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Information for all users of Flarm, OEM FLARM supplier and Flarm PowerFlarm



 
 
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  #1  
Old March 3rd 16, 10:26 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1
Default Information for all users of Flarm, OEM FLARM supplier and Flarm PowerFlarm

Hello Everybody
I worked for 20 years in ABB Deutschland and I have many colleagues who deal with electronic devices and GPS RF design.
We conducted a study on the operation of FLARM and the latest firmware release. I describe below what we found, and we hope that other competent can confirm our findings.
An Italian friend has translated this my description you will find at the end of the English version.

As is already well known to all users pilots, FLARM introducing the new coding xxtea present in the latest versions of firmware released, has largely complicated life to all of us and to itself.
With the new release the whole package of 24 bytes used for the data is encrypted (the length of the data packet is actually 32 bytes, but the first 8 bytes are left in clear because they include the name of the station as well as the meaning of the content of rest of the data packet ).
With this letter we want to bring to the attention of all users as well as the competent aeronautical authorities the weak points of this new solution, but especially the incredible risks to which this technical choice of Flarm is exposesing all of us. These risks were detected after very accurate tests performed in private laboratories in consequence to the release of the current firmware adopted. FLARM very hardly will admit the existence of these bugs and failures that we are exposing in detail.
The following data are explained in such a way so that people have the skills and the instruments can verify the truth of what is below reported.
This subject is independent from the Flarm decision to encrypt the protocol in order to protect themselves from potential and possible competitors.
It is obvious that the encryption has been introduced for this protectionist purpose, because from a merely technical point the integrity of the data transmission was already well protected by natively incorporated algorithms within the Nordic chip used in the Flarm hardware. For those that desire more technical information on this chip, is possible to click the following link http://www.nordicsemi.com/eng/conten...RF905_v1.5.pdf
ALL manufacturers (except one) who claim to be "Flarm compatible" have inside EXACTLY the same hardware required by FLARM and they use the firmware released by FLARM (under payment of expensive license fee).
This behavior that we know from long time, is contrary to the principle of "development for competition" than in other fields has always given excellent results in technological development.
This behavior is especially contrary to the competition's principle that is mandatory by European rules for the sale of products to the public, it means that once people purchase products they should be functional and usable by the owner independently by firmware update. It's enough to think about Window as well as OS operating systems, that are fully compatible with earlier versions of software and operating systems used before.
But we want to come back to the description of the technical problems/issues , that is the main focus of this information.
The data package, which we have mentioned above, is broadcasted by FLARM units (it doesn't matter the licensed manufacturer) 2 times every second based on the internal clock of the GPS; the first transmission takes place in the first half of the "second", the second transmission in the second half.
For this reason, when the FLARM unit is receiving in RF (radio frequency) transmissions of FLARM installed on gliders nearby, and in addition these gliders are a lot, the available bandwidth in reception is saturated very quickly.
According to this situation when there are more traffic to be controlled/monitored, and thus the potential danger situations is increasing, the FLARM operates in the worst and most unreliable manner.
But unfortunally this is not the only technical problem source of malfunctioning . We've found a far more dangerous firmware bug we're going to detail below.
In order to complicate a possible decryption by third parties, the encryption key used by FLARM is not fixed anymore (as it was for the older version of the firmware) but is built with the code of the transmitting station and as well as with the GPS time of the first transmission moment ,and is changed every 64 seconds.
In addition to this during the 64 second interval, the data string transmitted change every second, because of the GPS position data updated is inside it.
The creator of the encryption code XXTEA says, and it is also reported by other cryptanalysts (see the articles by John Kelsey, Bruce Schneier, and David Wagner from 2002 to 2004), that exist certain combinations of DATA and KEYS in the encryption code XXTEA that, for some coding schemes, are producing results that WILL NOT BE PROPERLY decrypted also using THE CORRECT KEY.
This means in simple terms that there could be the possibility that some gliders nearby, whose code was not properly decoded , remain invisible to the system for at least 64 seconds, in other words until the next creation of the encryption key.
Of course it could happen the opposite case to be ourselves in the glider that at that moment is not properly decrypted by nearby gliders ; so we are invisible to others for at least 64 seconds.
This behavior has been detected with precise laboratory instruments by simply recording the exchange of data between three FLARM units for 48 hours.
Another unreliability detected comes from the fact that when a glider flies underneath thick clouds and is at high bank angles , may occasionally lose the connection to the GPS network. In this situation, the firmware should transmit only the last certain position detected by the GPS, waiting to transmit the new one as soon as the GPS hangs up the signal. The new version of the firmware without the GPS signal stops transmitting and receiving. It is easy to understand this by disconnecting the GPS antenna of a FLARM unit in operation and observing the lights that indicate the transmission and reception are turning off. Moreover , it is clearly understood by the evidence that a second FLARM device stops receiving the signal of the first device.
For the reason that the current firmware version in the absence of GPS signal stops transmitting and receiving, if ,at the time of losing GPS signal while change of encryption key , that glider will again be invisible for 64 seconds .
We report and highlight all this, a technical denial evidence based on irrefutable arguments, to loudly state that the decision of FLARM to encode the data packet using the encrypting code XXTEA, is generating flying situations that will put even more in danger OUR SAFETY, instead of protecting it, as it should be with the use of such a device.
At this point it is quite easy to say that the decision of FLARM is exclusively oriented to maintain an unlawful monopoly, for personal gain, in absolute disregard of the safety of FLARM users.
We affirm that is impossible to think the FLARM when issuing the new firmware version with the new encryption in March 2015, did not know what risks and unreliability exposed his system.
We say in all honesty that a collision avoidance system such as the one created by FLARM was certainly a great idea for the increased safety of pilots , but the search for more profit and the defense of its own unsustainable monopoly on the market through the continuous evolution of firmware only for protectionist purposes has brought today, with the latest firmware, to a situation in which this security is certainly not guaranteed, even though the FLARM devices are installed properly and working fine.
In light of these information, which we submit to the whole world of pilots, we wonder how could the relevant national and international aviation bodies (EASA first, then the French and other federations) push for the adoption of the current Flarm monopoly systems in everyday use and especially in competitions.
This information is therefore intended to attract interest for institutions, authorities and personalities involved in the flight's regulation , in order to arrive to the imposition of a public non-encrypted protocol.
This solution guarantee an excellent and reliable operation of FLARM units produced up to now, because no longer burdened by unnecessary decryption calculations, would guarantee in terms of competition the possibility of diversify the quality of the different vendors' solutions through different software developments management of traffic information received with the public protocol.
The aforementioned technical info are absolutely replicable and verifiable by anyone who has available the appropriate equipment and technical skills.
We hope with this letter ,we made a contribution to the safety growth of the flying community

Herbert Khum
ABB Deutschland
+41 43 317 71 22
Ads
  #2  
Old March 3rd 16, 03:52 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 374
Default Information for all users of Flarm, OEM FLARM supplier and Flarm PowerFlarm

On Thursday, March 3, 2016 at 9:26:47 AM UTC, wrote:
Hello Everybody
I worked for 20 years in ABB Deutschland and I have many colleagues who deal with electronic devices and GPS RF design.
We conducted a study on the operation of FLARM and the latest firmware release. I describe below what we found, and we hope that other competent can confirm our findings.
An Italian friend has translated this my description you will find at the end of the English version.

As is already well known to all users pilots, FLARM introducing the new coding xxtea present in the latest versions of firmware released, has largely complicated life to all of us and to itself.
With the new release the whole package of 24 bytes used for the data is encrypted (the length of the data packet is actually 32 bytes, but the first 8 bytes are left in clear because they include the name of the station as well as the meaning of the content of rest of the data packet ).
With this letter we want to bring to the attention of all users as well as the competent aeronautical authorities the weak points of this new solution, but especially the incredible risks to which this technical choice of Flarm is exposesing all of us. These risks were detected after very accurate tests performed in private laboratories in consequence to the release of the current firmware adopted. FLARM very hardly will admit the existence of these bugs and failures that we are exposing in detail.
The following data are explained in such a way so that people have the skills and the instruments can verify the truth of what is below reported.
This subject is independent from the Flarm decision to encrypt the protocol in order to protect themselves from potential and possible competitors.
It is obvious that the encryption has been introduced for this protectionist purpose, because from a merely technical point the integrity of the data transmission was already well protected by natively incorporated algorithms within the Nordic chip used in the Flarm hardware. For those that desire more technical information on this chip, is possible to click the following link http://www.nordicsemi.com/eng/conten...RF905_v1.5.pdf
ALL manufacturers (except one) who claim to be "Flarm compatible" have inside EXACTLY the same hardware required by FLARM and they use the firmware released by FLARM (under payment of expensive license fee).
This behavior that we know from long time, is contrary to the principle of "development for competition" than in other fields has always given excellent results in technological development.
This behavior is especially contrary to the competition's principle that is mandatory by European rules for the sale of products to the public, it means that once people purchase products they should be functional and usable by the owner independently by firmware update. It's enough to think about Window as well as OS operating systems, that are fully compatible with earlier versions of software and operating systems used before.
But we want to come back to the description of the technical problems/issues , that is the main focus of this information.
The data package, which we have mentioned above, is broadcasted by FLARM units (it doesn't matter the licensed manufacturer) 2 times every second based on the internal clock of the GPS; the first transmission takes place in the first half of the "second", the second transmission in the second half.
For this reason, when the FLARM unit is receiving in RF (radio frequency) transmissions of FLARM installed on gliders nearby, and in addition these gliders are a lot, the available bandwidth in reception is saturated very quickly.
According to this situation when there are more traffic to be controlled/monitored, and thus the potential danger situations is increasing, the FLARM operates in the worst and most unreliable manner.
But unfortunally this is not the only technical problem source of malfunctioning . We've found a far more dangerous firmware bug we're going to detail below.
In order to complicate a possible decryption by third parties, the encryption key used by FLARM is not fixed anymore (as it was for the older version of the firmware) but is built with the code of the transmitting station and as well as with the GPS time of the first transmission moment ,and is changed every 64 seconds.
In addition to this during the 64 second interval, the data string transmitted change every second, because of the GPS position data updated is inside it.
The creator of the encryption code XXTEA says, and it is also reported by other cryptanalysts (see the articles by John Kelsey, Bruce Schneier, and David Wagner from 2002 to 2004), that exist certain combinations of DATA and KEYS in the encryption code XXTEA that, for some coding schemes, are producing results that WILL NOT BE PROPERLY decrypted also using THE CORRECT KEY.
This means in simple terms that there could be the possibility that some gliders nearby, whose code was not properly decoded , remain invisible to the system for at least 64 seconds, in other words until the next creation of the encryption key.
Of course it could happen the opposite case to be ourselves in the glider that at that moment is not properly decrypted by nearby gliders ; so we are invisible to others for at least 64 seconds.
This behavior has been detected with precise laboratory instruments by simply recording the exchange of data between three FLARM units for 48 hours.
Another unreliability detected comes from the fact that when a glider flies underneath thick clouds and is at high bank angles , may occasionally lose the connection to the GPS network. In this situation, the firmware should transmit only the last certain position detected by the GPS, waiting to transmit the new one as soon as the GPS hangs up the signal. The new version of the firmware without the GPS signal stops transmitting and receiving. It is easy to understand this by disconnecting the GPS antenna of a FLARM unit in operation and observing the lights that indicate the transmission and reception are turning off. Moreover , it is clearly understood by the evidence that a second FLARM device stops receiving the signal of the first device.
For the reason that the current firmware version in the absence of GPS signal stops transmitting and receiving, if ,at the time of losing GPS signal while change of encryption key , that glider will again be invisible for 64 seconds .
We report and highlight all this, a technical denial evidence based on irrefutable arguments, to loudly state that the decision of FLARM to encode the data packet using the encrypting code XXTEA, is generating flying situations that will put even more in danger OUR SAFETY, instead of protecting it, as it should be with the use of such a device.
At this point it is quite easy to say that the decision of FLARM is exclusively oriented to maintain an unlawful monopoly, for personal gain, in absolute disregard of the safety of FLARM users.
We affirm that is impossible to think the FLARM when issuing the new firmware version with the new encryption in March 2015, did not know what risks and unreliability exposed his system.
We say in all honesty that a collision avoidance system such as the one created by FLARM was certainly a great idea for the increased safety of pilots , but the search for more profit and the defense of its own unsustainable monopoly on the market through the continuous evolution of firmware only for protectionist purposes has brought today, with the latest firmware, to a situation in which this security is certainly not guaranteed, even though the FLARM devices are installed properly and working fine.
In light of these information, which we submit to the whole world of pilots, we wonder how could the relevant national and international aviation bodies (EASA first, then the French and other federations) push for the adoption of the current Flarm monopoly systems in everyday use and especially in competitions.
This information is therefore intended to attract interest for institutions, authorities and personalities involved in the flight's regulation , in order to arrive to the imposition of a public non-encrypted protocol.
This solution guarantee an excellent and reliable operation of FLARM units produced up to now, because no longer burdened by unnecessary decryption calculations, would guarantee in terms of competition the possibility of diversify the quality of the different vendors' solutions through different software developments management of traffic information received with the public protocol.
The aforementioned technical info are absolutely replicable and verifiable by anyone who has available the appropriate equipment and technical skills.
We hope with this letter ,we made a contribution to the safety growth of the flying community

Herbert Khum
ABB Deutschland
+41 43 317 71 22


I am not in a position to comment on the technical aspect of this posting but, as a technical note, it would carry a lot more weight in my mind if it were couched in less emotive terms.

John Galloway
  #3  
Old March 3rd 16, 04:18 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Matt Herron Jr.
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 525
Default Information for all users of Flarm, OEM FLARM supplier and Flarm PowerFlarm

Herbert,

How many times in 48 hours did this 64 second dropout occur? Are you planning to publish your results and methods of testing?

Matt
  #4  
Old March 3rd 16, 05:02 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
jfitch
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,083
Default Information for all users of Flarm, OEM FLARM supplier and Flarm PowerFlarm

On Thursday, March 3, 2016 at 1:26:47 AM UTC-8, wrote:
Hello Everybody
I worked for 20 years in ABB Deutschland and I have many colleagues who deal with electronic devices and GPS RF design.
We conducted a study on the operation of FLARM and the latest firmware release. I describe below what we found, and we hope that other competent can confirm our findings.
An Italian friend has translated this my description you will find at the end of the English version.

As is already well known to all users pilots, FLARM introducing the new coding xxtea present in the latest versions of firmware released, has largely complicated life to all of us and to itself.
With the new release the whole package of 24 bytes used for the data is encrypted (the length of the data packet is actually 32 bytes, but the first 8 bytes are left in clear because they include the name of the station as well as the meaning of the content of rest of the data packet ).
With this letter we want to bring to the attention of all users as well as the competent aeronautical authorities the weak points of this new solution, but especially the incredible risks to which this technical choice of Flarm is exposesing all of us. These risks were detected after very accurate tests performed in private laboratories in consequence to the release of the current firmware adopted. FLARM very hardly will admit the existence of these bugs and failures that we are exposing in detail.
The following data are explained in such a way so that people have the skills and the instruments can verify the truth of what is below reported.
This subject is independent from the Flarm decision to encrypt the protocol in order to protect themselves from potential and possible competitors.
It is obvious that the encryption has been introduced for this protectionist purpose, because from a merely technical point the integrity of the data transmission was already well protected by natively incorporated algorithms within the Nordic chip used in the Flarm hardware. For those that desire more technical information on this chip, is possible to click the following link http://www.nordicsemi.com/eng/conten...RF905_v1.5.pdf
ALL manufacturers (except one) who claim to be "Flarm compatible" have inside EXACTLY the same hardware required by FLARM and they use the firmware released by FLARM (under payment of expensive license fee).
This behavior that we know from long time, is contrary to the principle of "development for competition" than in other fields has always given excellent results in technological development.
This behavior is especially contrary to the competition's principle that is mandatory by European rules for the sale of products to the public, it means that once people purchase products they should be functional and usable by the owner independently by firmware update. It's enough to think about Window as well as OS operating systems, that are fully compatible with earlier versions of software and operating systems used before.
But we want to come back to the description of the technical problems/issues , that is the main focus of this information.
The data package, which we have mentioned above, is broadcasted by FLARM units (it doesn't matter the licensed manufacturer) 2 times every second based on the internal clock of the GPS; the first transmission takes place in the first half of the "second", the second transmission in the second half.
For this reason, when the FLARM unit is receiving in RF (radio frequency) transmissions of FLARM installed on gliders nearby, and in addition these gliders are a lot, the available bandwidth in reception is saturated very quickly.
According to this situation when there are more traffic to be controlled/monitored, and thus the potential danger situations is increasing, the FLARM operates in the worst and most unreliable manner.
But unfortunally this is not the only technical problem source of malfunctioning . We've found a far more dangerous firmware bug we're going to detail below.
In order to complicate a possible decryption by third parties, the encryption key used by FLARM is not fixed anymore (as it was for the older version of the firmware) but is built with the code of the transmitting station and as well as with the GPS time of the first transmission moment ,and is changed every 64 seconds.
In addition to this during the 64 second interval, the data string transmitted change every second, because of the GPS position data updated is inside it.
The creator of the encryption code XXTEA says, and it is also reported by other cryptanalysts (see the articles by John Kelsey, Bruce Schneier, and David Wagner from 2002 to 2004), that exist certain combinations of DATA and KEYS in the encryption code XXTEA that, for some coding schemes, are producing results that WILL NOT BE PROPERLY decrypted also using THE CORRECT KEY.
This means in simple terms that there could be the possibility that some gliders nearby, whose code was not properly decoded , remain invisible to the system for at least 64 seconds, in other words until the next creation of the encryption key.
Of course it could happen the opposite case to be ourselves in the glider that at that moment is not properly decrypted by nearby gliders ; so we are invisible to others for at least 64 seconds.
This behavior has been detected with precise laboratory instruments by simply recording the exchange of data between three FLARM units for 48 hours.
Another unreliability detected comes from the fact that when a glider flies underneath thick clouds and is at high bank angles , may occasionally lose the connection to the GPS network. In this situation, the firmware should transmit only the last certain position detected by the GPS, waiting to transmit the new one as soon as the GPS hangs up the signal. The new version of the firmware without the GPS signal stops transmitting and receiving. It is easy to understand this by disconnecting the GPS antenna of a FLARM unit in operation and observing the lights that indicate the transmission and reception are turning off. Moreover , it is clearly understood by the evidence that a second FLARM device stops receiving the signal of the first device.
For the reason that the current firmware version in the absence of GPS signal stops transmitting and receiving, if ,at the time of losing GPS signal while change of encryption key , that glider will again be invisible for 64 seconds .
We report and highlight all this, a technical denial evidence based on irrefutable arguments, to loudly state that the decision of FLARM to encode the data packet using the encrypting code XXTEA, is generating flying situations that will put even more in danger OUR SAFETY, instead of protecting it, as it should be with the use of such a device.
At this point it is quite easy to say that the decision of FLARM is exclusively oriented to maintain an unlawful monopoly, for personal gain, in absolute disregard of the safety of FLARM users.
We affirm that is impossible to think the FLARM when issuing the new firmware version with the new encryption in March 2015, did not know what risks and unreliability exposed his system.
We say in all honesty that a collision avoidance system such as the one created by FLARM was certainly a great idea for the increased safety of pilots , but the search for more profit and the defense of its own unsustainable monopoly on the market through the continuous evolution of firmware only for protectionist purposes has brought today, with the latest firmware, to a situation in which this security is certainly not guaranteed, even though the FLARM devices are installed properly and working fine.
In light of these information, which we submit to the whole world of pilots, we wonder how could the relevant national and international aviation bodies (EASA first, then the French and other federations) push for the adoption of the current Flarm monopoly systems in everyday use and especially in competitions.
This information is therefore intended to attract interest for institutions, authorities and personalities involved in the flight's regulation , in order to arrive to the imposition of a public non-encrypted protocol.
This solution guarantee an excellent and reliable operation of FLARM units produced up to now, because no longer burdened by unnecessary decryption calculations, would guarantee in terms of competition the possibility of diversify the quality of the different vendors' solutions through different software developments management of traffic information received with the public protocol.
The aforementioned technical info are absolutely replicable and verifiable by anyone who has available the appropriate equipment and technical skills.
We hope with this letter ,we made a contribution to the safety growth of the flying community

Herbert Khum
ABB Deutschland
+41 43 317 71 22


"It's enough to think about Window as well as OS operating systems, that are fully compatible with earlier versions of software and operating systems used before. "

Well that is particularly bad example. If Flarm becomes as unreliable as the Windows operating system, we are all doomed.

If the development of Flarm firmware is opened up to any and all, we risk that not just one glider, but a whole network will be brought down. I can't see that as an improvement in safety. When you can buy a clone Flarm on Alibaba for 30 Euro, who's life will you be putting at risk beyond your own? Believe me, it will not work properly. If open to all, like other aviation instruments, there will need to be government certification, and that will make the price much higher, not much lower.

I have no financial stake in Flarm, the equipment is high priced compared to (multi million unit) consumer sales, but not at all out of line for glider panel instruments. It occurs to me that those accusing them of profiteering are themselves motivated by profit - they wish to capitalize on the device and market created by Flarm, without the engineering and marketing effort.

As a technical comment, it seems to me that is it better not to transmit an erroneous position in the event of a GPS dropout, than to go on transmitting a false one.

One must always remember than Flarm is not an insurance policy, merely one instrument to assist the pilot in flying safely. Expecting absolute reliability of it, or any instrument, will get you killed someday.
  #5  
Old March 3rd 16, 05:10 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 351
Default Information for all users of Flarm, OEM FLARM supplier and Flarm PowerFlarm

Ditto what jfilch says. Flarm while slightly helpfull can, in my opinion, lead one into a false sense of security which creates more of a dangerous situation than it is suppossed to mitigate. I trust my eyes not the gadget that may or maynot indicate someone around, and I sure as hell dont want the feds mandating that I need another chunk of electronics installed in my bird.
  #6  
Old March 3rd 16, 05:25 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Tango Whisky
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 391
Default Information for all users of Flarm, OEM FLARM supplier and Flarm PowerFlarm


Herbert Khum
ABB Deutschland
+41 43 317 71 22


I'm a little puzzled why ABB Capital would get involved in this,

Bert
Ventus cM "TW"
  #7  
Old March 3rd 16, 06:32 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 463
Default Information for all users of Flarm, OEM FLARM supplier and Flarm PowerFlarm

On Thursday, March 3, 2016 at 10:25:40 AM UTC-6, Tango Whisky wrote:
Herbert Khum
ABB Deutschland
+41 43 317 71 22


I'm a little puzzled why ABB Capital would get involved in this,

Bert
Ventus cM "TW"


Bert, I'm sure ABB has nothing to do with the matter. He is just fishing for credibility.
  #8  
Old March 3rd 16, 07:05 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Darryl Ramm
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2,381
Default Information for all users of Flarm, OEM FLARM supplier and Flarm PowerFlarm

On Thursday, March 3, 2016 at 9:32:57 AM UTC-8, wrote:
On Thursday, March 3, 2016 at 10:25:40 AM UTC-6, Tango Whisky wrote:
Herbert Khum
ABB Deutschland
+41 43 317 71 22


I'm a little puzzled why ABB Capital would get involved in this,

Bert
Ventus cM "TW"


Bert, I'm sure ABB has nothing to do with the matter. He is just fishing for credibility.


And he does not seem to know which county he is in, Germany or Switzerland (+41 country code).

There are already some "personalities" involved here no doubt.

  #9  
Old March 3rd 16, 08:18 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 580
Default Information for all users of Flarm, OEM FLARM supplier and Flarm PowerFlarm

I'll wait for more info on the alleged technical problem. As for the attitude that "FLARM risked time and money to develop a proprietary technology that a lot of pilots want and now that it's successful, we don't think it's fair unless it's shared" (translation: from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs), until such time as Bernie dispatches Hillary and then the Donald, I have no problem with this kind of "monopoly", at least in the U.S.

Chip Bearden
  #10  
Old March 3rd 16, 09:25 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Dan Marotta
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 4,430
Default Information for all users of Flarm, OEM FLARM supplier and FlarmPowerFlarm

As a (retired) systems engineer, I read the analysis on strictly
technical terms, no worries about personalities, profits, fixed costs or
any other possible motivations. I only saw the /_possibility_/ of 64
second dropouts, not the certainty. I saw no denigration of the
efficacy of Flarm in its intended role, only that the encryption of its
transmissions could /_possibly_/ result in erroneous position
reporting. Maybe the author would have been better received had he left
out the talk about monopolies, etc.

It is my understanding that the reason for Flarm signals to be encrypted
was to thwart a rogue group of Brits (tongue deeply in cheek) from using
a network of cheap receivers to receive and process Flarm signals to
post the locations of the gliders on a webpage for them to track the
progress of the gliders in flight. And if I'm correct in that
recollection, isn't that what the other sailplane trackers currently
do? Not necessarily using Flarm signals, but some other means to
display the locations and tracks of gliders.

On 3/3/2016 12:18 PM, wrote:
I'll wait for more info on the alleged technical problem. As for the attitude that "FLARM risked time and money to develop a proprietary technology that a lot of pilots want and now that it's successful, we don't think it's fair unless it's shared" (translation: from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs), until such time as Bernie dispatches Hillary and then the Donald, I have no problem with this kind of "monopoly", at least in the U.S.

Chip Bearden


--
Dan, 5J

 




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