Jump to content

Archived

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

ArjenVdv

Idea to make a weather radar possible

Recommended Posts

Reading this title you would probably all "facedesk" (just like I always do when I see a weather radar thread in this forum :Big Grin: ), but I just came up with something really interesting.

 

During a flight today from Waterloo Well to somewhere else in Canada (can't remember the airport anymore lol), flying in really bad weather using the great OpusFSX weather engine, I was thinking: "Hey, if OpusFSX can download weather from the net and inject it into FSX really accurately, then it should also be possible for an FSX plane to download this exact same weather data, and show it on the ND, right?

I am fully aware of FSX' limitations as Ryan explained them many times: the precipation only exists within a small area of the plane, so precipation from a large distance cannot be measured directly from FSX itself, and therefore making a weather radar would not be worth it because it's not going to represent the real thing by far.

But what I came up with, works completely different. Actually, it's very much like the terrain radar in the NGX: it doesn't measure the terrain data directly from FSX, but it comes from a seperate terrain radar database. So, we could make a weather radar work in a similar way: live weather data gets downloaded from the internet and gets stored in such a database, and in this way the plane can show this data on the ND just in the same way the terrain data gets showed there.

Obviously, the data showed on the ND, will only match with FSX if you're using live weather, and preferably a live weather program like REX or Opus. But I don't see a problem with this considering that 99% of the PMDG users are using a good quality 3rd party weather engine anyway.

 

So what do you think? :P


Arjen Vandervelde

Share this post


Link to post

Well, you've just rediscovered NEXRAD and what you've described is exactly what existing weather engines do. However, it doesn't solve the basic problems involved with presenting weather 'radar' in FS. Weather data shows weather at a station in very broad terms with a time lag and will in no way present a 'real' depiction of conditions at any point within your view.

 

DJ

Share this post


Link to post

That's an idea we've talked about in the past but it still has issues. For one, what's in FSX is never exactly what's there in the real world - I'm sure the Opus or AS2012 or REX devs would tell you that you're not going to see individual storm cells in exactly the same arrangement they are on a real life NEXRAD image for instance - FSX isn't capable of that level of granularity, it's much more general.

 

The other (arguably more important) issue with wx radar in FSX in general is that there's really no consequence for flying through weather - it's not going to rip the wings off your airplane, flame out your engines from heavy rain/hail, overwhelm your anti-ice systems etc. You can fly through the worst thunderstorm you can set up in FSX and you're basically out the other side of it in seconds with no ill effects. Until we have a sim that can actually make weather have the disastrous consequences it can have in real life, having radar is purely an academic exercise.


Ryan Maziarz
devteam.jpg

For fastest support, please submit a ticket at http://support.precisionmanuals.com

Share this post


Link to post
The other (arguably more important) issue with wx radar in FSX in general is that there's really no consequence for flying through weather - it's not going to rip the wings off your airplane, flame out your engines from heavy rain/hail, overwhelm your anti-ice systems etc. You can fly through the worst thunderstorm you can set up in FSX and you're basically out the other side of it in seconds with no ill effects. Until we have a sim that can actually make weather have the disastrous consequences it can have in real life, having radar is purely an academic exercise.

 

I agree one hundred percent. I can't see the point in putting so much work into a feature that'll probably never get used properly and the bigger fact of the "problems" they display, aren't any problems for the aircraft in FSX.


Boeing777_Banner_Betateam.jpg
 

- Luke Pabari

Share this post


Link to post

I still liked having it in the Maddog 08, it was a nice touch even if it only showed the general weather but I still deviate around cells that is visually spotted. The terrain map is a nice feature but its something I never have a use for since most of my flights are in and out of flat lands so the wx radar would get more use.


Alex Jevdic KORD/KHOT/KPWK

A<380 love at first flight

Share this post


Link to post

That's an idea we've talked about in the past but it still has issues. For one, what's in FSX is never exactly what's there in the real world - I'm sure the Opus or AS2012 or REX devs would tell you that you're not going to see individual storm cells in exactly the same arrangement they are on a real life NEXRAD image for instance - FSX isn't capable of that level of granularity, it's much more general.

 

The other (arguably more important) issue with wx radar in FSX in general is that there's really no consequence for flying through weather - it's not going to rip the wings off your airplane, flame out your engines from heavy rain/hail, overwhelm your anti-ice systems etc. You can fly through the worst thunderstorm you can set up in FSX and you're basically out the other side of it in seconds with no ill effects. Until we have a sim that can actually make weather have the disastrous consequences it can have in real life, having radar is purely an academic exercise.

 

X-Plane 10 64bit, does and also has a weather radar that works. I've flown into bad thunderstorms showing red on the weather radar, in X-Plane and lost control of the aircraft.


Robert Yunque
Banner_MJC11_zpsc02297c8.png

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post

Realtime Nexrad raw data is available for free download. Someone at VATSIM (don't remember his name, but he's from France) was looking at incorporating it into VATSIM for ATC, but no mention of anything else. Not sure if European radar data is available.

 

 

Dave


Dave-Aerosoft-Signature-500x125.png

Share this post


Link to post

I guess Robert just answered my curiosity.

 

Tabs gives compelling reasons for us WXR lovers to "move on", but I have been wondering for a while as to wether it was possible to actually recreate live weather in any future simulation as the real world weather is never relayed in real time accurately anyway.

 

At least the discussions on both sides are always interesting.

 


Waleed N

Share this post


Link to post

For one, what's in FSX is never exactly what's there in the real world.

 

The other (arguably more important) issue with wx radar in FSX in general is that there's really no consequence for flying through weather

Ad 1: as long as radar and outside weather use the same data the picture should be in sync; I could live with a time lag. But if the WX radar uses the same e.g. ASE/ASX data stream then WYSIWYG, isn't it?

Ad 2: all about eye candy then. Do I need people flow? They do not really load the luggage in my plane but hey look nice and hence I do buy from Orbx.

 

just my 2 cents

Phil


Phil Leaven

Share this post


Link to post

The other (arguably more important) issue with wx radar in FSX in general is that there's really no consequence for flying through weather - it's not going to rip the wings off your airplane, flame out your engines from heavy rain/hail, overwhelm your anti-ice systems etc. You can fly through the worst thunderstorm you can set up in FSX and you're basically out the other side of it in seconds with no ill effects. Until we have a sim that can actually make weather have the disastrous consequences it can have in real life, having radar is purely an academic exercise.

 

I agree with Luke. Althouth I do not have time for the Virtual Airlines I do like to fly as realistic as possible espesially as I have a private ticket. One of my Carenado planes has the radar and I hardly look at it any more because it does not reflect what is outside the window and as Luke said I have yet to fly through weather as serious as it can be in the real world and I have AS2012.

Thanks,

Ron


Thanks, Ron Fields

Share this post


Link to post

The other (arguably more important) issue with wx radar in FSX in general is that there's really no consequence for flying through weather - it's not going to rip the wings off your airplane, flame out your engines from heavy rain/hail, overwhelm your anti-ice systems etc. You can fly through the worst thunderstorm you can set up in FSX and you're basically out the other side of it in seconds with no ill effects. Until we have a sim that can actually make weather have the disastrous consequences it can have in real life, having radar is purely an academic exercise.

 

I agree with Luke. Althouth I do not have time for the Virtual Airlines I do like to fly as realistic as possible espesially as I have a private ticket. One of my Carenado planes has the radar and I hardly look at it any more because it does not reflect what is outside the window and as Luke said I have yet to fly through weather as serious as it can be in the real world and I have AS2012.

Thanks,

Ron

 

Explanation: I accidently deleted the Quote direction as I was trying to quote Ryan and agree with the remark that Luke had made.

Thanks,

Ron


Thanks, Ron Fields

Share this post


Link to post

The other (arguably more important) issue with wx radar in FSX in general is that there's really no consequence for flying through weather - it's not going to rip the wings off your airplane, flame out your engines from heavy rain/hail, overwhelm your anti-ice systems etc. You can fly through the worst thunderstorm you can set up in FSX and you're basically out the other side of it in seconds with no ill effects. Until we have a sim that can actually make weather have the disastrous consequences it can have in real life, having radar is purely an academic exercise.

 

I can't agree with this, as someone else stated, we use GSX etc for realism on the ground, but we don't actually have passengers or cargo. Even though no damage can be sustained flying through a storm/hurricane, it would be nice to be able to re-route to avoid them and great training in the use of the fmc.


AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 4.2 32 gig ram, NVidia 1060 6 gig, Intel 760 SSD M2 NVMe 512 gig, Crucial MX500 SSD

You Tube:- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC96wsF3D_h5GzNNJnuDH3WQ

Reality Is For People Who Can't Handle Simulation!

Share this post


Link to post

Am I not right, when I say that Majestic are including a top notch weather radar in their dash?

 

IIRC, they have overcome many of the previously perceived FSX limitations that prevent a reasonably accurate rendition.

 

If so, I see no reason why PMDG couldn't do something similar, eventually.

 

Unless I'm missing something of course, which is always a possibility.

Share this post


Link to post

I wrote this for a similar suggestion back in November. It should address some of the points, from a data availability standpoint:

 

Okay, here goes:

 

This is a problem in the real world as it is in the sim. A lot of the weather digests are just as backwards as the weather injection in Flight Sim. You'd imagine that the National Weather Service would have some sort of way to determine what the weather is at nearly any point in the United States, but they don't.

 

Here's what we have:

-Localized radar, but contrary to popular belief, there are gaps in coverage, and each radar has somewhat of a squelch feature. Ever see a blue cone around the radar site? Since there's no precip, the sensitivity has been dialed up to pick up lighter precip, which means the radar will pick up moisture closer to it, giving you the blue circle.

-METARs, but there are several gaps in coverage. For what radius is a METAR valid? What if there are two right next to each other with vastly different data? Does the change gradually occur, or is there a front 50/50 between them?

-Wind aloft reports (not going to help in generating a radar picture)

-PIREPs (not really going to help in generating a radar picture)

 

Here's an example of the radar "squelch":

mid_atlantic_201211011430.gif

 

The circles are over southern Ohio, all over Indiana, and in SE VA. Those circles don't necessarily mean precip, rather, that local station's sensitivity has been increased in order to see showery precip should it occur. So, using this method to infer precip in the sim isn't necessarily going to give you accurate precip, even when porting real Doppler into the sim.

(If the sensitivity thing interests you, research vcp)

 

So, while that method may be clever to generate a radar picture and then force trigger the rain effect in the sim, it's not as accurate as you'd like it to be, as it's a composite. The radar return from the NWS is a composite of the altitudes (again, see vcp here), whereas the returns on your sim radar would be at whatever angle you adjusted the radar to, based on your altitude. In other words, the NWS radar is multiple slices. Your sim radar would be a single slice.

 

Even in the real world, when we look at radar, we're only checking for precip and strength of precip. In order to come to understand real world conditions across the NAS, we all turn to digests of METARs, which is what the weather programs all do.

 

Here's the trick, though:

United's weather model is different from Delta's, which is different from Southwest's, which is different from the FAA's (they all built/contracted different programs - the FAA is trying to remedy this with a "common weather picture" initiative in NextGen). Just like your REX is different from my AS2012, which is slightly different from someone else's ASE. Granted, when you're simulating a weather radar in a sim, the weather in your sim is the only one that matters, but the issues remain.

 

Aside from radar, METARs are the only near-real-time data we have for various weather programs to digest into some semblance of a weather picture, but they are not a complete weather picture. They are occasionally incorrect (on my flight last weekend, the JYO METAR showed lightning distant and there was no chance*). Additionally, how do you determine weather en route with drastic changes? When I flew on my birthday two years ago, my original destination was reporting a ceiling of 400' and 3/4SM vis. The airport I went into instead was severe clear, and it is only 6.9nm away. They're both located in a plain, but SHD is closer to the Luray Valley, which was "spilling" valley clouds out over it (the airports are KVBW and KSHD, and you can see how the terrain affects them here).

 

Most weather programs mitigate this by interpolation for smoothing, but with such drastic changes some of them have difficulties. So, even with "real" weather injection through METARs (what we use currently), it's hard to generate an accurate picture. It's also nearly impossible to give any sort of upper air precip picture through digesting METAR data (remember, METAR data comes from ground stations, primarily reporting conditions on the ground, with limited other features like cloud altitudes). Granted, I'm not sure what other information these weather programs are ingesting, but there isn't much else out there.

 

*If you're bored, there are more videos here along with the narrative of the flight

Also, if you generally hate my guts, you can also see me getting punished by crosswinds in those videos :wink:


Kyle Rodgers

Share this post


Link to post
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Tom Allensworth,
    Founder of AVSIM Online


  • Flight Simulation's Premier Resource!

    AVSIM is a free service to the flight simulation community. AVSIM is staffed completely by volunteers and all funds donated to AVSIM go directly back to supporting the community. Your donation here helps to pay our bandwidth costs, emergency funding, and other general costs that crop up from time to time. Thank you for your support!

    Click here for more information and to see all donations year to date.
  • Donation Goals

    AVSIM's 2020 Fundraising Goal

    Donate to our annual general fundraising goal. This donation keeps our doors open and providing you service 24 x 7 x 365. Your donation here helps to pay our bandwidth costs, emergency funding, and other general costs that crop up from time to time. We reset this goal every new year for the following year's goal.


    31%
    $7,750.00 of $25,000.00 Donate Now
×
×
  • Create New...