Shoestring Flyer wrote:I have not physically used PAW but I do struggle with the concept of coloured rings of varying size for mode A/C/S bearingless targets and it seems that others are now finding it difficult to quickly interpret what is being displayed to them using the coloured ring idea.
I still use my quite brilliant Zaon MRX which guesstimates the distance and vertical height as a proper distance number which is logical to interpret and understand.
Yes it is not a perfect estimate of distance but I know to ignore anything that is above 2miles away and if I see the distance reducing in either plane, regardless of being visual with the traffic or not, I can adjust my flightplath accordingly. It is so easy to understand!
The Zaon obviously cannot be replaced as the company no longer exists so a replacement will sooner or later will be an issue for me. PAW is the current obvious choice but I want numbered distance not coloured rings!!
What I would like to see is someone reverse engineer a Zaon MRX?...Please? I just don't know why some has not done this. I paid around £300 for it 10years ago and it is worth its weight in gold.
It is fag packet sized, sits on the glareshield and is simplicity itself and it tells me what I want to know about other bearingless transponder equipped traffic .
@Shoestring Flyer ,
I also still have a Zaon MRX, which I started using back in 2009, and which was what persuaded me to pursue the reporting of otherwise 'Bearingless' Mode S (initially), and subsequently Mode C targets with PilotAware. I am therefore also well aware of the limitations of Bearingless Target Alerts, but in view of the high number of aircraft still using Mode C or Mode S transponders, I can see no reliable alternative (at least outside the coverage area of the soon-to-be-released OGN-R Mode-S/3D).
I also fully understand Tim's reticence to act on a mere ' aircraft somewhere at xx altitude' report from SkyEcho, however the type of report provided by PilotAware (and PowerFLARM) and reported on SkyDemon as concentric coloured rings (and in other ways on other Nav Systems) is a different thing entirely.
Firstly, the coloured rings denote degree of risk (or danger) presented by the reported aircraft
. The rings DO NOT in any way represent a 'safe zone' or the distance the other aircraft is away from your own
. PilotAware does NOT report
(or attempt to report) the distance
that an incoming 'Bearingless' aircraft is from the user's PilotAware Unit. This was a deliberate decision to reflect the known inaccuracies of trying to reporting distance from signal strength from a massive variety and combination of different equipment, antennas and installations in different (or even similar) aircraft.
, however report the aircraft's 'Hex ID' - usually converted to its 'Reg ID' - to the Nav System, together with the Relative Altitude of the aircraft - derived directly from its transponder response to any RADAR interrogation. It also reports a 'threat level' based on a 3D measurement of the strength of that signal and compared to a predetermined database. This report takes the form of one of 3 threat levels, increasing in importance as the range between the target and host aircraft reduces.
These threat levels are then reported by each Nav system developer in different ways dependent on their preference or taking account of other factors.
In the case of PilotAware's own 'RADAR' screen and Easy VFR, the warning is presented on a coloured banner near the top of the screen, containing the Aircraft details (Reg ID where known - or 'Mode C') and Relative Altitude. The colour of the banner Green, Amber or Red denotes increasing danger and will change if the user and target aircraft continue to close range.
With SkyDemon, the same information is presented, but as a coloured ring, centred on the User's Aircraft, with the Aircraft Details (Reg ID where known - or 'Mode C') and Relative Altitude displayed at the 12 o'clock position on the ring. The colour of the ring - Green, Amber or Red - again denotes increasing danger and will again change if the aircraft continue to close range, but in Sky Demon's case the rings also get smaller as they change colour to emphasise that the range is closing.
In all of the above cases, the 'sensitivity' i.e. the 'range' at which you start to receive bearingless target warnings and at which each subsequent increase in 'Danger Level' is triggered is 'User Selectable' in PilotAware.
In all cases, the operation is both simple and effective - especially if you also have the PilotAware Audio Warnings enabled. All you need to do when you receive a warning is focus your initial lookout based on the reported relative altitude and be prepared to consider appropriate avoiding action based on the relative altitude reports if the initial threat level increases significantly .
Hope this helps.