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Driver170

WXR radar nothing showing up!

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My weather radar is always set on AUTO and WX + T

 

When cruising along over the Bay of Biscay i noticed there was a cell in my general direction and there was no returns on the radar, I pressed HDG select flew around just I was passing abeam the cloud it was very turbulent as a residual of the clouds. My radar was in AUTO. if someone has good knowledge, manuals or anything that can help me understand the radar will be much appreciated.

 

The height was above FL390

 

2015-4-19_15-38-57-483.png

 

 

2015-4-19_15-38-45-88.png

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Just wanted to add to this: I'm also experiencing the same issue. In FSX, it takes a huge amount of 'Gain' control to show wx-radar returns.

On the other hand, in P3D with the same weather, I get large amounts of returns and I even have to tone down the 'Gain'.

 

Very weird, how in FSX nothing shows up but in P3D, everything shows.

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I have no idea!? Maybe someone knows? I thought it could be down to very little moisture at the cloud tops?

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If you are in "Auto", the radar is looking mainly to your flight path. If there is little rain in your path

at those high altitudes, not much will return on the radar as there is not much down tilt.

Try manual and tilt the beam down and see what you get. Also raise the gain if the rain might be

light, and you want to verify that it's actually working.. At the usual mid to upper 30's flight levels,

if I want to check rain down below, I usually use about a -7 to -9 down tilt. And I'll raise the gain if

I really want to light it up and see most everything.  But I go back to auto when I descend as I want to optimize the tilt for my path.

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Yep, if the gain is up, you will see lighter rain, and stronger hits on the heavy stuff.

But as some have mentioned, high gain is not always desirable. Or at least when

determining what is bad to fly through. Water itself is no issue.. Turbulent water/wind

on the other hand can lead to mayhem..  :(

I watch the radar on flightaware quite a bit when watching the planes flit to and fro.

There was heavy mayhem over Tejas last night, and you could see how the jets will

plan around it, and dodge cells that pop up while in flight.

There was a heavy front moving down across the state last night, and the flights from

HOU to DAL were planning all the way around it, going west out past San Antonio, and

then coming back up to Dallas on the west side. And watching the radar while they were

in flight, you could see them alter the path to avoid strong cells that were popping up

along side of them to the north. Kinda like threading a needle in some cases.

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There was heavy mayhem over Tejas last night, and you could see how the jets will plan around it,

 

That's not necessarily the pilots, FAA will issue clearances to accommodate their bad weather planning even if the stuff hasn't 'hit the fan' yet.  One day my direct 200 nm trip Corpus Christi to Houston ended up looping North around College Station before heading South into Houston.  Too bad I was committed to IFR because just a few miles into the Gulf would have been an easy flight.

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That's not necessarily the pilots, FAA will issue clearances to accommodate their bad weather planning even if the stuff hasn't 'hit the fan' yet.  One day my direct 200 nm trip Corpus Christi to Houston ended up looping North around College Station before heading South into Houston.  Too bad I was committed to IFR because just a few miles into the Gulf would have been an easy flight.

 

Yep, that's why I said they will plan around it.. The plans being made before they even leave the ground.

Maybe a bad choice of wording..  I was assuming the co dispatchers, etc make the actual plans that the pilots review and ok..  I see many routes that are run around the wx well in advance, if they suspect mayhem around the time of the flight.  What the pilots do in flight was the "dodging" I was referring to.

I saw a few that were moving off the planned flight at times, obviously to avoid cells that were popping up near them. In that case, the cells were popping up in front of, and at their 1-2 o'clock positions as they were heading west.

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I believe the weather radar isn't simulated properly.

 

I'm speaking to a pilot about the conditions above and he said it should of shown up

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I'm speaking to a pilot about the conditions above and he said it should of shown up

 

Perhaps you didn't intend to insult, but I find that statement very condescending to the pilots who lurk around here.

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I'm just saying the man who i'm speaking to has vast amount of experiance with collins weather radar systems!

 

His message-

 

In AUTO it should do a low beam and a high sweep, combine those sweeps, remove ground echos and then display it. The tilt shown on the ND is actually just a fake for show tilt of a notional tilt angle that would be used by many pilots for short term threat assessment. If i remember it correctly it shows -2° during cruise which is actually lower than most pilots would use in manual (around -1° to 0° during cruise). Remember the beam has an opening angle as well, so a beam set at 0° would actually scan -3° to +3° as the beam is around 6° wide. The software in that radar is very clever indeed and on the 737NG usually shows a very clear picture of the weather ahead.

 

It is quite possible that the simulation of that equipment is not quite correct.

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It is quite possible that the simulation of that equipment is not quite correct.

 

Or, the weather data that the simulation is dependent upon is not quite correct.  PMDG is only displaying what is sent by ASN, and ASN is now only months into the release of this feature.  You assume the pilots here do not have vast experience LOL.

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Have any of them once commented on my topic about this? NO! So i'm not going against anything they have said, i'm only mentioning what i've been told.

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According to this document:

 

http://www.rockwellcollins.com/~/media/Files/Unsecure/Products/Product%20Brochures/Radar%20and%20Surveillance/Weather%20Radar/WXR-2100/MultiScan%20ThreatTrack%20Quick%20Reference%20Guide%20-%20Boeing.aspx

 

You may have been too high for any threat to show. (First heading....quiet dark cockpit)

 

My WX is working fine in AUTO WX-T.  I just flew into KDEN with heavy TS.  They did not show when I was at FL390.  As i started to descend, the radar started to populate the TS and the pink for turbulence.

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Like i said i'm only mentioning what this pilot said.

 

I'm not disputing your pilot friend.  I just posted a document directly from Rockwell-Collins (though I think the engineers know more than the average pilot).

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I sent that link to the pilot and mentioned it

I know that devin not one moment i thought that.

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My good friends,

 

I have quite a lot of real world experience with many different types of radar, and I thought I might be able to help.

 

It is uncommon to see precipitation at FL390. I've probably only seen any serious cells reaching above FL350 about ten times over 30 years, and if one was to see them at such an altitude in the U.S. they would almost certainly be in the Midwest during the late Spring and Summer months or along a warm oceanic current (typically within 20 to 40 miles of a coast line). There are of course always exceptions, but I'm speaking about how things regularly happen.

 

Lest we forget, clouds do not mean precipitation, and moisture (especially when static) does not offer the reflectivity needed to generate a radar return. One may well see a large tower and there still not be any precipitation.(until enough moisture has had time to be carried by the updraft to cooler temps where the moisture condense into ice crystals. Rain occurs when the ice crystals melt. As a reminder, we're discussing thunderstorms here. Under different conditions, moisture can condense based on other factors and fall as rain without freezing.

 

The point however is just because you see clouds or even a tower (thunderstorm), you won't necessarily have precipitation, and you should rarely see this at FL390.

 

Note that you can always point the radar down to see weather you will soon be flying over.  Remember that radars are Line of Sight, so the angle is based on the distance you are from the precipitation.

 

If you think you should see precipitation, make sure you have Detailed Clouds selected in FSX and Map Detail selected in ASN, pull up the ASN Radar Map and lock onto your aircraft position.  Check the location of the surrounding precipitation, put it off the nose f the aircraft at about 30 miles and angle if you're above 15,000ft then angle your radar downward (remembering that radar is line of sight rule).  If you don't see returns under those conditions, you may well have a software problem and you should take screen shots of the WXR Radar, ASN Radar Map, and any real world weather radar you can correlate to - and pass this to Dave or Damian at ASN.  Be sure to note your aircraft position, which is REALLY EASY if you simply load your route into the ASN Flight Plan before departing. Recordings to go with screen shots are always helpful as well.

 

I sincerely hope that this is useful to you. 

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Note that you can always point the radar down to see weather you will soon be flying over.  Remember that radars are Line of Sight, so the angle is based on the distance you are from the precipitation.

 

Thats what the pilot mentioned when i was speaking to him, he said the radar is smart enough to scan below when in AUTO - In AUTO it should do a low beam and a high sweep, combine those sweeps, remove ground echos and then display it.

 

So why did my radar not do this when in AUTO

If you think you should see precipitation, make sure you have Detailed Clouds selected in FSX and Map Detail selected in ASN, pull up the ASN Radar Map and lock onto your aircraft position.  Check the location of the surrounding precipitation, put it off the nose f the aircraft at about 30 miles and angle if you're above 15,000ft then angle your radar downward (remembering that radar is line of sight rule).  If you don't see returns under those conditions, you may well have a software problem and you should take screen shots of the WXR Radar, ASN Radar Map, and any real world weather radar you can correlate to - and pass this to Dave or Damian at ASN.  Be sure to note your aircraft position, which is REALLY EASY if you simply load your route into the ASN Flight Plan before departing. Recordings to go with screen shots are always helpful as well.

 

Thanks alot dave. I will do this sometime !

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So why did my radar not do this when in AUTO

 

You're most welcome Vernon.

 

As far as the Auto Mode, I don't know how PMDG programmed it to function, and there could be some difference between real world and the PMDG radar. I remind myself that it's not real world all the time and still burn myself by thinking of it as if it was real.

 

Taking manual control of the radar MIGHT be the best way to tell for sure if you're suffering a problem.

 

I wasn't going to mention it, but our team is getting ready to start a rather intense weather radar study, using yet to be released software. It will be neat to get a controlled look at the weather radar functions.

 

Good talkign to you Vernon.

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My good friends,

 

I have quite a lot of real world experience with many different types of radar, and I thought I might be able to help.

 

It is uncommon to see precipitation at FL390. I've probably only seen any serious cells reaching above FL350 about ten times over 30 years, and if one was to see them at such an altitude in the U.S. they would almost certainly be in the Midwest during the late Spring and Summer months or along a warm oceanic current (typically within 20 to 40 miles of a coast line). There are of course always exceptions, but I'm speaking about how things regularly happen.

 

Lest we forget, clouds do not mean precipitation, and moisture (especially when static) does not offer the reflectivity needed to generate a radar return. One may well see a large tower and there still not be any precipitation.(until enough moisture has had time to be carried by the updraft to cooler temps where the moisture condense into ice crystals. Rain occurs when the ice crystals melt. As a reminder, we're discussing thunderstorms here. Under different conditions, moisture can condense based on other factors and fall as rain without freezing.

 

The point however is just because you see clouds or even a tower (thunderstorm), you won't necessarily have precipitation, and you should rarely see this at FL390.

 

Note that you can always point the radar down to see weather you will soon be flying over. Remember that radars are Line of Sight, so the angle is based on the distance you are from the precipitation.

 

If you think you should see precipitation, make sure you have Detailed Clouds selected in FSX and Map Detail selected in ASN, pull up the ASN Radar Map and lock onto your aircraft position. Check the location of the surrounding precipitation, put it off the nose f the aircraft at about 30 miles and angle if you're above 15,000ft then angle your radar downward (remembering that radar is line of sight rule). If you don't see returns under those conditions, you may well have a software problem and you should take screen shots of the WXR Radar, ASN Radar Map, and any real world weather radar you can correlate to - and pass this to Dave or Damian at ASN. Be sure to note your aircraft position, which is REALLY EASY if you simply load your route into the ASN Flight Plan before departing. Recordings to go with screen shots are always helpful as well.

 

I sincerely hope that this is useful to you.

What a refreshingly awesome and useful contribution, Dave. Perhaps a bit presumptuous on my part, but on behalf of everyone who is going to come across this read and your comment, thank you.

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