Weather UpLink.....

As you may know, Arnav is now offering their weather uplink that is displayed on the MFD. I was just speaking with my Avionics guy and he told me that the Arnav data is coming from the ground and their some areas where the data will not be received from the ground transmitters. He told me that GARMIN will have their version the will be “DownLinked” from a SAT. so their will be “NO Holes”. Theirs will be displayed on the MFD also and will be available latter this year. Something to think about. If you are thinking about the WXdata, then you may want to speak with both ARNAV & GARMIN.

Denis

As you may know, Arnav is now offering their weather uplink that is displayed on the MFD. I was just speaking with my Avionics guy and he told me that the Arnav data is coming from the ground and their some areas where the data will not be received from the ground transmitters. He told me that GARMIN will have their version the will be “DownLinked” from a SAT. so their will be “NO Holes”. Theirs will be displayed on the MFD also and will be available latter this year. Something to think about. If you are thinking about the WXdata, then you may want to speak with both ARNAV & GARMIN.

Denis

Denis,

A coverage map of Arnav’s ground based service is available at:

http://www.arnav.com/aanstat.htmhttp://www.arnav.com/aanstat.htm

Are you saying that this service is available NOW on the ICDS2000? I thought it was only available on the smaller MFD, the Arnav MFD 5200.

To the best of my knowledge, Arnav’s system isn’t yet available on the ICDS2000 and Garmin’s (really Echo-flight’s) is not yet available on the Garmin display, although a hand-held unit is available currently directly from http://www.echoflight.comEcho-Flight.

If that info is out-of-date, please let me know!

Thanks,

Steve

Steve, I spoke with ARNAV & GARMIN after I posted that info and the Arnav Rep told me is was availible now in Florida. Garmin said their version would be available in November this year. I told the Arnav Rep what I had, and I assumed he was giving me information on the 2000, but I did not pin him down about the exact model. I guess we need to call again.

Denis

Denis,

Next time you talk to ARNAV, ask him about the satellite weather uplink that they are working on. This would obviate the problems with ground based uplinks.

Steve, I spoke with ARNAV & GARMIN after I posted that info and the Arnav Rep told me is was availible now in Florida. Garmin said their version would be available in November this year. I told the Arnav Rep what I had, and I assumed he was giving me information on the 2000, but I did not pin him down about the exact model. I guess we need to call again.

Denis

Denis,

Next time you talk to ARNAV, ask him about the satellite weather uplink that they are working on. This would obviate the problems with ground based uplinks.

Steve, I spoke with ARNAV & GARMIN after I posted that info and the Arnav Rep told me is was availible now in Florida. Garmin said their version would be available in November this year. I told the Arnav Rep what I had, and I assumed he was giving me information on the 2000, but I did not pin him down about the exact model. I guess we need to call again.

Denis

With the weather uplink do we realy need stormscope?

Denis,

Next time you talk to ARNAV, ask him about the satellite weather uplink that they are working on. This would obviate the problems with ground based uplinks.

Steve, I spoke with ARNAV & GARMIN after I posted that info and the Arnav Rep told me is was availible now in Florida. Garmin said their version would be available in November this year. I told the Arnav Rep what I had, and I assumed he was giving me information on the 2000, but I did not pin him down about the exact model. I guess we need to call again.

Denis

With the weather uplink do we realy need stormscope?

I have spent a fair amount of time asking and trying to answer that very question and here is what my analysis concludes to date:

Any weather uplink system will bw valid to show precipitation. This will likely be available on both a “close scale” and regional basis so it will be possible to get both a “look ahead view” by selecting a wide area of coverage and a tactical view for avoidance in the close up mode. Having watched weather radars in action during all time of the year it is obvious to me that the weather radar alone does not show us thunderstorms.

What is does show are levels of precipitation whic in ripe conditions roughly approximtes thunderstorm activity. There is a wide degree of experience with folks encountering relatively heavy rain with no convective activity. In the FAll and Winter months in the northeast we often see a fair degree of heavy rain without thunderstorms.

The second problem with the uplink system is the fact that there will be some lag between the picture viewed and the time it was taken. The lag may be shorter than 5 minutes but there will be a lag nonetheless. With severe thunderstorms that does not sound like much but these storms sometimes rapidly change their character in a matter of minutes.

The stormscope shows real time data and rate of data. The frequency of strikes is a measurement of amount and severity of activity. It is real time and shows true convection as its data is based on electrical charge activity which translates into turbulence. This condition is what we really want to avoid.
Therefore, to me, the stormscope works as a perfect compliment to the weather uplink. If the stormscope data could be superimposed over the weather radar uplink that would create the perfect picture for our needs. Circumnavigate the sparks and the heavt rain surrounding them and you should get a smooth ride. I would love to see both stormscope and weather uplink TOGETHER in the cockpit.

Brian

Any weather uplink system will bw valid to show precipitation. This will likely be available on both a “close scale” and regional basis so it will be possible to get both a “look ahead view” by selecting a wide area of coverage and a tactical view for avoidance in the close up mode. Having watched weather radars in action during all time of the year it is obvious to me that the weather radar alone does not show us thunderstorms.

Hi Brian,

Agree with almost everything you said – but I also suspect that it will eventually be possible to get both lightning and radar data via uplink… The other problems you mentioned (i.e. several minute delay, etc.) are still present, of course. But if lightning data WERE available via uplink, it may be hard to justify the stormscope…

For example, here’s http://www.glatmos.com/nldn/nldn.htmlone of many organizations which collect lightning data throughout the US and makes the data available (for a fee). So the data is out there, it’s just a question of whether uplink weather providers will deliver it or just radar.

Steve

Last time I spoke with the ARNAV folks they said that they would not provide lightning data since it would not be in real time and, therefore, its value diminished. That doesn’t mean someone else won’t. ARNAV thinks that you get a pretty good indication of convective activity when the radar shows heavy rain and you know thunderstorms are usually present at that time of year in the area you’re traveling. For example, if you fly in Florida on a July afternoon, count on the heavy rain being tied to a thunderstorm. Obviously, both radar uplink and stormscope is the best for the not so clear situations.

Agree with almost everything you said – but I also suspect that it will eventually be possible to get both lightning and radar data via uplink…

Any weather uplink system will bw valid to show precipitation. This will likely be available on both a “close scale” and regional basis so it will be possible to get both a “look ahead view” by selecting a wide area of coverage and a tactical view for avoidance in the close up mode. Having watched weather radars in action during all time of the year it is obvious to me that the weather radar alone does not show us thunderstorms.

Hi Brian,

Agree with almost everything you said – but I also suspect that it will eventually be possible to get both lightning and radar data via uplink… The other problems you mentioned (i.e. several minute delay, etc.) are still present, of course. But if lightning data WERE available via uplink, it may be hard to justify the stormscope…

For example, here’s http://www.glatmos.com/nldn/nldn.htmlone of many organizations which collect lightning data throughout the US and makes the data available (for a fee). So the data is out there, it’s just a question of whether uplink weather providers will deliver it or just radar.

Steve

Hi Steve:

Right you are in theory but I do not see ANYBODY delivering real time lightning data in even the near future even with other datalinks in the works. The FAA’s Capstone program is working on just about everything but lightning data. They are providing traffic as well as weather and terrain avoidance. I think we may see traffic avoidance by uplink before we see real time lightning data. Which leads to a bigger question: Is it worth the cost ($20,000) of getting a traffic avoidance system in the near future if traffic data may become available by uplink? Right now the clear winner in need/price is the stormscope in areas of the country where thunderstorms frequently occur. I know a lot of “west coasters” in the past have said stormscopes are a waste of money as out there they see few storms. But anywhere east of the Rockies we see a ton of trauble all summer long.

Brian

I agree on the stormscope and you need real time data which the stormscope gives you. In Florida, we have fast movers and 7-10 minute old data is not good enough. The BFGoodrich stormscope displayed on the Arnav is and works perfect. With the addition of the Wx data up or downlink, we will be in great shape avoiding the bad stuff.

I spoke with Garmin Friday afternoon, and was told that the Garmin Wx downlink was scheduled for release in November…estimated cost was $3,400 for the hardware/software, plus the installation cost. As I recall, the Arnav salesperson told me $1,400 for the hardware/software, plus the installation. I think both told me about $40 per month for the data. I may go with the Arnav Wx for now, as they cover Florida very well now.

BUT, whatever you do…get the stormscope…especially if you live between TX and FL.

Denis, Ft. Lauderdale (SR22, N726CD, 24 hours and everything is still perfect!)

Ok guys and gals.

Let’s not forget, this is a single engine piston powered airplane. No even Jets with capabilities of climbing at 3000fpm with full deice and radar and a toilet wont be caught flying in real bad stuff. So let’s enjoy life on mother earth, let’s have all the bell and whistle but always, I mean always use that one brain cell and stay away from having to use all the bells and whistles. The rest of us in the board will enjoy reading your posts and not have to feel bad because we now lost a friend.

Have a great SAFE Cirrus day.

Woor

PS Please don’t take this the wrong way, I just enjoy the company I have everytime I read someone’s post. Chute or no chute gravity works 100% of the time. Just like you heard be happy… Be safe…

Last time I spoke with the ARNAV folks they said that they would not provide lightning data since it would not be in real time and, therefore, its value diminished. That doesn’t mean someone else won’t. ARNAV thinks that you get a pretty good indication of convective activity when the radar shows heavy rain and you know thunderstorms are usually present at that time of year in the area you’re traveling. For example, if you fly in Florida on a July afternoon, count on the heavy rain being tied to a thunderstorm. Obviously, both radar uplink and stormscope is the best for the not so clear situations.

Agree with almost everything you said – but I also suspect that it will eventually be possible to get both lightning and radar data via uplink…

Ok guys and gals.

I saw an ad in an online store for “TPAS”(traffic proximity alert system). Made by Surecheck. Works via passive monitoring of transponder signals. Detects traffic up to 10nm enroute or closer in for terminal traffic (5nm). Are these any good? Their relatively cheap price <1000$ makes them seem to good to be true. thanks.
Let’s not forget, this is a single engine piston powered airplane. No even Jets with capabilities of climbing at 3000fpm with full deice and radar and a toilet wont be caught flying in real bad stuff. So let’s enjoy life on mother earth, let’s have all the bell and whistle but always, I mean always use that one brain cell and stay away from having to use all the bells and whistles. The rest of us in the board will enjoy reading your posts and not have to feel bad because we now lost a friend.

Have a great SAFE Cirrus day.

Woor

PS Please don’t take this the wrong way, I just enjoy the company I have everytime I read someone’s post. Chute or no chute gravity works 100% of the time. Just like you heard be happy… Be safe…

Last time I spoke with the ARNAV folks they said that they would not provide lightning data since it would not be in real time and, therefore, its value diminished. That doesn’t mean someone else won’t. ARNAV thinks that you get a pretty good indication of convective activity when the radar shows heavy rain and you know thunderstorms are usually present at that time of year in the area you’re traveling. For example, if you fly in Florida on a July afternoon, count on the heavy rain being tied to a thunderstorm. Obviously, both radar uplink and stormscope is the best for the not so clear situations.

Agree with almost everything you said – but I also suspect that it will eventually be possible to get both lightning and radar data via uplink…

Which leads to a bigger question: Is it worth the cost ($20,000) of getting a traffic avoidance system in the near future if traffic data may become available by uplink?

Brian,

That is a great $20,000 question! When we were at AOPA, I had a discussion with one of AOPA staff members regarding Capstone. As you may have seen, they had a live display on an MX20 MFD, showing live (real, not simulated) traffic in the FDK area. Apparently there are two potential ways to display traffic in the capstone system. The one that’s written about more, but will take a long time to achieve, is the system in which each aircraft transmits its GPS position to all nearby aircraft. (It’ll take a long time, I’m sure, before the majority of planes are transmitting their position like this!)

I hadn’t realized before seeing the demo, but the Capstone project also has a feature in which the FAA radar data (including N-number & type if the plane was IFR or getting flight following, otherwise just mode C data – not sure if primary targets or mode-A only targets are shown) is sent from the FAA to the uplink provider, and then displayed on the MFD. This seems a lot closer to reality.

So I asked the AOPA guy whether he thought this 1st stage would happen within the next 5 years or so… If trafic uplink will be available sooner than that, it might make me think twice about getting the Skywatch system. Anyway, he said to keep an eye out - I guess there’s a decision the FAA needs to make later this year about whether to proceed with expanding the Capstone project. After that decision, we should have a clearer idea how long it will take to materialize.

Normally, this type of answer makes me think that it’ll still be a long time. But the more I think about it, the more it makes me think that it still might happen sooner.

Why? Well, we’ve all probably seen those software programs which can display radar position and N-number of all IFR traffic on your PC (like that http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/fe/index.htmlFlight Explorer program). So, if the FAA is already releasing real-time radar data, it seems like it might be up to private industry to take that data and allow it to be uplinked. Anything that’s up to private industry would likely be realized quicker than most FAA programs, I suspect.

Some questions remain – as you mentioned before, how much delay is there in getting the uplinked data. Also, how useable would the system be if it only shows traffic the FAA radar can see. (i.e. below say 3000 ft, how much of the US is in radar coverage?), and are primary targets shown (that would be an advantage over onboard traffic systems), etc.

But it is certainly enough to make me think that when the Skywatch option DOES come out, I will definitely take a close look at uplink technology before deciding to put down $20,000+ for Skywatch!

Steve

Here’s something that happened to me (with family in the 'plane) a couple of months back; really highlights the need for up-to-the-instant lightning data.
I was flying through a +/- 70-mile “hole” between two lines of T-storms; leaving Chicago for home (NJ). The storms were lined up East-West, so I had to head South. Radar, FSS, etc. predicted that the hole would remain clear. Conditions were completely IMC. My Stormscope confirmed strikes about 35-40 miles to my left and right, none closer; many more farther out (both sides). Strike rate varied between 5 and 10 per minute.
When we got to about 20 miles beyond the line of storms, I contacted FSS to ask them if it would be safe to turn Eastbound. They agreed that from our present position, there were no storms to the left, and that it made sense to turn now. I was in the turn when all hell broke loose – lightning everywhere (or so it seemed). The Stormscope count went to 600+ strikes/minute instantly. Without the Stormscope, I would not have known which way to turn, (everything all around seemed to light up at once) but one glance at the ARNAV screen told me that the activity was all on my left. I don’t think I’ve ever reacted more quickly – right turn, and in short order put some distance between me and the cell that had decided to organize itself right then in that unstable air.

My comment to my brother-in-law (in the right seat) was “That Stormscope just paid for itself”.

  • Mike.

PS - My own lesson learned that night: How quickly cells can form in unstable air, and how wrong FSS can be.

Hi Steve:

Right you are in theory but I do not see ANYBODY delivering real time lightning data in even the near future even with other datalinks in the works. The FAA’s Capstone program is working on just about everything but lightning data. They are providing traffic as well as weather and terrain avoidance. I think we may see traffic avoidance by uplink before we see real time lightning data. Which leads to a bigger question: Is it worth the cost ($20,000) of getting a traffic avoidance system in the near future if traffic data may become available by uplink? Right now the clear winner in need/price is the stormscope in areas of the country where thunderstorms frequently occur. I know a lot of “west coasters” in the past have said stormscopes are a waste of money as out there they see few storms. But anywhere east of the Rockies we see a ton of trauble all summer long.

Brian

check out flytimer.com for their new WxMate product for realtime nexrad and lightning uplinks. I called them and they couldn’t give me a good guess on availability, I’m guessing next year at the earliest. Price is under $3K - similar to echoflight product except that its tower based and includes lightning.

Any weather uplink system will bw valid to show precipitation. This will likely be available on both a “close scale” and regional basis so it will be possible to get both a “look ahead view” by selecting a wide area of coverage and a tactical view for avoidance in the close up mode. Having watched weather radars in action during all time of the year it is obvious to me that the weather radar alone does not show us thunderstorms.

Hi Brian,

Agree with almost everything you said – but I also suspect that it will eventually be possible to get both lightning and radar data via uplink… The other problems you mentioned (i.e. several minute delay, etc.) are still present, of course. But if lightning data WERE available via uplink, it may be hard to justify the stormscope…

For example, here’s http://www.glatmos.com/nldn/nldn.htmlone of many organizations which collect lightning data throughout the US and makes the data available (for a fee). So the data is out there, it’s just a question of whether uplink weather providers will deliver it or just radar.

Steve

Hi Steve:

Right you are in theory but I do not see ANYBODY delivering real time lightning data in even the near future even with other datalinks in the works. The FAA’s Capstone program is working on just about everything but lightning data. They are providing traffic as well as weather and terrain avoidance. I think we may see traffic avoidance by uplink before we see real time lightning data. Which leads to a bigger question: Is it worth the cost ($20,000) of getting a traffic avoidance system in the near future if traffic data may become available by uplink? Right now the clear winner in need/price is the stormscope in areas of the country where thunderstorms frequently occur. I know a lot of “west coasters” in the past have said stormscopes are a waste of money as out there they see few storms. But anywhere east of the Rockies we see a ton of trauble all summer long.

Brian

Which leads to a bigger question: Is it worth the cost ($20,000) of getting a traffic avoidance system in the near future if traffic data may become available by uplink?

Brian,

That is a great $20,000 question! When we were at AOPA, I had a discussion with one of AOPA staff members regarding Capstone. As you may have seen, they had a live display on an MX20 MFD, showing live (real, not simulated) traffic in the FDK area. Apparently there are two potential ways to display traffic in the capstone system. The one that’s written about more, but will take a long time to achieve, is the system in which each aircraft transmits its GPS position to all nearby aircraft. (It’ll take a long time, I’m sure, before the majority of planes are transmitting their position like this!)

I hadn’t realized before seeing the demo, but the Capstone project also has a feature in which the FAA radar data (including N-number & type if the plane was IFR or getting flight following, otherwise just mode C data – not sure if primary targets or mode-A only targets are shown) is sent from the FAA to the uplink provider, and then displayed on the MFD. This seems a lot closer to reality.

So I asked the AOPA guy whether he thought this 1st stage would happen within the next 5 years or so… If trafic uplink will be available sooner than that, it might make me think twice about getting the Skywatch system. Anyway, he said to keep an eye out - I guess there’s a decision the FAA needs to make later this year about whether to proceed with expanding the Capstone project. After that decision, we should have a clearer idea how long it will take to materialize.

Normally, this type of answer makes me think that it’ll still be a long time. But the more I think about it, the more it makes me think that it still might happen sooner.

Why? Well, we’ve all probably seen those software programs which can display radar position and N-number of all IFR traffic on your PC (like that http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/fe/index.htmlFlight Explorer program). So, if the FAA is already releasing real-time radar data, it seems like it might be up to private industry to take that data and allow it to be uplinked. Anything that’s up to private industry would likely be realized quicker than most FAA programs, I suspect.

Some questions remain – as you mentioned before, how much delay is there in getting the uplinked data. Also, how useable would the system be if it only shows traffic the FAA radar can see. (i.e. below say 3000 ft, how much of the US is in radar coverage?), and are primary targets shown (that would be an advantage over onboard traffic systems), etc.

But it is certainly enough to make me think that when the Skywatch option DOES come out, I will definitely take a close look at uplink technology before deciding to put down $20,000+ for Skywatch!

Steve

Steve:

You have hit all the salient points. The real dilemma is trying to figure out who will come out with what features in what time frame and at what cost. No answers yet but nice to know there are several “irons in the fire”. The question for now is where is the money best spent? I think the stormscope is a “no-brainer” but beyond that things get quite vague. Aviation Consumer had an article in the past year reviewing what modern features a good, safe IFR platform airplane should have given an acceptable budget. Most of the Cirrus options were listed but traffic avoidance was low on the list of priorities and the resons given were mostly dddue to the cost and the fact that mid air collisions, although the most feared events in our flying, are actually very rare and high risk areas are predictable; below 3000 feet within 5 miles of the airport. That is when our attention outside the airplane needs to be maximized. Although we do not see a lot of traffic enroute that is out there, the actual threat is quite low.
Nice to have so many options but the decisions are not easy when it comes to collision avoidance.

Brian

Here’s something that happened to me (with family in the 'plane) a couple of months back; really highlights the need for up-to-the-instant lightning data.

I was flying through a +/- 70-mile “hole” between two lines of T-storms; leaving Chicago for home (NJ). The storms were lined up East-West, so I had to head South. Radar, FSS, etc. predicted that the hole would remain clear. Conditions were completely IMC. My Stormscope confirmed strikes about 35-40 miles to my left and right, none closer; many more farther out (both sides). Strike rate varied between 5 and 10 per minute.

When we got to about 20 miles beyond the line of storms, I contacted FSS to ask them if it would be safe to turn Eastbound. They agreed that from our present position, there were no storms to the left, and that it made sense to turn now. I was in the turn when all hell broke loose – lightning everywhere (or so it seemed). The Stormscope count went to 600+ strikes/minute instantly. Without the Stormscope, I would not have known which way to turn, (everything all around seemed to light up at once) but one glance at the ARNAV screen told me that the activity was all on my left. I don’t think I’ve ever reacted more quickly – right turn, and in short order put some distance between me and the cell that had decided to organize itself right then in that unstable air.

My comment to my brother-in-law (in the right seat) was “That Stormscope just paid for itself”.

  • Mike.

PS - My own lesson learned that night: How quickly cells can form in unstable air, and how wrong FSS can be.

Hi Steve:

Right you are in theory but I do not see ANYBODY delivering real time lightning data in even the near future even with other datalinks in the works. The FAA’s Capstone program is working on just about everything but lightning data. They are providing traffic as well as weather and terrain avoidance. I think we may see traffic avoidance by uplink before we see real time lightning data. Which leads to a bigger question: Is it worth the cost ($20,000) of getting a traffic avoidance system in the near future if traffic data may become available by uplink? Right now the clear winner in need/price is the stormscope in areas of the country where thunderstorms frequently occur. I know a lot of “west coasters” in the past have said stormscopes are a waste of money as out there they see few storms. But anywhere east of the Rockies we see a ton of trauble all summer long.

Brian

Mike:

Thanks for a very interesting story and your experience depicts exactly what I was trying to say earlier. Real time close up lightning data that ONLY right now can be had by a stormscope in VERY VALUABLE. Your example is a case of what I have been observing over the last few years. When conditions are ripe these storms can literally pop up out of nowhere.

Just 2 weeks ago I was on the groung in Maryland and observed a clear sky to the west on radar and very unstable air. The sun was shining with few clouds. Within a short period of time rather nasty thunderstorms seemed to develop out of nowhere and produced extremely heavy rain for over an hour. There is no question that cells can form rapidly and, at times, quite nastily and real time data with accurate distance and azimuth data is essential in the plane. I di not see an uplink system providing that coverage anytime soon. Svore another point for the stormscope!

Brian