Air Traffic Controller Discussion With a Global Perspective
By Lindsey Wiebe 1101951
#515358 You could also offer vectors around the weather. This happens quite a bit in real life as a lot of aircraft don't have weather radar. ATC will point out the weather as you said but also offer to vector them around it.
By Dhruv Kalra 878508
#515443
Lindsey Wiebe 1101951 wrote:You could also offer vectors around the weather. This happens quite a bit in real life as a lot of aircraft don't have weather radar. ATC will point out the weather as you said but also offer to vector them around it.

I'd gladly offer vectors around weather if I had it depicted on my scope :mrgreen:
By Reuben Prevost 1279585
#515575
Dhruv Kalra 878508 wrote:
Lindsey Wiebe 1101951 wrote:You could also offer vectors around the weather. This happens quite a bit in real life as a lot of aircraft don't have weather radar. ATC will point out the weather as you said but also offer to vector them around it.

I'd gladly offer vectors around weather if I had it depicted on my scope :mrgreen:


Lol :D
By Bradley Grafelman 1242018
#515579
Dhruv Kalra 878508 wrote:I'd gladly offer vectors around weather if I had it depicted on my scope :mrgreen:

So I got to thinking about this one... there are web services out there than provide raster tile maps of NEXRAD weather. Wouldn't it be nifty if someone were to make an AutoHotKey-based GUI that downloaded said tiles and placed them in a transparent, click-through-able GUI that was always-on-top of your radar client - VRC in my case?

Something like this:

Image

It was a very, very rough attempt. There's a difference between how VRC "projects" the Earth vs. how the NEXRAD feed does, so there's some 3D transformation going on that's not right. I accounted for the -13.75 degree rotation on the VRC scope, but that's about it. Plus, you can see the color I chose for transparency (magenta) bleeding through around the edges of the NEXRAD imagery.

Like I said, rough. But sometimes I get bored and want some nerdy side-project to work on, so who knows.
By Marcus Miller 1077026
#515617
Bradley Grafelman 1242018 wrote:
Dhruv Kalra 878508 wrote:I'd gladly offer vectors around weather if I had it depicted on my scope :mrgreen:

So I got to thinking about this one... there are web services out there than provide raster tile maps of NEXRAD weather. Wouldn't it be nifty if someone were to make an AutoHotKey-based GUI that downloaded said tiles and placed them in a transparent, click-through-able GUI that was always-on-top of your radar client - VRC in my case?

Something like this:

Image

It was a very, very rough attempt. There's a difference between how VRC "projects" the Earth vs. how the NEXRAD feed does, so there's some 3D transformation going on that's not right. I accounted for the -13.75 degree rotation on the VRC scope, but that's about it. Plus, you can see the color I chose for transparency (magenta) bleeding through around the edges of the NEXRAD imagery.

Like I said, rough. But sometimes I get bored and want some nerdy side-project to work on, so who knows.


That's flipping AMAZING!
By Evan Reiter 1314720
#515626
Bradley Grafelman 1242018 wrote:Image

It was a very, very rough attempt. There's a difference between how VRC "projects" the Earth vs. how the NEXRAD feed does, so there's some 3D transformation going on that's not right. I accounted for the -13.75 degree rotation on the VRC scope, but that's about it. Plus, you can see the color I chose for transparency (magenta) bleeding through around the edges of the NEXRAD imagery.

Like I said, rough. But sometimes I get bored and want some nerdy side-project to work on, so who knows.

This is actually fantastic! How long until something like this could be shared? I know it's something we have ALL been aching for. Fact is, quite often, airborne weather radar picks up a different area of precipitation than what's seen on the ground. A bit of variation between clients would be just fine.

Another thought to consider (not sure how easy it is with the GUI overlay you're working with) would be that most of the FS weather radar simulations are powered by ActiveSky. I wonder whether there's a way to use that same API for your application, so controllers and pilots are both seeing weather powered by ActiveSky. It's possible there will still be some variation but it may be closer because it's coming from the same source.

Please keep working on this! Can't tell you how much I've wanted to be able to bring realistic weather simulation onto the network.
By Bradley Grafelman 1242018
#515674 Welp, I gave it the ol' college try, but I think I'm about ready to shelve/abandon this side project. Here's an updated screenshot followed by an explanation of the script's current capabilities and pitfalls:

Image

Capabilities:
  • Automatically "learns" the current center/zoom of the VRC scope
  • Automatically adjusts to VRC window size and "fills" the viewable scope (padding added for button bar at top and command line at bottom)
  • Supports customizable margins (e.g. in case you like to keep the Arrivals & Departures, Controllers & Chat, etc. windows opened arranged along one side of the scope).
  • Supports customizable brightness of the weather radar overlay
  • Pressing Ctrl+F7 while VRC is the active window will draw the overlay on top of it

Pitfalls:
  • First and foremost, it's not very accurate when it comes to drawing the weather at the correct place.

    The weather tile service uses a spherical mercator projection, whereas VRC is more of an equirectangular projection. I don't know if that's a major contributor (meaning I would need to post-process the image tiles with something like gdalwarp to do a re-projection) or if I've just goofed up the math that calculates VRC's pixels-per-latitude scale.

    Either way, the weather isn't stretched/positioned correctly. Zooming in/out yields different results during the same NEXRAD cycle. I've got an idea or two left to try, but the guesswork combined with the other pitfalls is making me rapidly lose interest.
  • Because VRC has no "hooks" (that I know of), I wrote all of this in an AutoHotKey script rather than creating some sort of application or, better yet, plugin for VRC. The TL;DR is that there's a bit of mouse-moving/screen-flashing whenever the weather is drawn. If you have epilepsy, I wouldn't recommend staring at it.
  • Continuing from above, I don't have a good way to track changes in the scope (either panning or zooming), so for now I've just tried to detect such changes and remove the overlay. If you want to pan/zoom and see the weather, you'd have to hit Ctrl+F7 to redraw the overlay again. (I could probably automate the redraw, but the flashing/mouse-moving would get exponentially more aggravating.)
  • Again as an artifact from above, I can't play with the "z-layering" of the overlay vs. items on the scope. Most notably, this means I can't slide the overlay in between the scope background and the targets depicted on it. You can see this in the screenshot above; both the target and datablock for an aircraft are partially obscured by the weather overlay.
  • The method I'm using to get the lat/lon coords causes the text chat to be filled with 4 lines of "Mouse coordinates copied to clipboard" messages. Could probably cut this down to 2 or 3, but still...
  • Several other things I'm almost certainly forgetting.

TL;DR: Probably abandoning this soon. It was a fun exercise in staving off boredom in my free time, but in the end I think any approach that doesn't involve support from the ATC client developer isn't going to be very feasible/usable.
By Matthew Kosmoski 891361
#515790
Josh Glottmann 1275389 wrote:I don't know if either of these are worthwhile looking into. I just found them with a quick search.
NEXRAD on AWS
NOAA Weather Display and Conversion Tools
Iowa State's NEXRAD (US Only). This is what VATTASTIC uses.
What the XP NOAA Weather plugin uses

I know I'm very late in responding to this, but it's worth noting... NEXRAD isn't stored in GRIB/GRIB2. I spent most of my early career doing weather development. You'll see most of it in BUFR or NetCDF, which means wgrib2 is of no use. Also, if you're incorporating the data, wgrib2 is one of the least efficient manners to play with the data. Native grib2 libraries (or reading the spec and just dealing with it... it's only JPEG2000) are the correct route. First time I dealt with large quantities of GFS, I tried using wgrib2 and the -spread flag to get the data to a place where I could import it to our databases... that was a mistake :D
By Nick Warren 813047
#516813 Little bit of keeping the thread alive and also sharing a short video from the Air Safety Institute and NATCA. Basically the nuts and bolts go to say that ATC may not see what the pilots see as far as Wx goes. I'm biased, but I think it supports the argument of implementing something consistent on the ATC end without as much worry for what the pilot may be seeing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4cH4O3Qxbw&feature=youtu.be
By Nick Warren 813047
#533328 So the issue of weather, deviations, etc. and ATC's role have popped back up in a few forums/chats recently. Just wondering if implementation of weather has been given any more thought over the last year and a half, or if this topic and thought is dead.
By Andrew Morkunas 1017951
#533404
Now if only we could get a weather radar on our clients ;)


Yep - I just got negative feedback from my last control situation because I did not handle a weather deviation properly. Skyvector looks like the way to go to keep things real.

Weather on our radar clients. I think that is coming after the new voice codec.
By Ross Carlson 887155
#533415
Andrew Morkunas 1017951 wrote:Yep - I just got negative feedback from my last control situation because I did not handle a weather deviation properly. Skyvector looks like the way to go to keep things real.


Andrew, can you elaborate on that? What did you do, what should you have done, and how would using Skyvector have helped you avoid the negative feedback?