One of the major features of PilotAware is the PilotAware RADAR screen. This feature allows users of PilotAware to visually display nearby aircraft in a very clear and concise manner on a tablet or smart-phone by using a modern browser. This means that no external navigation software is required for PilotAware to be used as an Electronic Conspicuity device. Alternatively, if navigation software is used PilotAware RADAR can be displayed simultaneously on a separate device for even greater situational awareness.
To view PilotAware RADAR, open a modern browser on your tablet or smartphone and choose RADAR from the Menu.
PilotAware RADAR is able to show traffic within configurable vertical and horizontal limits. In addition, it is able to show targets either as Aircraft Symbols or TAS (Traffic Alert System) Symbols.
The TAS and FLM button on the top left-hand corner of the RADAR screen will toggle between screen types.
PilotAware RADAR TCS Visualisation.
Key to Symbols
PilotAware RADAR FLM Visualisation
PilotAware RADAR Range Settings
The range, both horizontal and vertical, at which PilotAware RADAR displays traffic is configurable by selecting H +/- and V+/- in the top left-hand corner of the screen.
The vertical range can be selected from between 1,000 ft. to 50,000 ft.
The horizontal range can be selected from 2Km to a range dependent upon the screen size, but usually, in 10s of km’s, it is initially calculated from the visible screen size available.
The previously set scale will be retained when the unit is next used. A banner shows the values set.
As the host aircraft moves the compass rose continuously follows with the screen showing flight- direction up. This requires that the aircraft is moving. The target aircraft ICONs maintain a relative 12-hour clock bearing to the host aircraft and show direction with a dotted lubber line indicating speed.
OGN-R Ground Stations
The positions of OGN-R Ground Stations are shown as tower icons on the screen if they are within the horizontal and vertical limits set. Note an OGN-R Ground Station 2000ft below, will not be shown if the horizontal limits are set at +/-1000ft.
The number of in-range OGN-R Ground Stations is shown as a banner in the top right-hand corner of the PilotAware RADAR page. This will then alert the pilot to the possibility of receiving uplinked data for gliders or Mode-S/3D if that station has been enabled for the latter.
There are up to 9,000 aircraft in the UK with a Mode-S transponder. Mode-S/3D is unique to PilotAware systems. Mode-S/3D uses a network of OGN-R ground stations to upload MLAT data from 360Radar to provide the latitude and longitude normally absent in these Mode-S transmissions. To understand how Mode-S/3D works please read the detailed explanation.
As described, ALL multilateration (MLAT) systems used to provide the location of hitherto undetected Mode-S traffic in airborne devices, have inherent positional errors. These are caused by a combination of the system latency and the system refresh rate. These errors and limitations are described in the detailed explanation to enable you to fully understand the accuracy of PilotAware Mode-S/3D.
By downloading and enabling the Mode-S/3D Trial Software in the latest software you have shown that you understand, agree with and will use the information given by PilotAware Mode-S/3D in full acknowledgement of the limitations. PilotAware is a secondary positional aid only. Your primary positional awareness, as Pilot in command, is a continuous and thorough visual scan both internally and externally. If you do not agree with this principle do not use Mode-S/3D as a situational awareness aid.
The result of using MLAT (latitude and longitude) and direct reception (Altitude) techniques have been used effectively by air traffic control for many years using Secondary Surveillance RADAR (SSR). Considerations for addressing the latency and refresh rate must be taken into account. The position of the MLAT derived target has been found to be sufficiently accurate at the time of issue. However, it will be a finite period of time before the next sufficiently accurate location is received at the PilotAware RADAR screen. This is catered for by using the concept of an area of ambiguity for a degraded target that surrounds the target displayed and grows as the data ages.
In practice, this is achieved by providing an ambiguity circle around the Mode-S/3D target which starts off as a point circle at t=0 and grows over time as the data ages. The size of the ambiguity circle is based on both refresh time and the speed of the target aircraft.
With Mode-S/3D enabled the various reception age of the target’s positions can be seen. From new targets provided with a very small red ambiguity circle to larger red circles as the data ages. 80% of MLAT targets refresh within less than 10 seconds with 53% in less than 6 seconds. This will refresh rate improve as software and system techniques improve and ground stations and server infrastructures increase.
For demonstration purposes, the PilotAware RADAR screen above is configured with a wide horizontal range and therefore is showing a fairly busy screen. The much lower range, both vertically and horizontally, used for normal operation provides a greater granularity for local situational awareness.
It is important to note the significant amount of traffic shown on this screen is below 7000 ft. and therefore is of importance to GA traffic. Most of this is integrated Mode-S, PilotAware and FLARM traffic. ADSB-Out traffic in the upper flight areas is irrelevant to GA operations and is a distraction so for efficient use the vertical range should be set to +/- 4000ft at most.
Mode-S/3D is also shown on Electronic Flight Bags (EFB). PilotAware is currently working with the suppliers of the most popular EFB’s to produce an extension to the GDL90 specification so that a common symbol can be used for a degraded target similar to that on the PilotAware RADAR screen. Please check with your EFB provider to see how this is currently displayed, if at all. Please make sure that you are comfortable with the accuracy of the icons displayed.
Mode C/S Visualisation
With Mode-S/3D disabled or when out of range of an OGN station, Mode-S targets will remain bearingless and will be identified through a banner in the top right corner of the RADAR screen. Mode-C targets will always be bearingless.
Mode-S targets will be shown in the banner with the aircraft registration and relative height. Mode-C targets will be annotated “Mode-C” without a registration and will show relative height. Red, Amber and Green coding is also used to show a distance relative to the power received and its rate of change. An indicator is also shown to show whether the target aircraft is ascending, descending or in level flight.
OGN Antenna Visualisation.
The number of OGN-R Stations in range is shown in a yellow banner at the top right hand corner of the RADAR page. When your aircraft is in range of an OGN-R antenna(s), gliders and powered aircraft transmitting FLARM signals will be uploaded to your PilotAware RADAR screen and your navigational software. In addition, OGN-R stations enabled with Mode-S/3D (all UK stations will be enabled by 2020) will provide MLAT data to enable all Mode-S targets detected directly to be shown as targets with a bearing on the RADAR screen and suitable flight bags.
Showing the location of OGN-R Stations on the PilotAware RADAR screen and Flight Bags or not, is a configurable item selected from the configure page.