 

If anyone's in the ZAB area (in real life) and wants to see what I'm talking about first hand, I'd be glad to show you around my center.

 

~Nate

Nate Johns

 

"All things are difficult before they are easy."

- Dr. Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732

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Ross, you're basically right. You don't even need something to start a track on though. You can pick any random point on the scope and initiate a track if you so wish. It is very useful for, say, departing aircraft off small, non-approach control airports, among other considerations. If you start a track near a primary target that is strong and moving in a consistent direction, your track will follow that primary target around until it loses radar (whereby it coasts) or it gets confused with another primary target moving in a manner consistent with an aicraft and leaps over to the other one.

 

Are you saying you can start a track on an empty spot on the scope, near where you know a target will pop up in the future, and the track will just sit stationary until the target moves through it, at which point the track will begin to follow that aircraft? That's pretty sweet.

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

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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Ross, you're basically right. You don't even need something to start a track on though. You can pick any random point on the scope and initiate a track if you so wish. It is very useful for, say, departing aircraft off small, non-approach control airports, among other considerations. If you start a track near a primary target that is strong and moving in a consistent direction, your track will follow that primary target around until it loses radar (whereby it coasts) or it gets confused with another primary target moving in a manner consistent with an aicraft and leaps over to the other one.

 

Are you saying you can start a track on an empty spot on the scope, near where you know a target will pop up in the future, and the track will just sit stationary until the target moves through it, at which point the track will begin to follow that aircraft? That's pretty sweet.

That is cool.

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Ross, you're basically right. You don't even need something to start a track on though. You can pick any random point on the scope and initiate a track if you so wish. It is very useful for, say, departing aircraft off small, non-approach control airports, among other considerations. If you start a track near a primary target that is strong and moving in a consistent direction, your track will follow that primary target around until it loses radar (whereby it coasts) or it gets confused with another primary target moving in a manner consistent with an aicraft and leaps over to the other one.

 

Are you saying you can start a track on an empty spot on the scope, near where you know a target will pop up in the future, and the track will just sit stationary until the target moves through it, at which point the track will begin to follow that aircraft? That's pretty sweet.

 

Basic answer:

 

Ross, for primary only tracking, yes, that's basically what it is. An otherwise arbitrary track can and will latch on to a close-by primary target if it's strong enough and moving in a relatively linear fashion (AKA - like an airplane). It's not perfect by any means, but primary targets are absolutely trackable by radar.

 

~Nate

 

For the extended answer, see the topic "Radar Tracking" in this same forum, since this is starting to get away from the original topic of ASDE-X by a fair margin.

Nate Johns

 

"All things are difficult before they are easy."

- Dr. Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732

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Suffice it to say, it would be great if controllers could just change a callsign that's logged in like "UNITED43" to "UAL4317," rather than having to go through the sometimes tactfully difficult process of telling a pilot their aircraft ID is wrong, and asking them to disconnect and reconnect.

 

I've been waiting for the day to be able to change aircraft callsigns. JOHNNY5s and NEWB66s beware!

 

DM

Derek Morrison

ZBW Controller

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VATSIM policy is that pilots can choose their callsigns freely, however unrealistic they are. Changing them to please controllers would conflict with that policy.

 

While this is true, we aren't going to see them if we hear "United 4317" checking in, yet we only see a flight strip for "UNITED43".

 

In short, UNITED43 does not equal "United 4317".

 

BL.

Brad Littlejohn

ZLA Senior Controller

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Hi,

 

Then how about a facility in the radar clients to allow ATC to edit the callsign for their purposes only? It would not affect the actual callsign and also ease the use of the keyboard to asel aircraft. You get an aircraft with an incorrect callsign(UNITED5). You give him the usual FYI that it's actually UAL5 and without him having to disconnect, you can edit his callsign so asel'ing becomes easier to handle. Just a thought.

 

Might stick this up in the VRC wish list.

 

Cheers!

Paul.

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VATSIM policy is that pilots can choose their callsigns freely, however unrealistic they are. Changing them to please controllers would conflict with that policy.

 

It wouldn't be to change the callsign. It would be to make the representation of the callsign accurate when shown in the flight plan and on the scope. In other words, UNITED123 would still have a callsign spoken as "United 123", but it would be changed to read correctly in the flight strip and on the scope as "UAL123".

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

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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Could this be integrated server side so the change could be p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ed to the next controller or would that be a little too tricky to accomplish?

 

It would require fairly extensive modifications to the server software, since the callsign is the identifying data item for a lot of things in the protocol. It would also require modifications to all pilot and ATC client software as well, unless we just handled it as though the first callsign logged out and the new one logged in, which would mean some stuff like squawk, flight plan, temp alts, etc. would not carry over.

 

Definitely not trivial ... and almost definitely not worth the effort.

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

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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Howdy,

 

Yeah, was thinking it would be tricky. Just being able to edit the callsign for yourself would be good enough for me. Would make asel and callsign recall much, much easier. You want me to stick it up in the wish list or do you already have it done?

 

Cheers!

Paul.

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Could this be integrated server side so the change could be p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ed to the next controller or would that be a little too tricky to accomplish?

 

It would require fairly extensive modifications to the server software, since the callsign is the identifying data item for a lot of things in the protocol. It would also require modifications to all pilot and ATC client software as well, unless we just handled it as though the first callsign logged out and the new one logged in, which would mean some stuff like squawk, flight plan, temp alts, etc. would not carry over.

 

Definitely not trivial ... and almost definitely not worth the effort.

 

I must ask though, how is this any different than the scratch pad? It need not be a permanent change to the callsign if the BoG has determined that controllers will never be allowed to modify callsigns. It would seem to me this is equivalent to the destination airport being the default scratch pad info (e.g. - sign in callsign is default), but a controller can enter a callsign of their choice that "overlays" (as opposed to time shares) the default information.

 

Isn't that a peer-to-peer deal rather than a server-side function? I thought that's how it was explained to me when it came out with VRC. I suspect I'm mistaken though.

 

~Nate

Nate Johns

 

"All things are difficult before they are easy."

- Dr. Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732

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Could this be integrated server side so the change could be p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ed to the next controller or would that be a little too tricky to accomplish?

 

It would require fairly extensive modifications to the server software, since the callsign is the identifying data item for a lot of things in the protocol. It would also require modifications to all pilot and ATC client software as well, unless we just handled it as though the first callsign logged out and the new one logged in, which would mean some stuff like squawk, flight plan, temp alts, etc. would not carry over.

 

Definitely not trivial ... and almost definitely not worth the effort.

 

Sounds like something that could be done on the client side. Like maybe a pulldown menu with all the airline names.

You select the airline name and it enters the correct 3 character callsign. The source of the names could be some sort of .ini file

file that sits in the local folder that can updated over time.

 

Would still require work from the pilot client authors, but it seems like a more feasable solution.

 

Regards.

Ernie.

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Nate, yeah, scratchpad is not a server function. Scratchpad changes are only broadcast to in-range controllers. Such a system would not work for callsign changes, unless you didn't care that controllers further downrange (outside of your radio range) would not see the new callsign. To me that would be a half-baked solution and could potentially cause a lot of confusion. Imagine if a SUP was called on to help with a problematic newbie pilot who's callsign had been changed. He would not be able to find the pilot.

 

In other words, callsign changes would almost certainly have to be propagated network-wide, because so much revolves around them.

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

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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Well... half-baked, but this way the user doesn't lose his original callsign, and server stat tracking functions aren't directly affected. I understand the propagation aspect of it, and I figure if a guy goes out of contoller coverage, perhaps it would be best that they revert to their original login callsign.

 

As far as I see, the whack callsigns are of greatest annoyance during busy periods, and busy periods usually involve more extensive controller coverage. This makes a client propagated "scratchpad callsign change" more effective for the time that the bad callsign would be of most annoyance. During slow periods, fine, no worries. It sucks, but one can get over it and not be terribly affected by it. When it gets busy though, I don't (personally) want to see a DVA and a DAL guy both calling themselves Delta (no offense to Delta VA intended), or any other of the umpteen examples of poor and/or inappropriate callsigns in use.

 

~Nate

Nate Johns

 

"All things are difficult before they are easy."

- Dr. Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732

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Or lets just use the remarks section to add in their callsign if we are unfamiliar? I do it all the time. Use your monitor with the strip bay and your good to go. Single monitors got you wishing for that extra space? Get a second monitor. For VRC alone, if you're serious about controlling at all, the second monitor is well worth it.

vZME Air Traffic Manager

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Strips are silly for radar. And yes, I'm a real (develpmental) controller. Ok ok, fine, maybe they're useful for some things

 

In all sincerity though... it takes time to look at strips, and as a busy approach controller, eff that. Put the right callsign in the datablock and we're good to go.

 

Someone needs to get a URET sim going sometime soon for en-route. If anyone wants details, lemmie know. Wouldn't be too tough to do methinks.

 

~Nate

Nate Johns

 

"All things are difficult before they are easy."

- Dr. Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732

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Or lets just use the remarks section to add in their callsign if we are unfamiliar?

 

We're not talking unfamiliar callsigns, Kyle, the discussion is about changing things like UNITED473 to UAL473. Unfamiliar callsigns has nothing to do with it.

 

Seconded.

 

They remark the smaller, less-used callsigns all the time IRL. I don't mind remarks being used for unfamiliar callsigns at all. One glance and you know what it is.

 

But ya, when people put in totally bogus callsigns, that'd what I'd like to "overlay" with something legitimate.

 

~Nate

Nate Johns

 

"All things are difficult before they are easy."

- Dr. Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732

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Maybe it's different in other parts of the world, but in Boston where I control, I see very few of these bogus callsigns. From where I sit, this is nowhere near enough of a problem to justify network technology changes. Is it really that big of a deal to see a "UNITED43"? Obviously you should politely tell the pilot the proper callsign he should use next time ... perhaps even politely suggest that he quickly reconnects with the appropriate callsign.

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

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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Is it really that big of a deal to see a "UNITED43"?

 

Yes, because you don't know how to find this person. You're typing UAL, and 43 and all sorts of stuff to look for him, and you can't find the guy. This is especially true when you're working Center, and have nobody below you, the person is squawking standby, whatever. We certainly do see it a lot out at ZLA, though I don't think it's of crazy proportions or anything. I'd have to say the two biggest misused callsigns are BAW and UAL. I can't even begin to list the variations I've seen for those two companies.

Bryan Wollenberg

ZLA!

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