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GA and commercial AI Traffic

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GA and commercial AI Traffic

Postby karla » Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:36 pm

I'm slowly getting to understand the workings of FGFS: I mean I am detailing my local airport EGGD Bristol UK, adding gates and taxiways, populating it with various airlines and use Festival addons for reasonable ATC voices. I hear ATC directing many Cessnas and Pipers in the area and know there are 150+ AI commercial aircraft in my region from File/Internal Properties - but I have not yet heard ATC talking to any commercial aircraft. Can I switch off GA traffic to force ATC to speak to just commercial or what? I'm using the December CVS version.
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Re: GA and commercial AI Traffic

Postby MD-Terp » Mon Jan 18, 2010 10:55 pm

Don, the current state of AI traffic is a little disjointed -- there is one system that generates the long-haul commercial traffic, and a second system that generates the "local" traffic, and the "AI ATC" (which is really rudimentary -- no offense to its programmer, but I'm sure he would fully admit it's more for fun at the moment than for realism) only interacts with the latter.

If I recall correctly from browsing the developers' mailing list, there is sort of a "holistic approach" being considered and possibly even developed, and I believe it involves coordinating all types of AI traffic across the multiplayer network (or perhaps a parallel to it), but that's probably a 3.0 feature.

(Any of the core developers, sorry to speak on your behalf if I got any of the details wrong; please feel free to correct me. I just like answering because I know many of them aren't in here nearly as often as I am, and don't want you left hanging for a response!)
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Re: GA and commercial AI Traffic

Postby durk » Tue Jan 19, 2010 6:19 am

MD-Terp wrote:(Any of the core developers, sorry to speak on your behalf if I got any of the details wrong; please feel free to correct me. I just like answering because I know many of them aren't in here nearly as often as I am, and don't want you left hanging for a response!)


Hi Rob,

That's more or less correct. I'm currently (spare-time-depending) working on integrating the two systems. I'm beginning to realize that, in order to make the commercial traffic interact with ATC, I have to remove the old "local traffic" AI and ATC modules altogether and re-implement these within a single framework. The first baby steps toward this have been committed over December / January.

FWIW, there is some limited ATC chatter produced by the commercial AI traffic. Startup FlightGear at EHAM for instance, and tune to 121.7. Here you'll hear (well more correctly, see printed on screen), some ATC interaction between the AI aircraft and the ground startup controller. My goal is to extend these types of interactions for more stages of Flight, to make it encompass more types of aviation, and to let user controlled aircraft take part in that interaction.

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Re: GA and commercial AI Traffic

Postby karla » Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:59 am

Thanks for the informative replies chaps. Looks like a long wait before we get full ATC - so I'll uncheck ATC/Options/Enable ATC and enable File/Sound Configuration/Chatter for acceptable realism.

My ATC text query viewtopic.php?f=5&t=6687 becomes less important to me now.
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Making AI traffic & ATC work together

Postby Hooray » Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:44 pm

If anybody is interested in improving interoperability between AI aircraft and ATC:

durk wrote:FWIW, there is some limited ATC chatter produced by the commercial AI traffic. Startup FlightGear at EHAM for instance, and tune to 121.7. Here you'll hear (well more correctly, see printed on screen), some ATC interaction between the AI aircraft and the ground startup controller. My goal is to extend these types of interactions for more stages of Flight, to make it encompass more types of aviation, and to let user controlled aircraft take part in that interaction.


Well, it seems this should already be possible to some extent without any significant changes to the C++ source code, i.e. it should theoretically be possible to drive AI traffic largely by using Nasal scripts (see for example tanker.nas in CVS).

In other words, anybody interested in making AI traffic fully ATC aware (in the sense of properly responding aircraft), would mostly have to do something along the lines of:

  • set up an instance of a Nasal driven AI aircraft (see tanker.nas in CVS)
  • register a listener to the chat property in order to parse chat (ATC) messages
  • inside the registered listener, look for matching callsign of the corresponding aircraft (to see if transmission is relevant)
  • if callsign is correct, start parsing/validating the transmission (i.e. "HY77: Descend and maintain FL50")
  • acknowledge reception of transmission to virtual ATC
  • directly set the target-* properties under /ai/models/model[x]/controls/ to customize the behavior of the AI plane

This scheme could be extended to manage a whole number of Nasal driven AI aircraft, i.e. using an "ai-pilot.nas" script.

Similarly, the same thing may work the other way around, i.e. for AI aircraft scripts to write to the chat property in order to talk to the AI traffic system to request a clearance or vectors.

Most of this stuff is directly possible and requires few changes or additions to the C++ code.

Just the possibility of using Nasal to script AI aircraft behavior patterns is extremely useful and powerful.

(One could even implement the AI ATC backend using Nasal by using the same approach, but that isn't as interesting due to the performance issues involved)
Please don't send support requests by PM, instead post your questions on the forum so that all users can contribute and benefit
Thanks & all the best,
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