Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Opus Software

OpusFSX Live Weather Engine Version 2

Recommended Posts

OpusFSX Version 2.20.0 Beta is now available for download on our website.

 

Firstly, the version 2.20 Beta includes the new improved smooth and fluid DHM motions incorporated into previous beta version 2.12.3. in addition this version also includes a major upgrade to the Live Weather Engine (LWE).

 

Live Weather Engine (LWE) Upgrade ...

 

Extended weather horizon and dynamic weather region

 

The new weather engine's horizon covers an area of 992km by 992km (616 by 616 miles) centered on your aircraft's current position, at present this matches the size of the detailed weather region created by the LWE.

 

We have also doubled the resolution of the weather map, each weather cell now being 16km square. This provides the most accurate, detailed and stable weather possible, even when flying in METAR sparse regions such as deserts, seas and oceans. To work within the limitations of FSX/P3D, all wind smoothing has been performed using a resolution of 32km, the winds being averaged in weather cells containing more than one METAR station.

 

The geodesic mapping of this region ensures all ATIS reports will be accurate out to a distance of about 90km (FSX limitation not ours), but since you must be within about 35nm of the airport to receive the radio transmission that is really no limitation.

 

Improved weather interpolation

 

This version also includes the new WINTER weather interplation methods which are completely METAR centric as opposed to the previous version which interpolated the weather from the centre of the grid outwards. The new weather interpolation method should provide added stability to the weather especially within the central area where the aircraft is usually located (depends on your weather update settings).

 

If the weather changes drastically between updates then the most likely cause is a change in the actual METAR reports, the METAR reports are always treated as gospel but of course they can change between updates and this will always be reflected in the weather you see round you.

 

Regards

Stephen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

Remaining Development Stages ...

 

There are three more stages planned before we come to the end of this development cycle for the Live Weather Engine (LWE).

 

Stage One - Networked LWE Option

 

The remote LWE option will be implemented allowing you to offload the LWE onto a spearate client computer system. This system will not need FSX or P3D to be installed if you are going using it solely for the LWE. That is if you are not intending to drive additonal views off the client. The networked client will of course need Internet access, as good a connection as you can manage, and a good LAN connection to the server.

 

Stage Two - Winds Aloft

 

We will most probably implement the winds aloft upgrade in two phases (if you are unaware, there are numerous posts describing the infamous winds aloft FSX bug). In the first phase we will simulate the winds aloft using knowledge of the prevailing trade winds, jet streams, polar winds etc. in the area you are flying. Once the winds aloft bug fix or work around for FSX has been proven using simulated winds we will proceed with the next phase and provide an option to download true winds aloft. We have already conducted some trials and are currently 100% certain we will be able to work around the FSX/P3D bug whilst still giving you the excellent live detailed and varied weather, visible all around you. The only comprimise being the use of globalised surface winds (but that is much better than having to use global weather). The use of global surface winds will most probably automatically come into effect only when you climb above a specified altitude.

 

Stage Three - Weather Data Acquisition & Interpolation

 

The default size of the weather map will most probably be reduced (halved) and automatically increased in size depending on the current area you are flying in. In very METAR sparse areas the weather map will be extended to its fullest. In very METAR rich areas it will remain set at the default size. The default size will of course provide detailed and localised weather stretching well beyond the FSX/P3D weather horizon in all directions. The automatic increas in the weather map size will provide the best weather interpolation when flying in METAR sparse areas (e.g. over deserts, seas, and oceans etc.).

 

The stage one development will also see the release of our SkyDemon interface (see our website and Flight1 forum for details). You can check out the SkyDemon website for details of this RW VFR Flight Planner and In-Flight Navigation tool, the OpusFSX interface will replace the normal GPS input allowing you to use the package within FSX/P3D. Stages two and three will most probably be merged into a single beta + upgrade phase.

 

Regards

Stephen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OpusFSX Version 2.21.0 Beta is now available for download on our website.

 

Firstly, we have once again taken the opportunity to increase the smoothness of the airborne DHM effects. These changes only affect the low frequency turbulent motions but should help on lower performance systems.

 

Other changes included in this beta ...

 

The TrackIR interface will now shutdown if you disable Live Camera, this will also force all the DHM threads to abort.

 

Adjacent cumulus cloud layers that have similar cloud bases and share the same coverage have been modified to display cumulus over stratus and hence prevent FSX/P3D rendering duplicate cloud images. Gets rid of that 'I'm seeing double' feeling.

 

The engine RPM, N1, and combustion status is now passed to all client systems to mimic the current engine status for engines 1 through to 4.

 

The cirrus_overcast03_Opus_512.bmp and cirrus_overcast03_Opus_1024.bmp bitmap mask files have been included and will be automatically copied into your simulator's Texture folder each time you start the OpusFSX server or client programs.

 

Live Weather Engine (LWE) Upgrade ...

 

As promised this beta version incorporates the initial release of the FSX winds aloft bug fix. This fix does not effect the detailed and varied weather patterns, we have not had to resort to using unrealistic global weather. We have eradicated the FSX winds aloft bug using nothing more than a wind stabilization technique combined with our detailed weather control. The wind stabilization comes into force as soon as you climb above the adjustable transition altitude, automatic recovery is enabled when you descend below the configured recovery level. Full recovery will only occur when the true wind direction is within 30 degrees of the stabilized wind. As far as I can tell there is no downside, the LWE simply has to force a weather regeneration as you pass though the transition and recovery levels.

 

The transition and recovery altitudes can be adjusted via the Weather dialog. However, the default settings of 19000 feet and 17000 feet should be perfectly adequate on virtually all systems.

 

All users should make sure they have turned OFF all FSUIPC4 Wind Smoothing, it is not needed and may actually interfere with our wind stabilization.

 

The recommended default Live Weather update settings are now 30 minutes and/or 60km travelled.

 

This is the first of three stages for the winds aloft fix and upgrade. This first release eradicates the FSX winds aloft bug whilst still keeping the varied and detailed live weather. If all goes well then in the next stage we will simulate the winds aloft based on the actual prevailing upper winds in your region. This will take into account jet streams, trade winds, polar winds, equatorial winds, etc. to provide realistic upper wind targets for the simulator.

 

Once this second stage is proven then we will upgrade the LWE to provide a true winds aloft option using data downloaded over the Internet.

 

Regards

Stephen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OpusFSX Version 2.21.1 Beta is now available for download on our website.

 

Warning - If you just fly low level VFR then do not download and install this beta, wait until this phase of beta testing is complete before upgrading.

 

In this version we have attempted to combat the FSX Winds Aloft Bug by including surface wind directional smoothing. This has been necessary since any rapid change in surface wind direction causes the simulator to behave very erratically, a state which it seems very reluctant to recover from (the FSX winds aloft bug).

 

The plus side of our current changes are that we still have maintained some level of variability in the surface wind directions along with accurate surface wind strengths. So far we have not resorted to global or completely unchanging winds.

 

The down side is that with the current level of wind direction smoothing the LWE will not be able to adhere to the reported METAR wind directions if they are changing fairly rapidly.

 

Next week we will introduce a configurable option allowing the user to choose whether to adhere strictly to the METARS (suitable for low level slow VFR flying), or smooth the surface winds to combat the FSX winds aloft bug (high level or fast moving jet flying).

 

Regards

Stephen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Next week we will introduce a configurable option allowing the user to choose whether to adhere strictly to the METARS (suitable for low level slow VFR flying), or smooth the surface winds to combat the FSX winds aloft bug (high level or fast moving jet flying).

 

Regards

Stephen

 

Sounds interesting, Stephen, and I'm looking forward to this further development. One question - during a flight, will the user be able switch on the fly (so to speak) from the "VFR option" to the "high ALT option" and then back again upon arrival?

 

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Rudi

 

Good question. I suppose you could but you would risk FSX generating erratic winds. Alternatively you could just wait until you descend below the recovery level and then try to go VFR. Be warned if you are in a jet, we have found certain surface wind changes that FSX just cannot cope with. What we may end up doing is just allowing greater variation when VFR is selected.

 

Regards

Stephen

 

nevermind...didnt realize which forum this was! my apologies

 

Yes, this is our unofficial support forum now, kindly set up for us by Tom. We are free to announce and discuss anything we please here. Did you have a question?

 

Regards

Stephen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Rudi

 

I should have mentioned, if the winds are close to 360/000 then best stick with the smoothing and recover automatically once descending through the recovery level. Otherwise you should be able to recovery and switch to normal VFR. Once we know more about the FSX bug and when it would be safe then we might include some automatic recovery back to VFR and adjust the smoothness limits accordingly.

 

Regards

Stephen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the responses, Stephen, and I may try these variations and report on what's observed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Folks, I'm a little confused. Running the latest beta I only have "All aircraft types" to choose from in the camera dialogue. Also when I create a new camera there is no immediate DHM effect on the aircraft I am flying despite having activated DHM.

 

Thanks

David

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi David

 

Please check your configuration settings once again, make sure your FSX installation folder is specified correctly.

 

Regards

Stephen

 

P.S. When you upgrade you MUST first uninstall the previous version then re-install the new version. If you ever revert back to an older version you must completely re-enter or at least carefully check your settings in the Configure and Weather dialogs. You have obviously mislaid your settings hence the software cannot find the FSX install folder or identify any aircraft. Bottom line - check your settings in Configure and Weather dialogs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I re-checked the folder setting and it's fine. However... I will reinstall the beta from scratch.

Thinking back I did a fresh install with the latest stable + latest beta on top.

 

Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay got it working but had to set the "C:\OpusFSX\FSXSERVER.EXE" file properties (compatibility tab) to "Run as Administrator" for it to see the planes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well done, we will add your problem and findings to the Getting Started guide for others.

 

Regards

Stephen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Stephen,

 

I did 2 flights today with the latest beta and in both the destination airport reported no weather at all.

I first noticed when I looked at the destination metar in Aivlasoft EFB; no weather available from FSX.

Then, later on when Radar Contact invited me to choose my runway because no weather information was available at the destination (obviously it will normally assign one based on wind direction).

 

Is there anything I'm overlooking? All Opus settings are more or less default.

 

Thanks.

David

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps there was no wind. Please check out the 'Reporting Weather Anomalies' post, but we have yet to find any anomalies. If the METAR reports are saying nil wind and CAVOK then it seems reasonable to me that you may be asked what runway you prefer.

 

No idea about Aiviasoft, you should really consult the NOAA METAR. If the program is querying FSX then what airport was it, does it have a METAR even. Not my program so I can not say what it is doing. But the downloaded METARs would be in OpusWeather.txt and the stations ATIS would have been correct, more accurate than the radio report (that's an FSX thing).

 

Regards

Stephen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can ask EFB to show the weather from NOAA, the current Active sky snapshot (if you're using it) or FSX. All it did was confirm what RC told me, and that there was no weather (wind?) at the destination airport.

 

These were two separate flights on two different continents (YBRK and CYLW) respectively and I don't believe in coincidences! I thought that OpusFSX populated FSX with weather throughout the world, and so there is definitely something amiss. When I get a chance to fly again probably this weekend, I shall test again. Is there anything I should look out for specifically?

 

Cheers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OpusFSX builds the weather for over 300 miles around the aircraft and is updated as you fly.

 

Open the Spy window, force a weather update and see if the METARs come through. You can also send me your OpusWeather.txt file so that I can load your weather here. Please check out the Flight1 'Reporting Weather Anomalies' post.

 

Regards

Cheryl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites