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Improved live tracking for the SSA membership?



 
 
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  #21  
Old April 5th 17, 08:09 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Martin Gregorie[_5_]
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Posts: 1,207
Default Improved live tracking for the SSA membership?

On Wed, 05 Apr 2017 07:30:19 -0700, Sean Fidler wrote:

Europe, on the other hand, (again previously stated)
developed a network of Flarm radar (2k per Flarm

FLARM Radar is nothing like that price. Its little more than a
RaspberryPi, cheap software radio, antenna, cabinet (if you're feeling
fancy) and some FOSS software. Typical range, even with a low-powered
nonPowerFLARM, can be up to 50 miles depending on how good the antenna is
and where its mounted.


--
martin@ | Martin Gregorie
gregorie. | Essex, UK
org |
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  #22  
Old April 5th 17, 08:33 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Sean Fidler
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Posts: 979
Default Improved live tracking for the SSA membership?

Martin, I was referring to the obvious requirement for each "tracked" US glider to contain a nearly $2000 USD powerFlarm device, not the cost of the Flarm radar antenna. The folks here in the US are often quite sensitive to that cost and feel that Flarm leeching is a suitable means of winning competitions. Yes, really.

http://www.craggyaero.com/powerflarm_core1.

I have a question for you. Is Flarm "required" in Europe or optional? If so, what are the penalties for non-compliance? If not unanimous, what European countries require Flarm, and what countries do not? Thx.

Sean

  #23  
Old April 5th 17, 08:53 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Benedict Smith
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Posts: 25
Default Improved live tracking for the SSA membership?

At 14:30 05 April 2017, Sean Fidler wrote:
Gregg,

Eu=
rope, on the other hand, (again previously stated) developed a network of
F=
larm radar (2k per Flarm but I believe Flarm is mandatory in Europe).
Woul=
d you prefer mandatory Flarm? The FAA wanted to enforce a mandatory

ADSB
r=
equirement on gliders, something I strongly supported and continue to
suppo=
rt. That was 3-4K but far more powerful as a safety solution.


Thankfully that is only Europe and then only in some parts, probably very
sensible if you fly in the Alps! Luckily in the UK it is not mandatory but
it is
highly recommended, as it uses an open unregulated radio band it can never

be made compulsory or even be approved for ATC use as it is too insecure
and open to spoofing.
Things could have been different if we had been foolish enough to become
part of Europe, but luckily we had more sense!
Ben.

Nb the FLARM radar network is an amateur run and funded project (OGN)
completely separate from FLARM itself.

  #24  
Old April 5th 17, 09:12 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Benedict Smith
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Posts: 25
Default Improved live tracking for the SSA membership?

Sean
Have a look at the OGN wiki, there you will find details of the OGN
tracker,
the basic one can be built for around £20 (30US) and can be tracked in
exactly the same way a FLARM can, (same frequency and compatible position
and identity encoding) they work well and I have 2 in the room with me at
the moment, a single lithium cell runs them self contained for 10-20hours.
They don't provide any collision avoidance but if all you want is tracking
they
are fine, they can also log your flight to an optional SD card and be
fitted with
a barometric module for increased altitude accuracy (and work as a non
compensated vario).
Ben

At 19:33 05 April 2017, Sean Fidler wrote:
Martin, I was referring to the obvious requirement for each "tracked" US
gl=
ider to contain a nearly $2000 USD powerFlarm device, not the cost of the
F=
larm radar antenna. The folks here in the US are often quite sensitive

to
=
that cost and feel that Flarm leeching is a suitable means of winning
compe=
titions. Yes, really.

http://www.craggyaero.com/powerflarm_core1.

I have a question for you. Is Flarm "required" in Europe or optional?

If
=
so, what are the penalties for non-compliance? If not unanimous, what
Euro=
pean countries require Flarm, and what countries do not? Thx.

Sean



  #25  
Old April 5th 17, 10:42 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Martin Gregorie[_5_]
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Posts: 1,207
Default Improved live tracking for the SSA membership?

On Wed, 05 Apr 2017 12:33:38 -0700, Sean Fidler wrote:

Martin, I was referring to the obvious requirement for each "tracked" US
glider to contain a nearly $2000 USD powerFlarm device, not the cost of
the Flarm radar antenna. The folks here in the US are often quite
sensitive to that cost and feel that Flarm leeching is a suitable means
of winning competitions. Yes, really.

OK, I misunderstood you. To me a FLARM is typically an LX RedBox, which
sells here for £864 (say $1000), so a little over half the price of a
PowerFLARM Core.

I have a question for you. Is Flarm "required" in Europe or optional?

I think that depends on where you a I believe its required in the
Alps, but then there the Rescue helicopters and (probably) most GA
aircraft will also be carrying it.

If so, what are the penalties for non-compliance?

Not getting a launch?

If not unanimous, what European countries require Flarm, and what
countries do not? Thx.

AFAIK its not required anywhere else - at least I haven't seen anything
about it being required equipment anywhere else.

The density of gliders in the air on a good day in some places, and here
I'd include southern UK, is quite high. Since a large majority of them
will be carrying FLARM, it follows that being without it in our fairly
cloudy conditions is not clever. Another clue to the extent of UK takeup
is that all our club gliders, our tugs and our SF-25 TMG are FLARM
equipped.


--
martin@ | Martin Gregorie
gregorie. | Essex, UK
org |
  #26  
Old April 5th 17, 11:27 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
alan_walls@trimble.com
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Posts: 3
Default Improved live tracking for the SSA membership?

I'm the developer of IGCDroid.

I would love to create a hybrid tracker system based on GlidePort.aero and my IGCDroid app. Such a system could use cell when it can and satellite when it must. Hopefully this would keep satellite usage (eg service costs) to a minimum.

A hybrid system would give you detailed IGC traces when it can and up to date positions via satellite when cell coverage fails.

Would pilots use this?

Does anybody know of a suitable satellite modem?

Alan
  #27  
Old April 6th 17, 12:57 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Phil Plane
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Posts: 2
Default Improved live tracking for the SSA membership?

You are missing one very important point. Different people want different things, they have different requirements.

If you want a tracking system and you don't always operate in an area with good cell coverage, you need a satellite based system. So some people won't be be able to use a cheap cell based system. With a little effort you can get Spot providing 2.5 minute tracking delivered direct to your server. Presumably the other systems can do something similar. Even the basic ten minute tracking makes a big difference when you start searching for a missing glider.

If you always fly in an area that has cell coverage you have many good options. Phone apps, fleet tracking systems, etc. Low cost and fast update are possible.

Flarm/ADSB tracking is doable in flat areas with plenty of Base stations, but you really need a good group of technical people who are prepared to put time and money into setting up the network.

  #28  
Old April 6th 17, 01:50 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Sean Fidler
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Posts: 979
Default Improved live tracking for the SSA membership?

Of course a dual channel system (mobile/sat) would be very attractive. I'm not sure how the sat service plans would work unless somehow the mobile app could upload the track data (when needed) via the sat data plan (inReach/Garmin) via a wireless connection. I would definitely be interested for the future North American Sailplane Grand Prix.

This start up is already working on a similar product: https://www.v2track..com/
  #29  
Old April 6th 17, 04:04 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
2G
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Posts: 241
Default Improved live tracking for the SSA membership?

On Tuesday, April 4, 2017 at 10:51:56 AM UTC-7, Sean Fidler wrote:
I would like to propose that the SSA consider providing its valued members with a far more comprehensive and well-adopted tracking solution (higher performance, more reliable hardware, negotiated member discounts, etc.). Tracking should not just for the benefit of contest pilots; tracking includes benefits for club operations & instruction, recreational pilots, cross country pilots, record pilots, badge pilots & competition pilots of all types.. The SSA (and the sport of soaring in North America in general) desperately needs a more reliable, more affordable, more social, and more enjoyable tracking solution. Right now, the challenge is clearly the hardware and the service plan required to drive it. The SSA can, on behalf of its 10,000 members, is in an excellent position to organize, negotiate, promote and deliver a far better solution. The potential benifits are profound. I feel improved tracking should be part of the fee's that we all pay as members of the SSA and to attend SSA sanctioned contests and events. I'm not necessarily talking about a 100% free solution, but perhaps it could be free. We certainly should be working hard to understand what is possible and improve the current status quo.

For example, the Gliding Federation of Australia (GFA) provides EXACTLY this benefit for their members. The GFA procured and supports 70 GFA owned "LiveTrack24 tracker devices" which go to every Australian contest in a custom Pelican case.

There is considerable upside to tracking in regards to promoting, sharing and enjoying our fantastic, visually appealing, relatively affordable, and environmentally friendly sport. Tracking is not just about contests or contests pilots (preempting the highly predictable "you rich guys" attack soon to follow this post). Tracking is about sharing the sport of soaring with those stuck on the ground and making it highly social (fun, exciting, compelling, attractive). From the 14-year-old kid sharing his training flights with his friends on Facebook to Gordon Bettenger's or Daniel Sahzen's next record flight being shared with the world live, tracking is a key element to maximizing our sports exposure and generating maximum interest.

We currently have a very good beta/framework solution with Glideport.aero, but it is simply not complete. Hardware/Service plans (reliability, price etc.) are not solved. Sadly, and predictably, our tracking interface is VERY poorly adopted. Even for contests!

Below are some potential tracking technology options (just to get the conversation started):

GLIDEPORT.AERO
GP.aero is the SSA's current tracking display solution. Thanks VERY much Pedja and Lane Bush.
Glideport.aero "COTS" mobile trackers may become available soon (2 demo units rumored, Pedja, PLEASE!!!!).
These devices will cost roughly $250 per unit and need a mobile data account.
Glideport.aero supports mobile device apps (IGCDroid - Android & GlideTrack - iOS), InReach (and Spot, but see my comments below).

LIVETRACK24 (http://www.livetrack24.com/services/index#services2)
Gliding Federation Australia (Australian SSA) owns 70 and provides them to all Australian contests for tracking as a perk of membership.
This solution was employed at the recent WGC. Very successful. No mobile application to deal with. A simple, 3x2x1 inch device with an ON/OFF button and light. That's it Turn it on, and it works (TOAW). TOAW is the hope/goal with Glideport.aero trackers above. Does it need to be any more complicated?

INREACH/GARMIN TRACKING
Satellite based, ultra-reliable, more expensive than spot, and up to 1-minute resolution with airspeed, heading and ground speed.

YELLOWBRICK TRACKING
Popular with yachting, etc.
Incredible interface and API.
https://www.ybtracking.com

SPOT (CRAP)
Spot devices are completely useless for enjoyable sailplane tracking. In fact, I argue that SPOT does more damage to the goal of making sailplane tracking interesting than good. Spot devices are intended for the hiker moving at 1-2 mph along the earth's surface. They have not innovated their solution in over ten years. I prefer to refer to Spot as the "anti-interesting sailplane tracking device" and feel Spot must be eradicated from this discussion ASAP and at all costs. Spot devices are "eh" for emergency purposes, but even that statement is a stretch. We need to "be better than Spot" as a sport in general. I was pleased to hear that Spot is raising their prices 50% and that robbery has irritated many of you recently. Hopefully, this will inspire some to consider switching to the newer tracking technologies. Spot is simply not worthy of being included in any further conversation regarding the goal of impressive tracking.

NETWORKED FLARM RADARS
Highly popular in Europe (and even parts of Canada)
High performance.
Requires the (up to) $2000 Flarm device :-(
http://live.glidernet.org (See European coverage)

OTHER TECHNOLOGIES
???

Flame away. Especially you anti-technology clowns. I'm ready for you ;-) ...

Sean


Well, I argue that YOU are doing a disservice to live sailplane tracking! We should be encouraging all cross country glider pilots to carry a live tracking device of ANY type. The more information the better. The worst situation is if you belittle even one pilot to hold off on carrying a tracking device because it doesn't meet YOUR standards.

I have been brow-beating pilots flying out of Ely, NV that they MUST carry some sort of tracking device. A survivable landout in the middle of NV could end up being fatal.

Tom
  #30  
Old April 6th 17, 01:53 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Sean Fidler
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Posts: 979
Default Improved live tracking for the SSA membership?

Safety and live tracking are two very separate issues. I would be careful about confusing them...
 




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