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#3670638 - 10/27/12 10:45 PM FCR symbology: AC colors and flashing patterns...  
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Comet Offline
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I'll reuse my own statement to open this thread:

Originally Posted By: Comet
As much as I've flown FalconAF in the years, I still ignore bits of it.


In FalconAF the FCR can display the aircraft symbols in five different ways:
  • yellow triangle
  • green triangle
  • red triangle
  • green + flashing triangle
  • red + flashing triangle

I don't know whether that's accurate real-life radar symbology. It's unimportant. The point is that
I don't know what those displays mean in the sim. They aren't explained in the manual, and the
internet seems to lack any info about their meaning (I also tried the Forums | Search function,
but it wouldn't come up with a useful hit).

That and, then, when using night vision the color differences between yellow/red/green symbols
wash out (into the same green hue), making me think that whatever red and green mean it's an
information the virtual pilot (me) can live without.

I still wouldn't terribly care about them if only I hadn't run into the BMS manual, wherein the
symbology *is* explained (BMS-Manual.pdf, page 84, "Air-to-Air FCR Symbology" paragraph).

Of course the BMS symbology differs greatly from AF's, making comparisons impossible.
Nevertheless, with the BMS paragraph in mind I tried to observe the AF symbology in action.
I couldn't make out anything useful aside the suspect that if the AC turns red there's a missile
inbound for him. But when it's flashing? And when the AC is green (or also flashing)?

Anybody knows more?
For a recap, what are the meanings of:
  • green triangle
  • red triangle
  • green + flashing triangle
  • red + flashing triangle

Thanks a lot.


I never finish anyth
Inline advert (2nd and 3rd post)

#3675015 - 11/04/12 01:36 PM Re: FCR symbology: AC colors and flashing patterns... [Re: Comet]  
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damson Offline
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Hiding in the bushes
Bump, I'm also curious... wink

#3675025 - 11/04/12 01:56 PM Re: FCR symbology: AC colors and flashing patterns... [Re: Comet]  
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- Ice Offline
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IIRC in AF, green was good guys, red was bad guys, yellow was bogeys. Flashing meant there was a missile inbound, so I wouldn't launch on a flashing symbol. This was in some document somewhere but I can't seem to find it at the moment. Maybe a website?


- Ice
#3675597 - 11/05/12 11:09 AM Re: FCR symbology: AC colors and flashing patterns... [Re: Comet]  
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Comet Offline
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Hello.

Originally Posted By: - Ice
IIRC in AF, green was good guys, red was bad guys, yellow was bogeys. Flashing meant there was a missile inbound,

I'm afraid it's not how it works frown
A situation I observed showed different behaviors.
During Campaign, shortly after takeoff and abundantly within allied airspace,
a 2-ship F16 wing (Lobo2) was coming my way. No doubt they'd land at my
home plate.
Picture clear, radar clear (aside the 2 contacts in front of me), and the Prox
radio channel was dead.

In CRM-RWS mode I bugged each F16 until the NCTR said they were "F16".
At this point they were near, roughly at less than 15 nm ahead.
I switched to CRM-TWS mode and observed both contacts. I use TWS a lot
because of its zoom function, so it was more an automatic gesture than
anything. After a while both contacts have begun flashing.

It's hard to describe precisely their patterns.
Both contacts have flashed. Both green and red. One of the contacts was
also steady green for a while. Occasionally both contacts have disappeared
from the scope and have reappeared on the next radar scan.
As we got very close to each other, both contacts have disappeared.
I think to have seen them last flashing red.

Very nebulous behavior to me.
Neither boogies nor missiles were in flight, and those vipers were doing nothing
but cruising toward me. What would be the information being told by their
flashing patterns?

(edit: P.S.= Similar behavior was observed on a hostile a/c. A MiG-29A flashed red first, green then.
But there were 2 F16 within 30 nm of it, and I can't say whether they had engaged the MiG already)



Originally Posted By: Comet
I couldn't make out anything useful aside the suspect that if the AC turns red there's a missile
inbound for him.

In later observations I had more success. If I have an Active AMRAAM in flight,
once I break the lock the contact appears as a hollow non-flashing red triangle
with a small filled box attached at its base.
But unless I break the lock, the radar contact remains yellow.
(edit: Deleted the text in blue. Further observations disproved it. Everything else is accurate)

With reference to BMS, the closest symbol to this is the case explained as
"Bugged Track File With AMRAAM In Flight" (BMS-Manual.pdf, page 84).
(and just in case: I see triangles because I don't use EPAF radar cues)

None of these behaviors is explained in the manuals for AF!


Originally Posted By: - Ice
This was in some document somewhere but I can't seem to find it at the moment. Maybe a website?

Please search for it. Do you remember a sequence of words? Maybe a whole
phrase on it? I wouldn't know how to look for this webpage you saw. Lots of
junk comes up in my searches, alongside hits pertaining to BMS. It gets worse if
I use acronims.


I also tried at Frugal's, but their forums don't seem to expose a Search function.
If anybody has insight, links, or urban legends! ( smile ), please share.

Last edited by Comet; 11/06/12 10:24 PM. Reason: corrections
#3680678 - 11/12/12 07:22 PM Re: FCR symbology: AC colors and flashing patterns... [Re: Comet]  
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damson Offline
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Hiding in the bushes
I remember reading somewhere that the red symbol (maybe flashing?) meant that the target is about to leave the radar scanning area (cone) i.e. it's at its border, heading out of the scanning zone. It would be usefull to know when you have AMRAAM in flight still supported by your radar (before it goes Pitbull) to show that you are about to loose the lock on the bandit. But I'm not 100% sure on this assessment.

#3686365 - 11/21/12 10:49 PM Re: FCR symbology: AC colors and flashing patterns... [Re: Comet]  
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WileECoyote Offline
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Argentina
A little late, but here , page 29 (20 in the pdf). It's the real thing, no idea if it's the same in AF...


When you're feeling sad, just remember that somewhere in the world, there's someone pushing a door that says "pull".
#3686368 - 11/21/12 10:52 PM Re: FCR symbology: AC colors and flashing patterns... [Re: Comet]  
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WileECoyote Offline
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No wait, I messed up, that's the HSD symbology... The radar symbology was somewhere in the same doc...


When you're feeling sad, just remember that somewhere in the world, there's someone pushing a door that says "pull".
#3701408 - 12/18/12 02:46 PM Re: FCR symbology: AC colors and flashing patterns... [Re: damson]  
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Comet Offline
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Just an update.
I think damson has a point:

Originally Posted By: damson
I remember reading somewhere that the red symbol (maybe flashing?) meant that the target is about to leave the radar scanning area (cone) i.e. it's at its border, heading out of the scanning zone. It would be usefull to know when you have AMRAAM in flight still supported by your radar (before it goes Pitbull) to show that you are about to loose the lock on the bandit. But I'm not 100% sure on this assessment.

The AC symbol indeed seems to be flashing as the AC approaches the 'borders' of the volume
of space being scanned by your radar. It's hard to gauge _exactly_ what it'll flash green or red
for.


I'm now pretty sure of two things:
First: colors (green, red, yellow) have nothing to do with a radar contact's IFF status.
And second: colors also have nothing to do with the fact that you may (or may not) be on your
contact's own radar scope (incidentally this means that you can't tell whether the contact is
using his radar at all).

I believe that what-ever information is being communicated through the use of the green and
red AC colors is of secondary importance. This is because turning night vision ON washes out
the difference between red and green. If that info was any important the FCR's software
engineers would have figured out another way to relay it to you. A way that wouldn't conflict
with night vision, for starters. Get the point?
Alas I'm no pilot - take my guess with a grain of salt.

That being said, I'd still like to know what red and green do signal... I'll keep searching.
If any of you finds out, please share.


I never finish anyth
#3702003 - 12/19/12 08:44 AM Re: FCR symbology: AC colors and flashing patterns... [Re: Comet]  
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Kosmo. Offline
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Greece
Originally Posted By: Comet
The AC symbol indeed seems to be flashing as the AC approaches the 'borders' of the volume
of space being scanned by your radar. It's hard to gauge _exactly_ what it'll flash green or red
for.


It's not flashing green or red, its color is independent of the flashing. It flashes indeed to show that a break lock is imminent.

Originally Posted By: Comet
First: colors (green, red, yellow) have nothing to do with a radar contact's IFF status.


That's a given really since AF does not have IFF. Yellow means unknown, red means unknown with active AIM-120 in flight, green means datalinked friendly. Does AF really have green? Can't remember, but since it did not model DL properly the green symbol might differ in AF.

Originally Posted By: Comet
And second: colors also have nothing to do with the fact that you may (or may not) be on your
contact's own radar scope (incidentally this means that you can't tell whether the contact is
using his radar at all).


That's correct as well, the radar is not a RWR.

Originally Posted By: Comet
I believe that what-ever information is being communicated through the use of the green and
red AC colors is of secondary importance. This is because turning night vision ON washes out
the difference between red and green.


IRL you can't really read the displays through the NVGs, the pilots look 'under' the goggles to read them.

#3702341 - 12/19/12 06:27 PM Re: FCR symbology: AC colors and flashing patterns... [Re: Kosmo.]  
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Comet Offline
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Originally Posted By: Kosmo.
That's a given really since AF does not have IFF. Yellow means unknown, red means unknown with active AIM-120 in flight, green means datalinked friendly. Does AF really have green? Can't remember, but since it did not model DL properly the green symbol might differ in AF.

Hey there.
I confirm: AF has green FCR aircraft symbols. And I've seen hostile contacts in green. The green
color might have a different meaning in AF indeed. Which brings to the question: Where the hell
are the former Lead Pursuit guys when you need them???


Originally Posted By: Kosmo.
Originally Posted By: Comet
I believe that what-ever information is being communicated through the use of the green and
red AC colors is of secondary importance. This is because turning night vision ON washes out
the difference between red and green.


IRL you can't really read the displays through the NVGs, the pilots look 'under' the goggles to read them.

Wait. You telling me that with the multi-million-dollars tech they sit on, at present there's no
solution to let a pilot use night vision and read the MFD's? Alright...
I stand corrected.


I never finish anyth
#3702561 - 12/19/12 11:41 PM Re: FCR symbology: AC colors and flashing patterns... [Re: Comet]  
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Kosmo. Offline
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Greece
Originally Posted By: Comet
Hey there.
I confirm: AF has green FCR aircraft symbols. And I've seen hostile contacts in green. The green
color might have a different meaning in AF indeed. Which brings to the question: Where the hell
are the former Lead Pursuit guys when you need them???


Not doubting you man, just wondering as I can't remember. And yes from what you say, green probably means something else in AF, but what? Good question.

Originally Posted By: Comet
Wait. You telling me that with the multi-million-dollars tech they sit on, at present there's no
solution to let a pilot use night vision and read the MFD's? Alright...
I stand corrected.


Think about it. NVGs work by amplifying already existing light and are made to be perfectly usable in extremely low lighting levels (even faint star light will do as a light source for amplification). Modern NVGs can provide up to 50000x amplification. Now picture a brightly emitting display screen (even at its lowest brightness setting) sitting a few inches away from the NVGs, and multiply that brightness by 50000. This could probably blind you I guess if you watched it with your eyes, but you are watching it through the NVGs and those have a maximum brightness of their own. The screen light is enough to saturate the NVGs though. In the army we were told that we should never turn the night vision scopes we had on in daylight or even at night in a well lit area (indoors for example) as they could burn out.

DCS has a done a good job of simulating this as seen in the picture below. Notice also how the NVGs do not take up all of your view, so you can look 'under' them when you need to look at something inside the cockpit. BTW another thing I remember reading about NVGs in aviation is that, at least with older systems, pilots would not use them for more than 20-30 minutes at a time (with something like 1 hour breaks in between) as they would get incredible headaches from them. I have no idea if this is still true or not, or to what extend, with newer systems.


#3702799 - 12/20/12 07:51 AM Re: FCR symbology: AC colors and flashing patterns... [Re: Comet]  
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Frederf Offline
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What is also missing is focus. NVGs are basically light amplifying 1x binoculars. With the focus set at long range the near field is blurry.


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