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Roland´s Radar X WX Advantage Radar

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Just saw this now. Although I use FS Global real weather. So not sure if this would work for me. But would be great

if a more precise weather radar gauge was developed. I have the Majestic Dash8 and A2A aircraft.

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What do the colors in the ASN depiction actually mean? Are they composite or at your altitude? What is the beam height on the Roland weather radar? Did you try adjusting the tilt on WX Advantage? Considering your tilt in the WX Advantage is zero in all three photos you may just be topping the weather system.

 

I have some time using the WX Advantage and it takes some getting use to even by someone who teaches weather radar, such as myself. The first thing you have to realize is the beam on WX Advantage is very narrow. It is only 3 degrees (vertical.) Thus at zero tilt the radar is only seeing (at 10 miles) 1,500 feet above and below your altitude. Also the center of the beam needs to be placed into the the most active part of the storm. In the 30-40 degree latitudes that is about 20,000 to 25,000 feet. However, here it seems FS and ASN get it wrong. Moisture, in the form of participation tends to be a lower altitude phenomenon.

 

Thus in FS it seems you need to tilt your radar down much more then in the real world. 

 

I am still investigating WX Advantage and how it interacts with the sim environment using ASN. I have also used Roland Radar and a few others and my initial view is that Wx Advantage is the more accurate simulation of a radar beam then any of the others I have tried. However, it is a beam operating in an inaccurate weather simulation. Thus what I would expect to see is not what I get and to find the weather radar needs tilting much further down then I would expect. 

 

Wx Advantage is missing ground clutter which the developer says is being looked into. Ground clutter should really help with simple tilt management with this radar system. 

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Wx Advantage is missing ground clutter which the developer says is being looked into.

 

Same miss from ASN / AS16 API.  I agree that ground clutter would be a nice addition, and a simple and efficient help to adjust the tilt angle.

 

 

 


Follow screenshots:

 

Funny that the blue font shown on my radar gauge is NOT the expected one. This one looks like the LCD font. Did you hack your system fonts?

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Based on what Roland told me before, his radar gauge does not perform any "post-processing". It sends true heading, range and radar tilt etc to ActiveSky's API, and ActiveSky reports back a precipitation density for each area, which he then displays. ASN and AS16 thus far are the only weather-engines that can control precipitation and report on its whereabouts, which makes Roland's gauge fairly accurate, save for simulating radar effects such as beam attenuation, shadowing, ground clutter etc.

 

Most other weather radar gauges (RealityXP WX500, Captain Sim etc) just poll cloud and weather station data from FSX. That means they're much less accurate because they merely guessing where the precipitation will be, whereas Roland's gauge actually knows. RealityXP's WX500 had a fairly decent radar simulation from what I recall, you certainly got ground clutter, but as explained the actual picture was flawed because it's based on a guess.

 

WX Advantage Radar seems to be somewhere between the two; like the "guessers" it polls data from FSX and uses this to decide where the precipitation should be, but the big difference is WXA then controls the sim's precipitation effects based on this (so rain should match with the radar picture). The marketing blurb makes the radar effects simulation seem pretty good, although I wonder how they are in practice? I'm unsure how well WX Advantage would work alongside ASN/AS16 given they both are trying to control precipitation.

 

AS16 also includes an updated radar gauge of its own that I've not tried yet; previously this provided a top-down satellite view, the type you would receive via datalink rather than onboard radar.

 

Edited: Seems WX Advantage controls the precipitation effect, have amended post to suit

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To be accurate, here is the content of the last HiFi API documentation (AS16) related to radar data array:

 

 

 

 ACTIVE SKY doesn't simulate echo signal "shadows". It will return the precipitation "load" related to the detected (by the radar beam) cloud sprites even if a significant signal "obscures" it.
 ACTIVE SKY counts aggregate precipitation intensity produced by each cloud sprite (down to the defined precipitation base). So in effect this means that the "thicker" a cloud and the lower the beam intersects it, then the stronger the precipitation (as the real radar works). In the case multiscan mode is in effect, then the stronger of the two signals at a given location is used.
 ACTIVE SKY will take into account the earth curvature for significant ranges (at least more than 50nm). So if the tilt value (in "manual mode") is zero, the aircraft is at FL300 and a thunderstorm top reaches 32000, but is 150 miles away, then it will not be detected, unless the tilt value is set to a "lower" (negative) value (since the earth curvature related drop will lead the cloud to be about 9000 feet lower).
 Ranges (the range1 value) more than the actual cloud draw distance (cdd) inside the sim, will result in much lower resolution images/data (for 320nm range, it will be 32x32 with a resolution of ~10nm per pixel). This is not implemented yet (in progress) and at this point ranges of more than the cdd will not give any returns.

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The WX Advantage works with ALL WX engines and with ALL aircraft.  It does so not by doing any polling at all but by picking up what FSX is displaying and then doing precip based on that.

 

The tilt is as KenG states but we are looking at expanding that a bit more...  

 

As well as adding Terrain and Cloud masking, we've already added dual beam capability to our API so that devs can add this into their specific types of radars.  As well, it can be (easily) added to 3d cockpits by the devs of said products.

 

I certainly won't get into a conversation about which is more accurate except to say that ours IS accurate as per what FSX/P3D is displaying.  Again, in ALL WX engines.  ALL.  (did I repeat myself too much here???)

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I have the Rex/Milviz radar guage and it works fine. I had the RXP Weather 500 gauge which also worked fine. The big hole in our FSX simulation is you can fly a Cessna 150 right into the deepest purple on radar and the plane gets jostled around  but continues to fly. If severe weather would rip the wings off a 152 (like X-Plane) I would probably pay more attention to the echos. For me the fidelity of the weather model depreciates the radar value.

 

Bob

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I was hoping to see more developers integrate the Milviz radar into their products but have not seen many. I have other bugs with some Milviz products like the B55 that are still not fixed so I am not flying that right now. I was hoping RealAir and others would integrate the wx gauge into the vc of their products. Still holding back buying this addon.

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WX Advantage... by picking up what FSX is displaying and then doing precip based on that... ours IS accurate as per what FSX/P3D is displaying... in ALL WX engines.

Thanks for the explanation, that's much clearer; I wish the product page on REX's website had been written in similarly clear, concise plain English! (your explanation has given meaning to "cloudscan")

 

I have two questions, I think I know the answers but would appreciate confirmation:

  1. Are there frameless versions of the gauges (with clickspots) that can be implemented in to a virtual cockpit (e.g. PMDG JS41), it doesn't seem so?
  2. Will the precipitation control clash with ASN/AS16?

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There are frameless versions that can be integrated in any aircraft BUT...  it needs to be clear that these are merely 2D planes (haha pun) in a 3D space and not actually properly integrated...

 

We tested this in MANY configurations and it worked in ALL of them. (them being WX engines)

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The big hole in our FSX simulation is you can fly a Cessna 150 right into the deepest purple on radar and the plane gets jostled around  but continues to fly. If severe weather would rip the wings off a 152 (like X-Plane) I would probably pay more attention to the echos. For me the fidelity of the weather model depreciates the radar value.

 

Thunderstorms or all clouds for that matter are textures. FS will jostle you about some, (ASN seems to enhance this slightly) but many of the effects inside of storms are missing. Not only is there severe rain, but strong up and down drafts, wind-shear, lighting and possibly hail. 

 

I think the last thing we need is for developers to add a rip you wings off mode to weather. While it may sound cool I can easily see this effect getting abused by people who have not ever actually flown an airplane in convective weather and have no real idea of the forces involved or the actual strength of aircraft. It would be very bad to be cruising along and punch through a stratus cloud and find your aircraft torn to pieces. If they are getting their data from METAR you only have three levels of precipitation. i.e. Light Rain, Rain and Heavy Rain. I have many times flown through heavy rain that was not associated with thunderstorm activity. It did not rip my wings off...

 

I am not sure how much can be done with the weather simulation, but clouds that behave like clouds and more then one type of thunderstorm would be nice. There should be a difference between a building cumulonimbus and a super cell. 

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You can experience severe up and downdrafts in large Tcells using AS16. It is also configurable so you can disable the effect. If you fly a 172 into the middle of the red radar return in AS16 you are in deep trouble.

 

Vic

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Thunderstorms or all clouds for that matter are textures. FS will jostle you about some, (ASN seems to enhance this slightly) but many of the effects inside of storms are missing. Not only is there severe rain, but strong up and down drafts, wind-shear, lighting and possibly hail. 

 

I think the last thing we need is for developers to add a rip you wings off mode to weather. While it may sound cool I can easily see this effect getting abused by people who have not ever actually flown an airplane in convective weather and have no real idea of the forces involved or the actual strength of aircraft. It would be very bad to be cruising along and punch through a stratus cloud and find your aircraft torn to pieces. If they are getting their data from METAR you only have three levels of precipitation. i.e. Light Rain, Rain and Heavy Rain. I have many times flown through heavy rain that was not associated with thunderstorm activity. It did not rip my wings off...

 

I am not sure how much can be done with the weather simulation, but clouds that behave like clouds and more then one type of thunderstorm would be nice. There should be a difference between a building cumulonimbus and a super cell.

There are actually 5 levels available in the FSX metar format. Moot though as we are not using it. We have our own way of locating general area precipitation intensities and then controlling it to sync with cloud densities.

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 I was speaking real METAR. Three levels of intensity (+) heavy, ( ) moderate, and (-) light. Maybe ACES added the other two intensity levels to account for the descriptor or they had something else in mind.  i.e. Rain showers is one intensity and light rain is another. Either way I would be interested what the other two intensities are as I  don't think I have seen them outputted as METAR in FSX.

 

 Maybe 5 intensities of precipitation in the engine, but the METAR follows the standard format?

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With the information above I decided to fly ASN and WX Advantage against a well developed storm moving across Oklahoma on 14 July. 

 

Let me describe what you are seeing. On the left fltplan Go on my iPad using datalinked weather and synced to the location of FSX. In the center is ASN depiction of the weather and the right is WX Advantage. Each time I show WX Advantage I have already tilted up and down to analyze the return.

 

Image1_zpskj48xozw.png

 

 

In this first image we are just starting to approach the line of storms and we can see that on ASN. WX Advantage is already showing hazardous returns at 25 to 35nm. With ASN range at 68 I assume that is 68nm from the left of the window to the right, so it seems like with are starting to pick up the lead of the storm.

 

Image2_zpshjkudi6s.png

 

Using WX Advantage I head for the clear area North of my filed route. I fulled expected to be turned around by this storm and based on the datalinked weather this would have been a no go. But I decided to see how close ASN weather is. 

 

 

Image3_zpsqathztin.png

 

This last image shows the gaping hole in ASN weather presentation. According to the datalinked weather, I should in in the thick of a very powerful storm. I was wondering if this was a lag in ASN weather. The datalink was just after a refresh. Even considering that while there is some matching of the storm, the ASN weather still looked different in many aspects. I guess either a lag or the METAR from KTQH was messing with the presentation.

 

What about WX Advantage. You can just see some radar shadowing of the storm at 11 O'clock and 40nm (which after the fact I think I should have had the range of ASN further out and we would be able to see that cell.) Other then that it is generally painting cells in the same vicinity as where ASN put them. You also have to consider the color difference between NEXRAD and Airborne weather. 

 

Incomplete_AirborneVsNEXRAD.jpg

 

Basically, Dark green on NEXRAD is about the start of the moderate band on Airborne and medium yellow on NEXRAD is strong on airborne. Also when the radome gets wet, the colors shift (yellow is actually green, and red may be yellow or red!) My dome was dry at this point.

 

One more shot this one is sans the datalink image since we already determined that my datalink was newer then ASN. Now ATC is vectoring me south for the approach. I would have gone west of the field with the info I had on board, but ATC was determined to send me east and into the thick of it. 

 

Image4_zpsrks5hdun.png

 

Again the range on the ASN window is still unknown (25nm but from where to where.) There was large precipitation between 30 to 60 degrees left of the aircraft at about 8nm. To the right there are cells off the nose slightly past 60 degrees. I don't expect the cells to match up perfectly. I also turned on the turbulence mode of WX Advantage. I can sort of match up precipitation with ASN and I am topping the closest cells with the radar beam.

 

Bottom line: ASN is delayed weather, I'd guess about 30 to 45 minutes based on what I saw. Either that or the one METAR report was causing the large hole that was not really present. But, overall there was a large storm generally east of Tulsa today.

 

WX Advantage was able to steer me clear, you have to look at the chart above to compare NEXRAD and airborne sensitivity, only the darkest blue will register as green. The narrow beam will easily top cells. The beam was more powerful then expected, but it is also a BIG dish. I did see some shadowing, but it was not well defined. Sometimes WX Advantage would shadow in the middle of a storm then paint the back side.  The primary purpose of a weather radar is storm avoidance, not penetration. I am fairly certain I could have avoided the storms using WX Advantage with ASN today and should have told ATC "Unable" when they vectored me into the weather.

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Great report Ken! Thank you for taking the time.

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yes couple of typos and I do know how to spell precipitation as opposed to participation.  :wink:

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yes couple of typos and I do know how to spell precipitation as opposed to participation.  :wink:

 

Hah!

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if one uses Roland's ASN wx gauge in the vc, you can see and set the range scale.  

 

from my experience, the gauge shows precip ahead and fly into it, you'll see precip outside.  

 

wxb55.jpg

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Thank you, I specifically did not test Roland's Radar to WX Advantage on purpose. I don't think it is a fair comparison. One is pulling from ASN directly (and free so the price is right) while the other is trying to simulate a beam to detect the precipitation. (spelled it right this time!) Both can be used to avoid the weather and I think it is just a matter of taste as for what one chooses to use (or economics.) Like the difference between FSX and P3D or Xplane I think we could continue to have an academic discussion on the "advantages" or "disadvantages" of each, but in the end it does not matter. Both are fully capable. Of course my opinion and 8 bucks and you can get a cup of coffee at Starbucks.  :smile:

 

I was remiss and I would like to tank Roland for making his gauge and providing it to the community. 

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The main advantage of Roland's gauge is that it is readily adaptable to the VC of a wide variety of 3rd party aircraft.

 

A 2D popup gauge is certainly better than no gauge at all, but in my opinion this approach cuts down on realism.

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Funny that the blue font shown on my radar gauge is NOT the expected one. This one looks like the LCD font. Did you hack your system font

 

Hi all and thanks for your attention.

 

Roland i did not anything about the fonts , strange! :-)

 

KenG , great test! Thanks...

 

Bui I'm a little confused yet , I need my radar show me where the rain is,  then if the Roland Radar takes this direct information from ASN , theoretically it is more accurate than the WXA.

 

Compare my SS, I have a heavy rain at  12 o clock  conferring with the ASN and Roland Radar but does not appear in WXA ( same range and same tilt in both radars )

 

We will keep testing and sharing here.

 

Best regards

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The main advantage of Roland's gauge is that it is readily adaptable to the VC of a wide variety of 3rd party aircraft.

 

A 2D popup gauge is certainly better than no gauge at all, but in my opinion this approach cuts down on realism.

 

 

The WX Avantage can (easily) do exactly the same thing though, as with the other one, it's a 2D representation on the 3D VC and not actually integrated.  Plus, we're in discussions with 3rd party devs to have them integrate it into their products.

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yes couple of typos and I do know how to spell precipitation as opposed to participation.  :wink:

I fixed that for you... :wink:

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