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Squawk codes

OpenRadar is a standalone radar screen which connects to the FlightGear multiplayer servers. It is currently being developed.

Re: Squawk codes

Postby ludomotico » Fri Oct 04, 2013 11:37 pm

I guess you are referring to when you exit a CTR (Control Zone) and go uncontrolled without talking to anyone and squawking 7000 until you enter another CTR where you will be assigned a new code? Which is obviously normal since 7000 is non-discrete and cannot be used by ATC.


Sorry for not being clear enough. Europe loves controlling all aspects of life, and this includes airspace. The event of "going uncontrolled" is rare when flying the skies of Europe -- unless you fly ULM. I meant my squawk code is changed every time the new ATC (or their computer) believes my old code must be changed. There is not a pattern. Sometimes it happens when you leave the CTR and enter a D-level airspace, sometimes it happens when you move to a different FIR. Sometimes I keep the same squawk code for the entire flight. It is not a big deal: "oh, a message to reset the squawk code. 2543. Done."

My opinion is: flying as a pilot in FlightGear, I will be satisfied if the ATC manages locally the squawk code. If he sees a new aircraft with some code that doesn't collude with any other aircraft, don't change it. If for some reason or just for the fun of it the ATC believes my squawk code must be reset, then reset it.

Thing is I don't see why OpenRadar should include a handoff mechanism to pass the control of the aircrafts to another ATC. And I really don't see why we need a table airport/squawk codes. It is not wrong, of course. It is just I don't see the necessity of investing man-hours in this mechanism or this list.

Maybe it is just I don't have any experience as an ATC :)
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Re: Squawk codes

Postby F-JJTH » Fri Oct 04, 2013 11:56 pm

Hi,

Being a real pilot I agree with ludomotico opinion:

My opinion is: flying as a pilot in FlightGear, I will be satisfied if the ATC manages locally the squawk code. If he sees a new aircraft with some code that doesn't collude with any other aircraft, don't change it. If for some reason or just for the fun of it the ATC believes my squawk code must be reset, then reset it.
[...]I don't see the necessity of investing man-hours in this mechanism or this list.


Regards,
Clément

@ludomotico: where do you fly in real life ? maybe one day I could meet you in real sky maybe :-)
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Re: Squawk codes

Postby ludomotico » Sat Oct 05, 2013 12:39 am

Umm. I realized we may be talking about different things here. I assumed the squawk code was sent to the multiplayer servers, and any OpenRadar in range can receive it. Is this correct? In this way, moving into a different zone using the same squawk code is straightforward. If I'm wrong and the squawk code is sent only to the specific OpenRadar instance that controls an aircraft in this moment, then we really need a handoff mechanism or better, do things differently and send the squawk code to the servers.

About the table airport/squawk codes, I still don't get the idea. This list apparently don't exist in real life but I'm aware other networks such as IVAO or VATSIM use a similar idea. There must be a reason apart from "the other network use them", but I can't imagine any explanation. Why do you feel a list airport/squawk codes must exist?

@F-JJTH, the southern side of the Pyrenees and Balearic islands. I have never crossed the border... yet :)
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Re: Squawk codes

Postby Omega » Sat Oct 05, 2013 2:36 am

ludomotico, what about all these small grass-runway and poorly-paved uncontrolled airports with a unicom freq? It's not common to fly into these fields with your expensive SR22 with the fear of damaging your gear but it does happen lol.

Squawk code allocation is used in real life as well. Let me explain what it is though because it's a concept not so easy to understand unless you have had previous experience as RW ATC or VATSIM (possibly IVAO?).

Every position in a facility has certain squawk code ranges e.g. 2201-2277. That position is only able to assign squawk codes only within that range, while they are still able to radar identify aircraft that are being handed off since the radar identification was passed from one controller to another using an electronic radar hand off.

If two or more aircraft were to have the same squawk code, then an indication would be displayed on the data tag. Squawk allocation basically helps to avoid squawk conflicts between multiple aircraft in a certain region.

Imagine having a tower position assigning squawk 2201 to an aircraft and approach assigning the same squawk to another aircraft, that would be a mess...

And I'd like to quote the statement that I made in my previous post, not sure if anyone looked at it:
Just try to imagine having an airport with TMA control split into 3 sections: Delivery, Tower, Departure/Approach.
Obviously, for departing aircraft delivery would assign a squawk code. Without some kind of squawk code allocation system based off position files or a hand off system... A new squawk code would have to be assigned again by the Tower (although not required since it's not a radar-equiped position) and then again by Departure. Of course, as the aircraft passes through the low and high sectors of each enroute facility it would have to be assigned a new squawk code EVERY time.


Squawk allocation is kind of already implemented. Hand offs are not and I believe that transponders are useless at some point when you are unable to transfer the radar identification to a new controller...

What about the -99 altitude bug that I mentioned in a previous post? Is that being worked on?
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Re: Squawk codes

Postby jomo » Sat Oct 05, 2013 6:37 am

Well - sorry - seems I am not the brightest here - and may be that is why I have no idea what this whole discussion is about. Somehow it seems there is a very complicated discussion about something for which nobody knows any (FAA or similar) rules -- and for which nobody has any idea what technical and/or manpower resources inside FGFS are available and could be used for that.

The true environment in FGFS is: We use no FlightPlans (yet), we have no ATC's working together (neither worldwide nor within one ControllZone nor Tower), we depend on non-controlled pilot-UIDs to define any target, etc. etc. pp. Can anybody tell me how we will get
    all our "untrained pilots, that very often just know how to switch on the autopilot"
    and "some guys just playing ATC for a couple of minutes"
to understand anything that is now discussed as an upcoming procedure for a max of about 90 pilots (of which about 5 would be willing to follow such procedures) and 10 ATCs WORLDWIDE ?? Or is this just a discussion for a small group of guys trying to set up some special events?

Or can anybody tell me what may be the benefit for a FGFS-ATC and/or pilot as is today (and will be tomorrow!?!). And pls let it be a little more than just "the real world (and VATSIM) is doing it - so we must do it to!" I guess you all know that VATSIM (and the real world) is requiring CERTIFIED members (log-ins)!

Sorry - I guess I am the guy inside FGFS doing the most ATC-hours - but I am loosing more and more interest/understanding for this discussion - without any visible benefit for the users (as well pilots as also ATCs).

And please consider: Especially with the start of OpenRadar there was a big growth as well in "pilots wanting to fly controlled" as also in ATC's trying to control. Right now it seems that interest is constantly diminishing - I guess mostly because of the growing amount of procedures enforced - for which they see no requirement!
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Re: Squawk codes

Postby ludomotico » Sat Oct 05, 2013 5:37 pm

Omega wrote in Sat Oct 05, 2013 2:36 am:ludomotico, what about all these small grass-runway and poorly-paved uncontrolled airports with a unicom freq? It's not common to fly into these fields with your expensive SR22 with the fear of damaging your gear but it does happen lol.


You won't get a squawk code while taxiing most uncontrolled airports. But chances that 1000ft AGL the uncontrolled airport there is a controlled area are very high in Europe! We have too many controlled areas over here...

They often wait until you enter the controlled zone (1000AGL, usually) Today, I got my SQ while taxiing an uncontrolled airport: departure from LEDA (uncontrolled today), I had the SQ assigned before entering the runway.
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Re: Squawk codes

Postby Secret_Hamster » Sun Oct 06, 2013 5:06 pm

@jomo

Transponder modes have recently been implemented. As an element of simulation, it surely adds to levels of realism.

As with everything previously about establishing controlled airspace, it will take time to educate the pilots.

If you are not wishing to use this element, then simply remain in the default mode.

@rest

My understanding is that each area has a set of codes it can assign. There maybe a central computer system controlling the codes, I've not had visibility on that.

We've also discussed real life vs FG world. I think the consensus was that if we could we would copy as much of real life as we could, but where something would not fit we would adjust.

As far as squawk codes go, it is at the moment and advance concept. However, I think we've always been behind development in what we can do or what would be sensible. The idea of this thread was to see what would possible, what we would like as an element of request to Wagner so he could see what would be best use of his time spent on developing OR.

If it is not possible within OR, what additional resources would we need. Some of this may be purely procedures, some might be documentation on the wiki pages or some of it might be code, but unless we ask the question we cannot have an answer.

My question was. We have Squawk codes and the ever increasing ability for hand off. How do we look to cope with this?
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Re: Squawk codes

Postby jomo » Sun Oct 06, 2013 6:34 pm

Secret_Hamster wrote in Sun Oct 06, 2013 5:06 pm:My question was. We have Squawk codes and the ever increasing ability for hand off. How do we look to cope with this?

Well spoken - here my look:

1) We may have (in some models and with SOME pilots) the ability to use SquakeCodes - but seems we have no idea how that shall be used (for "freaks" as well as for Student-Pilots), how to distribute the knowledge over and above Forum discussions of specialists!

2) I see many ATC's popping in/out MPchat - do you have any idea how to communicate with them or how do we work if just 1 ATC is available, 2 ATC's worldwide, many ATCs (some working as you would like it and sime that do not), etc?

3) In order to "increase the ability for hand off" we need an automatic distribution of FlightPlans (I believe Wolfram is working on it) and a very easy way for ATC'S (!!!) to input and update those flightplans (not depending on the pilots to input a complex flight-plan them-selfs).

4) For all that you need an extra Server for ATC infos (I believe Wolfram is working on that)

So it seems to me you are just stressing the SquawkCodes, which in my view is the least important - and surely makes only sense AFTER the other points are solved. I surely suggest to concentrate onto one point after the other - and watch that allread achieved goals are not killed again -- like e.g. Lennys FlightPlan: That one started OK with a lot of effort of one guy - in the meantime there is about 1 entry a week.
Why not concentrate on a step by step improvement?
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Re: Squawk codes

Postby drifter461 » Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:35 pm

I agree with that. Let's make this more realistic.
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Re: Squawk codes

Postby Johan G » Tue Mar 31, 2020 2:39 pm

drifter461 wrote in Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:35 pm:I agree with that. Let's make this more realistic.

I am not really sure what you agree with, but some of the things mentioned in Jomo's post should be possible since at least half a decade ago.

jomo wrote in Sun Oct 06, 2013 6:34 pm:3) In order to "increase the ability for hand off" we need an automatic distribution of FlightPlans (I believe Wolfram is working on it) and a very easy way for ATC'S (!!!) to input and update those flightplans (not depending on the pilots to input a complex flight-plan them-selfs).

Both of the more popular ATC clients, OpenRadar and ATC-pie, can download flight plans from http://flightgear-atc.alwaysdata.net/ mentioned below can do hand offs.*

jomo wrote in Sun Oct 06, 2013 6:34 pm:4) For all that you need an extra Server for ATC infos (I believe Wolfram is working on that)

Since some years now there is a website, FlightGear ATC Events, http://flightgear-atc.alwaysdata.net/ (often referred to as Lenny's website), that allows ATC's to announce which airport and when they will be ATC-ing in advance and how they want pilots to prepare (what software to use for communications, what charts to use etc.) This website also allows pilots to file flight plans (though without the exact route).
___
* See OpenRadarGuide#Flight-Plan & Flight-Management and ATC-pie#Session environments on the FlightGear wiki.

Edit: Ah, I see you found your way to Lenny's website. :)
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