All I can say Bones, is wow. Will have a look at the screen shots a bit later.I do not know have you have the time to do all this, and as for the knowhow, you must be in the mensa league.
I think I will stick to my hammer and chisel. And keep my head down. Frank F----- Original Message ----- From: "Bones" <bones@xxxxxxx>
To: <jhb_airlines@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> Sent: Tuesday, September 23, 2008 9:54 PM Subject: [jhb_airlines] Re: Please refresh these old brain cells
It's coming up to three years since I got roped in to the SBS testing andwith another unit about to be released it's getting busy again. Luckily the software that was under development since last November has finally gone topublic beta and I've finally had a bit of a rest the last two or three weeks. It's hard to describe the kit in a nutshell so I fear this may be a long post. At least I'll include some pretty pictures.Mode S transponders are slowly replacing Mode C units. This has been on thecards for a while because we are running out of squawks to allocate to aircraft. The future is squawkless because with the new Mode S system each aircraft has a unique code embedded in the transponder.With the Mode C unit you know that a pulse from a ground radar triggers the transponder to reply. That reply is just a four digit code (the squawk) plusheight data. When we get this code our code converter replaces the squawk with a callsign, plus anything else we might need (type, destination). In other words the data is mostly in the ground radar databases and requires constant updating. Aircraft showing a unique squawk like 4551 can displaythe callsign on screen but the dozens of aircraft coding 7000 or 2000 cannotbe identified - we just see the height for these unknown aircraft. With Mode S each aircraft is given a specific code which is set in the transponder on installation - in other words the pilot can't touch it. Thewhole worldwide range is from 000000 to FFFFFF with each country being givena code block to allocate. In the UK we have 400000 to 43FFFF which we have to subdivide for military aircraft and those of the overseas territories like Bermuda, Cayman and the Isle of Man. Mode S transmits little more than Mode C - code, callsign and height - butbecause all Mode S codes are known it means every radar system worldwide can use the same database to convert the Mode S code to a Registration, type and owner. For example go to Airframes at http://www.airframes.org/ and type inthe code 400CB6 and it will give you full data on that aircraft. Peter's C172 G-GYAV may not yet be fitted with Mode S but it has already been allocated a code of 402991. The addition of a callsign is very useful because most airliners have the Mode S hooked up to the FMS and so we cansee the callsign as well as the registration (if we need the latter). Otherthan this basic difference Mode S is not really much different from Mode C as it still needs a conventional radar to pinpoint the location of the aircraft. OK - take a bit of a breather... On we go.. As Mode S evolved it became clear that the system had the capability of sending more data than just code, callsign and height. On a trial in Scandinavia (and another in Alaska) they fitted aircraft with extended squitters that could send height, groundspeed, IAS, track, heading, position, rate of climb and what the pilot had for lunch. This system iscalled ADS-B and you can see its potential because it makes all ground basedradars redundant. Again, this data is sent every second and being general broadcast can be picked up, not just by ATC but anyone with a receiver. In the trial all aircraft had such receivers so all had a complete radar picture of all other aircraft in a radius of approximately 500nm. Not only that but the system was further tweaked to provide TCAS warnings on suchaircraft. Powerful stuff. Even further testing saw Mode S transponders beingfitted to vehicles that regularly move on taxiways and runways - and with this level of use almost any airfield could operate such a system and a Tenerife type accident would become impossible to repeat except through downright stupidity. So we need to know two terms here - Mode S and ADSB. Mode S is slowly being implemented and mandatory carriage is slowly coming in. In a sense it's daft because the CAA are way behind with their Mode S radar installations and so all aircraft so equipped don't yet see anyadvantage in having fitted the kit. ADSB isn't yet mandated for carriage by aircraft and it is likely to be a further decade before it does. Having saidthat something rather unprecedented is happening in aviation in that many aircraft are already installing full ADSB and that before any legislation has even been considered about fitting it. To give you an example I cancurrently see 86 Mode S aircraft on my screen and 47 of these are full ADSB.OK - that's the lecture out of the way, now on to the system.The SBS receiver I use comprises of a decode box and a small aerial just 6"high. Aerial - http://www.homepages.mcb.net/bones/WebPost/SBS_Aerial.jpg SBS Box - http://www.homepages.mcb.net/bones/WebPost/SBS_micro.jpg http://www.homepages.mcb.net/bones/WebPost/SBS_micro1.jpg http://www.homepages.mcb.net/bones/WebPost/SBS_micro2.jpgThe box feeds raw aircraft data to the PC via USB or Ethernet (Wireless via a suitable router). The software converts this to useable data and (for ADSBaircraft) a position on a radar screen. The data flow is immense as each aircraft sends a pulse every second. For 100 aircraft that's 360,000 messages per hour or 8.6 million per day! The BaseStation software looks like this: http://www.homepages.mcb.net/bones/WebPost/BaseStation.gif That shot was taken at 1824 tonight so it's about as current as I can get. For a neat animated GIF from another user see http://www.coaa.co.uk/PPanim.gif On my screen you have the radar view on the left showing all ADSB contacts and on the right is the aircraft list showing all contacts. I'm lucky inthat I have extremely good coverage as the signals are 1090GHz and very muchline of sight - fortunately I don't have many obstacles or high ground around me, apart from a bloody sycamore which I'm sorely tempted to accidentally run a JCB into. The radar screen can be set up to show many different views. If you have good coverage you can set up several to flick between important areas or different magnifications: UK - http://www.homepages.mcb.net/bones/WebPost/ZMMS2.gif Irish Sea - http://www.homepages.mcb.net/bones/WebPost/SBSViewer.gif Shawbury - http://www.homepages.mcb.net/bones/WebPost/ZZCL.gif Manchester Zone - http://www.homepages.mcb.net/bones/WebPost/ZZRoute1.gif Atlantic rush - http://www.homepages.mcb.net/bones/WebPost/ZZTS.gif Doncaster - http://www.homepages.mcb.net/bones/WebPost/Doncaster.gif Dublin - http://www.homepages.mcb.net/bones/WebPost/Label4.gif Sometimes we get ducting and can see aircraft well below the nominal horizon. Theoretically I shouldn't see aircraft over Manchester or Dublin below 5000ft but: Departure from EGCC at 700ft - http://www.homepages.mcb.net/bones/WebPost/DuctEGCC.gif Aircraft on ground at Dublin - http://www.homepages.mcb.net/bones/WebPost/DuctEIDW.gif You can also export the data to Google Earth and see the aircraft in 3D! http://www.homepages.mcb.net/bones/WebPost/GE2.gif As I said before I have pretty good range on my system (although limited northwards by the hills): http://www.homepages.mcb.net/bones/WebPost/Z240.gif Range is really a factor of location and if you live in a valley or abasement apartment in a 24 floor block of flats it's going to kill your fun.You don't want to live in Keighley as one of our users does: http://www.homepages.mcb.net/bones/WebPost/ZZCH2.gif - he can barely get 40nm range on his box. I won't go into the screen display in any detail but you can see it is infinitely tweakable. Some shots have labels on, some off. Some have aheight filter, some have four line aircraft data tags (Manchester Zone) butothers show much less information - I'm currently using just two lines to reduce clutter. Moving on..The display on the right of the screen shows all current aircraft detected:http://www.homepages.mcb.net/bones/WebPost/LOGOS.gif Again this table is infinitely variable and mine only shows a fraction ofthe columns you can display. I've shifted columns around too so you will seedifferent layouts in the shot above and my current display. Note the first column showing the symbols. Full ADSB have an aircraft symbol and Mode S only show as a dot or four dots. After the airline logo you will see the Mode S code for each aircraft (notice there is a miscode in my first shot) followed by the callsign as being sent by the aircraft. If you double click on any aircraft in the list it brings up a furtherwindow showing more detail. In my case I've tweaked the XML code for this toshow more than was originally provided - including pictures: http://www.homepages.mcb.net/bones/WebPost/AD51.gif http://www.homepages.mcb.net/bones/WebPost/List2.gifEnough of the technical side. As far as it goes I think the kit is brilliant- I'd always hoped that ADSB would be mainstream ATC before I retired butit's way behind schedule. SBS allows me to see what I had hoped would be thefuture for ATC. I'm staggered by the range it goes out to - our Watchman barely hits 80nm and the SBS is four times that distance. The electricity bill between the two is laughable. The other major advantage is that the refresh rate of Mode S is once a second -four times faster than a 15 rpm radar head. This is a serious limit for radar talkdowns as a four secondsweep doesn't allow rapid action if things go wrong. That is why most SRA'sare terminated at 2nm from touchdown.In pure usability terms is the SBS a good tool for spotters? In essence (andwith reservations) I'd say yes because your spectrum of data is massivelyincreased and your conception of traffic flow is far greater than trying to picture it by listening to a scanner. It's fascinating seeing traffic stuckin the London holds (http://www.kinetic-avionics.co.uk/imagepopup.php?images/Bscreen_shot.jpg) or on approach to an airport (if you are in line of sight of one).The real question is whether it shows the traffic you are interested in. As a rough guide you can expect most jet fleets to carry full ADSB, especially long haul. Short haul jets are a mix with all Ryanair, BAW, BMA, EasyJet andEuropean national airlines carrying it - but then you get FlyBe who refuse to have anything to do with it and all their aircraft are Mode S only.Likewise it's rare to see any turboprops with full ADSB, just Mode S. Lightaircraft are a mixture - many are now moving to Mode S and we see them in the list but just as many are waiting until the final deadline before kitting up. Having said that I notice a good dozen or so new GA aircraft coming on my list each week. No GA aircraft seem to have full ADSB kit -with the exception of G-BRZS, a Cessna 172 at Blackpool. I don't know wherehe got the kit from but it is definitely full ADSB as I often see him trundling over to Caernarfon from Blackpool and back.Most military aircraft have full ADSB but they encode the position data andwe only get height and speed information - no location. They seem to be fitting kit by unit as we suddenly get a bunch of Leeming Hawks on screen where we'd seen nothing before. Most VC10, C130, Tornado, EuroFighter show up now but I've never picked up any Valley Hawks or any Tucanos.As the box is an expensive bit of kit it's important to consider your needsbefore buying. If it is just local aircraft then you may be disappointed - you won't see lots of light aircraft flying into Wolverhampton but you'll see lots of airline traffic going into Brum. Bit of advice. If you are interested in the kit wait a little while. A newSBS-1e unit is coming out in November and I suspect some users will want to upgrade. If so expect to see a bunch of SBS Mk2 units coming up on Ebay andthis should drop the price down. I bet you wish you have never asked.. ;) bones bones@xxxxxxx http://woodair.net -----Original Message----- From: jhb_airlines-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:jhb_airlines-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Mike Brook Sent: 23 September 2008 17:03 To: jhb_airlines@xxxxxxxxxxxxx Subject: [jhb_airlines] Please refresh these old brain cells Bones - I've totally lost track of your extra-curricular activities re thehardware/software tracking kit that you are using/testing. Could you please provide a status/update regarding what it is and what is happening with it?(If you understand what I mean ... <G>). TIA M.-----Original Message----- From: jhb_airlines-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:jhb_airlines- bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Bones Sent: 23 September 2008 16:45 To: jhb_airlines@xxxxxxxxxxxxx Subject: [jhb_airlines] Re: Next VFR Trip Yes - that was bad luck. Fortunately it made the Southport show despite atrocious weather and also Goodwood and Silverstone last weekend. Luckily the Vulcan has Mode S so it's easy to keep track of. As of last month the BBMF also have Mode S on the Lanc and two Spitfires. I've yet to pick these up. bones bones@xxxxxxx http://woodair.net -----Original Message----- From: jhb_airlines-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:jhb_airlines-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Mike Brook Sent: 23 September 2008 16:23 To: jhb_airlines@xxxxxxxxxxxxx Subject: [jhb_airlines] Re: Next VFR Trip Following the railway, no doubt. I was SOOOO upset not to have seen it t'other week at Shoreham 8-( M.
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