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FLARM firmware release schedule



 
 
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  #1  
Old January 4th 11, 09:07 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Andy[_1_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,565
Default FLARM firmware release schedule

This may be of interst to those who have ordered PowerFLARM:

http://flarm.net/support/updates/index_en.html

This part is very worrying to me:

"When is the next scheduled service update due?
Since its creation FLARM has maintained scheduled updates, initially
in a one year cycle, in 2006 a two year cycle, and last time in 2008 a
three year cycle. As the technology matures, we further extend this
period to now four years, i.e. March 1, 2015. This is more convenient
for some users, but slows down the innovation cycle, possibly delaying
the use in new applications."

Surely FLARM cannot believe that they will deliver in April fully
functional and bug free software for PowerFLARM. Will owners have to
live with any bugs or missing functionality until 2015?

Is there some path by which PowerFLARM will be updated independently
of the main FLARM firmware update schedule?

Andy


Ads
  #2  
Old January 4th 11, 10:03 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
cernauta
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 121
Default FLARM firmware release schedule

On Tue, 4 Jan 2011 12:07:13 -0800 (PST), Andy
wrote:

Is there some path by which PowerFLARM will be updated independently
of the main FLARM firmware update schedule?

Andy


Let me explain what happened during the past experience:

Flarm was released with firmware 1.0
Some modifications have been implemented in following 1.x versions.

firmware 2.0 and, later, the current v3.0 identify two different
communication protocols, each time making the older version outdated
and, by all means, non functional as a traffic awareness device.
Development went on, with the related 3.x versions.

So, v4.0 will mark, "most probably" I may add just to be prepared to
possible corrections, a new firmware which will not be compatible with
older 1, 2 & 3 versions. All units will have to be updated, otherwise
you will not be able to "see or be seen" in Flarms terms.

Then, 4.x versions will probably follow.

The updating up to "x" versions is not compulsory, while the shift to
the v.4 will be necessary and "compulsory" (if you wish your Flarm to
be worth more than just good a source of GPS data and, in Europe at
least, a warning against collision with known existing obstacles in
the ground like powerlines, antennas etc.)

aldo cernezzi
  #3  
Old January 4th 11, 10:09 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Chris Nicholas[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 197
Default FLARM firmware release schedule

I had my standard Swiss Flarm software updated (free) as required in
2008, in common with every other then user that wanted to continue its
functionality. There were no bugs to eliminate as far as I know. I
could tell no difference between before and after.

I do not expect any other differences to be apparent after the next
update, but it is possible that they will have made improvements to
such things as algorithms, which may work better, but probably not in
a way that is readily apparent.

I suspect that there may be other reasons why they have periodic
software updates, to do with possibly obviating reverse engineering,
or other commercial reasons. I have no inside knowledge, but I
certainly have not had any reasons to suspect bugs at any time.

I think your fears are misplaced, though understandable from somebody
who is not yet a satisfied user. (I am.)

Chris N

  #4  
Old January 5th 11, 06:01 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
mattm[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 167
Default FLARM firmware release schedule

On Jan 4, 3:07*pm, Andy wrote:
This may be of interst to those who have ordered PowerFLARM:

http://flarm.net/support/updates/index_en.html

This part is very worrying to me:

"When is the next scheduled service update due?
Since its creation FLARM has maintained scheduled updates, initially
in a one year cycle, in 2006 a two year cycle, and last time in 2008 a
three year cycle. As the technology matures, we further extend this
period to now four years, i.e. March 1, 2015. This is more convenient
for some users, but slows down the innovation cycle, possibly delaying
the use in new applications."

Surely FLARM cannot believe that they will deliver in April fully
functional and bug free software for PowerFLARM. *Will owners have to
live with any bugs or missing functionality until 2015?

Is there some path by which PowerFLARM will be updated independently
of the main FLARM firmware update schedule?

Andy


I'll also point out that the FLARM protocol is patented, and supplied
to the vendors
as software that they include in their units. The fact that
PowerFLARM will
come out with a stable and working FLARM protocol version is good
news.
The software that handles ADS-B and transponder traffic is separate
from
the supplied FLARM software indicated in the notice quoted above. If
there's
any problems in that part it can be updated immediately.

-- Matt
  #5  
Old January 5th 11, 06:49 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Eric Greenwell[_4_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,744
Default FLARM firmware release schedule

On 1/4/2011 9:01 PM, mattm wrote:
On Jan 4, 3:07 pm, wrote:



Surely FLARM cannot believe that they will deliver in April fully
functional and bug free software for PowerFLARM. Will owners have to
live with any bugs or missing functionality until 2015?

Is there some path by which PowerFLARM will be updated independently
of the main FLARM firmware update schedule?

Andy


I'll also point out that the FLARM protocol is patented, and supplied
to the vendors
as software that they include in their units. The fact that
PowerFLARM will
come out with a stable and working FLARM protocol version is good
news.
The software that handles ADS-B and transponder traffic is separate
from
the supplied FLARM software indicated in the notice quoted above. If
there's
any problems in that part it can be updated immediately.


That's a good point: the ADS-B and transponder stuff isn't really part
of FLARM. That information is just processed and delivered to the
pilot's display(s). None of it is used in the broadcasts to other FLARM
users.

--
Eric Greenwell - Washington State, USA (change ".netto" to ".us" to
email me)
  #6  
Old January 5th 11, 10:25 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Sven[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 9
Default FLARM firmware release schedule

On Jan 5, 7:49*am, Eric Greenwell wrote:
On 1/4/2011 9:01 PM, mattm wrote:





On Jan 4, 3:07 pm, *wrote:


Surely FLARM cannot believe that they will deliver in April fully
functional and bug free software for PowerFLARM. *Will owners have to
live with any bugs or missing functionality until 2015?


Is there some path by which PowerFLARM will be updated independently
of the main FLARM firmware update schedule?


Andy


I'll also point out that the FLARM protocol is patented, and supplied
to the vendors
as software that they include in their units. *The fact that
PowerFLARM will
come out with a stable and working FLARM protocol version is good
news.
The software that handles ADS-B and transponder traffic is separate
from
the supplied FLARM software indicated in the notice quoted above. *If
there's
any problems in that part it can be updated immediately.


That's a good point: the ADS-B and transponder stuff isn't really part
of FLARM. That information is just processed and delivered to the
pilot's display(s). None of it is used in the broadcasts to other FLARM
users.

--
Eric Greenwell - Washington State, USA (change ".netto" to ".us" to
email me)- Hide quoted text -

- Show quoted text -


FLARM Software Maintenance 2011

Dear FLARM-user
Every few years, all FLARM devices have to undergo a scheduled
maintenance through software update. The next such free, but mandatory
update is due end February 2011. To inform you about this update the
units will, from Jan 1st
2011 on, issue a warning at startup, but then operate normally. This
is further explained in the operating manual.

We have been working hard on the new release 5 and had some of our
equipment and staff present for final, large scale tests at the
Australian National competitions in Lake Keepit in Nov / Dec 2010.
Unfortunately, the competition got cancelled due to continued bad
weather. Our team then moved north but was not able to get flight-time
due to weather. We thus moved our staff to the South African Nationals
in Welkom which had lots of rain but still had some flying days. As a
result, we got reasonable feedback, but not the wide test we require
for a full release. Overall efforts spent in time, money, sweat and
nerves to support these southern hemisphere flight testing was
immense.

The next steps towards the new release 5 are as follows:

Release 5 is expected to be released in early February 2011.
IF YOU DONíT USE YOUR FLARM UNTIL THEN, DONíT DO ANYTHING AND WAIT FOR
THIS RELEASE.

A release 4.10 is available for download for FLARM and all compatible
designs.
USE THIS RELEASE IF YOUR ARE FLYING NOW AND WANT TO REMOVE THE
MESSAGES AT STARTUP.
It is fully operational till end of Feb 2011, but will issue a warning
at startup after beginning of Feb 2011 and must be replaced with
release 5.00 then. There are no added features or changes in
functionality in it relative to earlier releases such as 4.07 or
higher.
http://www.flarm.com/support/updates/index_en.html (right side)

A public beta-release 4.90 (i.e. a preview of release 5.00) is
available for download for FLARM classic designs (incl. IGC and ENL
versions), not yet for compatible designs. The beta 4.90 is fully
compatible with all other units.
It is operational till end of Feb 2011 and must be replaced with
release 5.00 then. USE THIS RELEASE IF YOUR ARE FLYING NOW AND ARE
INTERESTED IN HELPING US TEST THE NEW RELEASE AND REPORT US BACK YOUR
OBSERVATION AND IGC LOG FILES to
http://www.flarm.com/support/updates/index_en.html (right side) A
similar public-beta release for compatible designs LX, Ediatec and RF-
Developments will be made available during January.

Release 5 contains a new, higher performance FLARM engine which will
be able to process more aircraft, a major redesign of the software
required for integration of FLARM-features into hang-gliders and
powered aircraft (PowerFLARM), its software-data-fusion with
transponder-data and related requirements from regulators like EASA
and FCC. This requires a modification to the radio communication
amongst the units where we introduce frequency hopping to increase the
radio bandwidth and reliability as well as some back-and-forth radio
bursts for checking radio communication quality. These improvements
would not be possible without a firmware update in all devices of the
FLARM network.
An updated obstacle database, which has grown to over 35í000 objects
will be available, too.

When is the next scheduled service update due?
Since its creation FLARM has maintained scheduled updates, initially
in a one year cycle, in 2006 a two year cycle, and last time in 2008 a
three year cycle. As the technology matures, we further extend this
period to now four years, i.e. March 1, 2015. This is more convenient
for some users, but slows down the innovation cycle, possibly delaying
the use in new applications.

Why scheduled, mandatory updates?
The ability to update the whole network without being limited by
constraints of the past is one of the key features of FLARM and has
allowed it to adapt to rapidly expanding requirements. Many parts of
aircraft require scheduled maintenance; this is not a concept which is
new to aviation.

Best wishes for 2011
The FLARM team


www.flarm.com


___________________
  #7  
Old January 5th 11, 03:11 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Andy[_1_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,565
Default FLARM firmware release schedule

On Jan 4, 10:01*pm, mattm wrote:
On Jan 4, 3:07*pm, Andy wrote:



This may be of interst to those who have ordered PowerFLARM:


http://flarm.net/support/updates/index_en.html


This part is very worrying to me:


"When is the next scheduled service update due?
Since its creation FLARM has maintained scheduled updates, initially
in a one year cycle, in 2006 a two year cycle, and last time in 2008 a
three year cycle. As the technology matures, we further extend this
period to now four years, i.e. March 1, 2015. This is more convenient
for some users, but slows down the innovation cycle, possibly delaying
the use in new applications."


Surely FLARM cannot believe that they will deliver in April fully
functional and bug free software for PowerFLARM. *Will owners have to
live with any bugs or missing functionality until 2015?


Is there some path by which PowerFLARM will be updated independently
of the main FLARM firmware update schedule?


Andy


I'll also point out that the FLARM protocol is patented, and supplied
to the vendors
as software that they include in their units. *The fact that
PowerFLARM will
come out with a stable and working FLARM protocol version is good
news.
The software that handles ADS-B and transponder traffic is separate
from
the supplied FLARM software indicated in the notice quoted above. *If
there's
any problems in that part it can be updated immediately.

-- Matt


Are you suggesting that PowerFLARM uses a partitioned architecture, or
that that these "non FLARM" functions are handled by a separate
processor? If not, there will be one firmware load that supports all
functions. Of course it's reasonable to expect that the firmware load
for PowerFLARM will be device specific.

I'm still hoping that someone close to the project will say what
functionality will be in the first delivery and what schedule is
planned for adding any functionality that is not included.

How are you so certain about the maturity of FLARM software. Did you
read the part about the significant changes to RF protocols and the
difficulties in getting adequate in service test time? It would not
surprise me bit if this RF change pulls resources away from PowerFLARM
new features.

Just in case anyone doubts my enthusiasm for PowerFLARM I'll go on
record as having ordered two. That's why I would like more
information on what to expect when.

Andy
  #8  
Old January 5th 11, 04:40 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
mattm[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 167
Default FLARM firmware release schedule

On Jan 5, 9:11*am, Andy wrote:
On Jan 4, 10:01*pm, mattm wrote:



On Jan 4, 3:07*pm, Andy wrote:


This may be of interst to those who have ordered PowerFLARM:


http://flarm.net/support/updates/index_en.html


This part is very worrying to me:


"When is the next scheduled service update due?
Since its creation FLARM has maintained scheduled updates, initially
in a one year cycle, in 2006 a two year cycle, and last time in 2008 a
three year cycle. As the technology matures, we further extend this
period to now four years, i.e. March 1, 2015. This is more convenient
for some users, but slows down the innovation cycle, possibly delaying
the use in new applications."


Surely FLARM cannot believe that they will deliver in April fully
functional and bug free software for PowerFLARM. *Will owners have to
live with any bugs or missing functionality until 2015?


Is there some path by which PowerFLARM will be updated independently
of the main FLARM firmware update schedule?


Andy


I'll also point out that the FLARM protocol is patented, and supplied
to the vendors
as software that they include in their units. *The fact that
PowerFLARM will
come out with a stable and working FLARM protocol version is good
news.
The software that handles ADS-B and transponder traffic is separate
from
the supplied FLARM software indicated in the notice quoted above. *If
there's
any problems in that part it can be updated immediately.


-- Matt


Are you suggesting that PowerFLARM uses a partitioned architecture, or
that that these "non FLARM" functions are handled by a separate
processor? * If not, there will be one firmware load that supports all
functions. *Of course it's reasonable to expect that the firmware load
for PowerFLARM will be device specific.

I'm still hoping that someone close to the project will say what
functionality will be in the first delivery and what schedule is
planned for adding any functionality that is not included.

How are you so certain about the maturity of FLARM software. *Did you
read the part about the significant changes to *RF protocols and the
difficulties in getting adequate in service test time? *It would not
surprise me bit if this RF change pulls resources away from PowerFLARM
new features.

Just in case anyone doubts my enthusiasm for PowerFLARM I'll go on
record as having ordered two. *That's why I would like more
information on what to expect when.

Andy


The terms of the FLARM patent are that FLARM supplies code to vendors
of FLARM hardware that implements the protocol. The code is meant to
be imbedded in the firmware for the hardware. Additional function
beyond
the protocol (user interface, ADS-B, etc.) is up to the individual
vendor.
When the FLARM protocol gets updated then Butterfly will make an
updated firmware available. They can also update the firmware
independently
if needed for some other reason.

The RF changes (the new frequency for the US?) is a very minor change.
FLARM already runs on different frequencies in different parts of the
world.

-- Matt
  #9  
Old January 5th 11, 05:49 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Kenneth Kilbourne
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2
Default FLARM firmware release schedule

At 15:40 05 January 2011, mattm wrote:
On Jan 5, 9:11=A0am, Andy wrote:
On Jan 4, 10:01=A0pm, mattm wrote:



On Jan 4, 3:07=A0pm, Andy wrote:


This may be of interst to those who have ordered PowerFLARM:


http://flarm.net/support/updates/index_en.html


This part is very worrying to me:


"When is the next scheduled service update due?
Since its creation FLARM has maintained scheduled updates,

initially
in a one year cycle, in 2006 a two year cycle, and last time in

2008
=
a
three year cycle. As the technology matures, we further extend

this
period to now four years, i.e. March 1, 2015. This is more

convenient
for some users, but slows down the innovation cycle, possibly

delayin=
g
the use in new applications."


Surely FLARM cannot believe that they will deliver in April fully
functional and bug free software for PowerFLARM. =A0Will owners

have
=
to
live with any bugs or missing functionality until 2015?


Is there some path by which PowerFLARM will be updated

independently
of the main FLARM firmware update schedule?


Andy


I'll also point out that the FLARM protocol is patented, and

supplied
to the vendors
as software that they include in their units. =A0The fact that
PowerFLARM will
come out with a stable and working FLARM protocol version is good
news.
The software that handles ADS-B and transponder traffic is separate
from
the supplied FLARM software indicated in the notice quoted above.

=A0If
there's
any problems in that part it can be updated immediately.


-- Matt


Are you suggesting that PowerFLARM uses a partitioned architecture, or
that that these "non FLARM" functions are handled by a separate
processor? =A0 If not, there will be one firmware load that supports

all
functions. =A0Of course it's reasonable to expect that the firmware

load
for PowerFLARM will be device specific.

I'm still hoping that someone close to the project will say what
functionality will be in the first delivery and what schedule is
planned for adding any functionality that is not included.

How are you so certain about the maturity of FLARM software. =A0Did

you
read the part about the significant changes to =A0RF protocols and the
difficulties in getting adequate in service test time? =A0It would not
surprise me bit if this RF change pulls resources away from PowerFLARM
new features.

Just in case anyone doubts my enthusiasm for PowerFLARM I'll go on
record as having ordered two. =A0That's why I would like more
information on what to expect when.

Andy


The terms of the FLARM patent are that FLARM supplies code to vendors
of FLARM hardware that implements the protocol. The code is meant to
be imbedded in the firmware for the hardware. Additional function
beyond
the protocol (user interface, ADS-B, etc.) is up to the individual
vendor.
When the FLARM protocol gets updated then Butterfly will make an
updated firmware available. They can also update the firmware
independently
if needed for some other reason.

The RF changes (the new frequency for the US?) is a very minor change.
FLARM already runs on different frequencies in different parts of the
world.

-- Matt
Can someone explain the differences between the Vaon MRX and the FLARM ?


  #10  
Old January 5th 11, 06:30 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Darryl Ramm
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2,389
Default FLARM firmware release schedule

On Jan 5, 7:40*am, mattm wrote:
[snip]

The terms of the FLARM patent are that FLARM supplies code to vendors
of FLARM hardware that implements the protocol. *The code is meant to
be imbedded in the firmware for the hardware. *Additional function
beyond
the protocol (user interface, ADS-B, etc.) is up to the individual
vendor.
When the FLARM protocol gets updated then Butterfly will make an
updated firmware available. *They can also update the firmware
independently
if needed for some other reason.

The RF changes (the new frequency for the US?) is a very minor change.
FLARM already runs on different frequencies in different parts of the
world.

-- Matt


I'm not sure what is meant by "terms of a patent" but there are a few
confusing things here.

To be clear Flarm does not provide firmware "code" to current third
party licensees it provides a single image binary firmware that runs
on all current devices that implement the Flarm protocol. The
licensees use a hardware design licensed from Flarm that provides this
binary compatibility. This is an impressive and important technical
achievement that ensures full compatibility across devices. The
PowerFLARM is a new generation device that Flarm is developing
(closely with Butterfly the hardware OEM) that can't practically do
anything else but require a new generation of firmware to support the
new features since technically the current firmware does not provide
low level things needed to say properly integrate Flarm and ADS-B
functionality. Its not just stuff anybody should want an OEM to try to
add "on the side".

BTW existing Flarm devices already support the USA frequency (and
specific frequencies for other geographies) but they are not legal/FCC
approved to use in the USA. This has been gone over here before.

Darryl
 




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