[jhb_airlines] Re: Christmas Present List

  • From: Gerry Winskill <gwinsk@xxxxxxx>
  • To: jhb_airlines@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 05 Aug 2005 08:24:31 +0100

The other thing that's now struck me is the relevance of the supplementarty kit, to allow networking. As you say, I wouldn't be able to see a/c landing at Ronaldsway, though I assume I should be able to see the higher level traffic, routing via the IOM. Likewise, I would see nothing of Manchester traffic. If you, I and someone close to Ringway had the same kit then I'm assuming that the network software, plus ADSL, would allow each of us to select from one of the three sources. Does the Forum seem to support this possibillity?

Gerry Winskill

Bones wrote:

I particularly like the screenshot at
http://www.kinetic-avionics.co.uk/images/Bscreen_shot.jpg - very artistic.
Shows the rush into London with aircraft holding at OCK, BIG, MAY and MID.

One thing worries me. Looking at the detail on the screenshot it would not
be all that difficult, since it is showing real time data, for someone like
me to give radar vectoring to an actual aircraft in flight. All the pilot
needs is a mobile phone and I could talk him down to almost any airfield in
the UK - and give him traffic information. Likewise, if he had the kit on
board his aircraft, he could get a competent co-pilot to do the same thing.

Now you may think that such use of this software would be unthinkable but I
bet it will happen. You could set the kit up at a busy strip like Leicester
or Earl's Colne and it would be very hard for someone not to use the data
for traffic monitoring - and that is getting quite close to radar control.
If a potential conflict exists and the ground person issues a suggested
avoiding instruction then it IS radar control.

The CAA would be hard pushed to try and stop this. I guess they could issue
a edict saying that the software could not be used at any airport unless
qualified personnel (a licensed radar controller) was approved and licensed
for the operation of the software but that would be prohibitively expensive.

Ignore my earlier comments as I have just been reading through the Kinetix web site forum. Their are some limitations on what this receiver can do. First the receiver works on direct signals only from aircraft so the radar picture you get will be just as with normal radar - limited to line of sight. This may not be too bad as one user in Bedford says he can see aircraft up as far as Manchester and down to the south coast but Gerry in Ramsey would not see aircraft land at Ronaldsway and I would not see aircraft going into Jurby/Andreas once they got below say 2000ft.

Second is that the unit picks up the Transponder unit ident only and this
needs converting to a registration. Data on screen for an aircraft is:

3944F8 (AFR2268) 5634 143.3 497.4KTS 25025FT

The first is the unique transponder ident for the aircraft. For Mode S
transponders they should be unique to the aircraft - which means they can't
be swapped into another airframe. The callsign here is AFR2268 but the Reg
isn't available - unless you have a list of the idents/registration
sequence. Not all countries are giving this data out but the CAA are - the
G-INFO pages now show idents for those aircraft they are issued to. For
example FlyBe Dash8-400 G-JECH has a Mode S ID of 400C70 and Cessna 182
G-BJVH has an ID of 400C0B. The callsign too is user input and although
AFR2208 is correct above SBS1 users have reported seeing spurious entries
such as HELLO, STUFFRYR and GETALIFE - the last on a military jet <vbg>..

Although Mode S is operational with airlines it is currently in its ELS
state (Elementary). There is also an EHS (Enhanced) state and full ADSB data
streaming is only possible when an ADSB squitter is fitted. As one user
excitedly said he got an ADSB signal from an aircraft I wonder if SBS1 does
indeed pick up satellite data for those aircraft (very few right now)
suitably equipped? ADSB trials took place in Alaska and Sweden so maybe a
handful of SAS aircraft still have them.


-----Original Message-----
From: jhb_airlines-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:jhb_airlines-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Gerry Winskill
Sent: 04 August 2005 20:25
To: jhb_airlines@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [jhb_airlines] Re: Christmas Present List

Wheneye spent my working days in the GCA caravan, the a/c had IFF but never switched it on. In those days it was thought of as being only what it said on the tin, "Identification Friend Or Foe". Since the Foe didn't get over mainland Britain, logic dictated it wasn't required inside the UK. Presumably they were assuming there would be no repeat of Pearl Harbour, that the Reds would play cricket and give sufficient notice that the IFF sets could be checked out before start of play.

This current unit, now advertised in the GA mags and available from
Transair, can be operated via a laptop and comes with cigar lighter
plug. It's also available with software to permit networking, so that
data may be passed around.

What odds on the CAA trying to inhibit access by the aircraft enthusiast
sector, at which it's partly aimed?

Although GA aren't yet widely using mode S, aren't the heavy metal?

Gerry Winskill

Bones wrote:

Don't tempt me. It would be ironic getting this kit and seeing aircraft
on your PC years ahead of the CAA getting it installed!

ADSB will do the same for ATC as GPS did for pilots. GPS has made VOR's
and NDB's redundant and ADSB will make radar redundant. The funny thing
is that radar was a WW2 invention and ADSB is the ultimate development
of IFF - also introduced in WW2. ADSB will also give real life ATC much
the same as we have in FPI believe it or not - full "radar" coverage at
all heights and, almost, globally.

Primary radar works by firing a pulse out from the radar head and it
bouncing off the aircraft. The returned signal gives distance, bearing
and (in some cases) height information but just as a blip on the
screen. Secondary radar goes a bit better because the radar head fires
out a pulse that triggers the transponder in an aircraft and this
returns a coded pulse giving height data and the squawk. Coding in the
ground radar box of tricks converts this into a data tag with callsign,
speed etc. Put the wrong callsign in the computer next to a squawk and
the wrong callsign will appear on the tube! At least we don't have to
do this in FPI!

It didn't take long for someone to realise that these aircraft pulses
could be picked up by receivers other than an SSR radar head - and this
is how TCAS was born. Now the pulse is picked up by other aircraft and
the data used to provide warning information on aircraft in close
proximity - but it is still a short range facility.

ADSB goes the full step and does away with the ground radar. With an S
band Transponder much more data is sent by the aircraft - more than
current radars can use. In ADSB the aircraft pulse will be picked up by
satellite and from there beamed to Earth. That means anyone with an
ADSB receiver can pick up the data - much as GPS works. It means there
isn't a range limitation for the aircraft signal (it's not line of
sight any more) and you don't need a complex radar system to decode the
data. A simple receiver with a PC will do.

S band transponders are required to be fitted to GA aircraft in the UK
by March 2005 and by all aircraft by March 2008. The first requirement
has already been knocked on the head as the GA community argued
(rightly) that the CAA won't have any S band decoding receivers for
another two years. In truth the CAA is in a pickle because it really
doesn't have a firm plan for implementing ADSB yet. I guess they still
can't accept that all their new Swanwick radar tubes are going to be
ripped out and replaced by PC's. <vbg>

In the meantime we can get this receiver, plug it into out PC and it
will start picking up the satellite data. Think of all the airports
without radar that could benefit from this idea - just a receiver and a
PC (CAA approved of course) and they could be in business. Aircraft
fitted with ADSB receivers will be able to see a radar picture of other
aircraft hundreds of miles away rather than the limited TCAS line of
sight range. ADSB will determine conflictions when aircraft are still
hundreds of miles apart. Airport vehicles fitted with a Mode S
transponder will also show on the radar and ADSB can warn a pilot if a
vehicle is on a runway.

It's the future now - but the technology has caught people out. The
system is up and running but neither aircraft or ATC have actually made
serious moves to get the equipment installed. It seems odd that if I
got this software I could probably see Irish Sea traffic (only Mode S
though) as good as Ronaldsway - and with a portable VHF radio I could take
over <vbg>.. Thinks - will this mean controllers working from home in
future? Set up the receiver at the airport and feed it to a local network
and I could plug into it with my PDA.. <g>

There are so few aircraft with Mode S right now that it wouldn't be a
good buy. In a couple of years though I bet the costs will be down and
it might be very tempting. make it portable like a GPS receiver and I
could take it in the aircraft (or car) too!


-----Original Message-----
From: jhb_airlines-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:jhb_airlines-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Gerry Winskill
Sent: 04 August 2005 16:29
Subject: [jhb_airlines] Christmas Present List

All putting this on our list, or saving our pennies, are we? http://www.kinetic-avionics.co.uk/sbs-1.php

Only £499.95.

Gerry Winskill

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