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Greetings Mission Planners,

NGA has posted the new DAFIF for download at: The NGA website includes "one click" downloads of the files you'll need for PFPS 3.2/3.3, PFPS 3.3.1, JMPS or the AMC AWE's. The February EChum is available for download at: You can download "preprocessed" EChum from the Mission Planning System Support Facility (MPSSF) here and download the preprocessed DAFIF "60 second update" here.  After review by the Services, NGA has decided the March CHUM book will be the last physical edition delivered.  You'll still be able to download same contents via pdf files available on the WebChum website.

The Mission Planning Users Conference (MPUC) is rapidly approaching and if you haven't made your reservation at the Flamingo Hotel (site of the conference) it looks like you'll have to stay somewhere else as the rooms available at the "conference rate" have been taken.  There are other rooms available in Las Vegas and the MPSSF is working to find alternatives.  New York New York has rooms available at $89 if you mention "Mission Planning User's Conference. Code SCG157" - ask for a room near the Roller Coaster.  For those who are curious, the per diem lodging rate for Las Vegas is $79. 

Four years ago at MPUC2K we monitored the progress of the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) as it gathered Level 2 (30 meter) elevation model data from 60S to 60N.  This week marked the release of SRTM data over Europe and Asia to the civilian community on the public internet - you can read details here.  To date 40% of the SRTM data has been released to the civilian community. SRTM data is available in Mil Spec Level1 and Level2 DTED formats on the SIPRNET and JWICS NGA "Gateway", but none has been distributed via unclassified or limited distribution DVD. 

Mission Planning Tip:  Excel2FV Drawing File Merge

If you're like most Mission Planners you've probably got a wide range of FalconView drawing files that contain very similar information.  If you have five standard local low level routes you've got five different drawing files - each with 90% "standard" information and 10% unique information for that route.  Unfortunately when one item changes (new avoidance area) you've got to go to each drawing file and make the same change over and over. 

Excel2FV now lets you merge drawing files together.  If you receive a new avoidance area you can create a small drawing file then merge it (in turn) with each existing drawing file. The end result is the new area is added to each drawing file - identically and quickly.  In the longer term you can create different drawing files with different standard elements (avoid areas, standard text labels etc.) and merge them together to rapidly create customized drawing files for specific needs.

To merge drawing files you'll need the 15 January, 2004 edition of Excel2FV which is available here from the MPSSF or here from me.  The PowerPoint training presentation has been updated as well and is included in the MPSSF download or can be downloaded separately here.  Open Excel2FV.doc and click on the bottom button:

Next click on the "Merge FV Drawing Files" button:

Select the files you want to merge.  You can merge up to nine files at a time into a new drawing file.  You cannot merge into an existing file.  If you want to merge into an existing file you can merge into a new "temporary" file, delete the older file version and rename the temporary file you've just created.

When the file merge is complete you'll get a message:

Excel2FV's Map Path Scrubber has been updated to repair a problem caused by lowercase DTED filenames.  Some versions of FalconView can't use DTED south of the equator unless the filename is in upper case characters, i.e. "s20.dt1" vs. "S20.DT1". 

Thanks to Ron Lueb, who's code performs the drawing file merge.