Pablo's Mission Planning Website
Greetings Mission Planners,
Interested in being a Geospatial Intelligence Analyst and working for NGA? A new job opening is listed here. Speaking of NGA, you might be interested in this article which discusses some of the concerns with using imagery over our own country.
NGA's posted a prototype of DAFIF Edition 8 for the development community. Of course the Edition 8 data isn't for operational use and won't work in existing systems anyway. FYI Edition 8 will come on DVD media only!
PFPS (really N-PFPS) got a mention in this article. Good luck to everyone in the S-3 community as they field their new capabilities.
The MPSSF has posted some classified Breaking News on their SIPRNET Website at http://mpssf.hill.af.smil.mil (link won't work on unclassified networks). I could give you a clue as to what the Breaking News is, but the clue would be classified and lead to an endless amount of paperwork as I followed Darleen Druyun off to the slammer..
HUGE NEWS in commercial imagery where NGA has awarded the final NextView contract to OrbImage. An earlier NextView contract was awarded to Digital Globe. Interestingly, the Digital Globe satellite is specified to have 0.5 Meter resolution but the OrbImage satellite will have 0.41 Meter resolution. This leaves one US vendor without a NextView contract.
NGA's has contracted with Layton Graphics for their Map2PDF software as part of the eChart initiative. As you may remember, eChart has led to posting pdf versions of IFR Enroute Charts and digital mastering of new raster charts. This press release is written by Layton Graphics so it's difficult to know what NGA's really planning. You can download a free version of Map2PDF, but I couldn't get it to work.
If anyone knows why this blimp is following me around please let me know...
Mission Planning Tip: Viewing an ATO Using TaskView - Continued
Last week we talked about the different ways to view ATO information using the text view, tree view and graphical view:
Lets say we've loaded the ATO/ACO files, selected all the ATO packages and pressed the "Graphics" button. Before you see anything on FalconView you'll see the TaskView DAFIF Lookup dialog:
If you've got a real ATO the search dialog will be on screen for a while. If you've got a small test/exercise ATO the dialog may flash on screen and disappear. The DAFIF Search determines the locations for points referenced in the ATO that aren't defined in the ACO. Normally these are mission departure and arrival locations, but TaskView's DAFIF Search also locates Enroute Waypoints and Navaids.
After the Search is complete you'll almost always see an "Exception" message:
As the message says, the Unplottables are in the Exceptions menu:
In this case, Unplottable Units returns:
Seems strange that the 71FS is listed as unplottable because a quick check of the tree view shows all six 71 FS missions are plottable:
What's going on? Lets look at the ATO source text:
The ATO says the 71FS is located at OTDB (a point that isn't in the ACO or DAFIF), but all its missions depart/arrive at KMUO - Mountain Home AFB. The moral here is just because a unit isn't "plottable" doesn't mean it's missions aren't, and vice versa.
What about Unplottable Missions?
As was mentioned last week, just because a mission is "unplottable" doesn't mean anything is wrong. Lets look at Mission 0101:
Mission 0101 is a Ground Alert CAS mission on a 5 minute leash. If you refer to the unplottable mission list above, you'll see the mission has an unplottable point with no name and a time of "120600AFEB". The mission text shows this time is the start of the ground alert, so there's no point to plot. How would "real" unplottable missions look?
The exception list above was generated by loading the ATO and not loading the ACO file. When you try to plot the missions TaskView can't find coordinates for any ACO points. Each "loc" in the exception list has a point (CAPA, SINCLAIR etc.) with a name that can't be plotted because the location can't be determined. If you see Unplottable Missions with named points then you've got some issues.
You can control when TaskView performs it's DAFIF lookup through the Auto Lookup Settings in the DAFIF menu:
By default TaskView is setup to do a lookup when it first needs the information, but you can change the settings to do a DAFIF lookup when an ATO file is opened:
What about points that aren't in DAFIF? There's a lot of aircraft and cruise missiles that come from locations without ICAO's. "Real World" ATO's use four letter identifiers (that aren't ICAO's) to identify each location. You could use TaskView's laydown editor to add the identifiers and locations, but the laydown editor is pretty long in the tooth and difficult to use. A better option is to add location's (that aren't ICAO's) into the Local Point (.lpt) file you're using. TaskView's "DAFIF Lookup" also searches the active Local Point file. Create a new Local Point Group called "Pseudo ICAOs" in your Local Point file and add the non-ICAO locations. Don't know what the Pseudo ICAO's are? Just check the Unplottable Units and Unplottable Missions. Don't know where the Pseudo ICAO's are? Call the CAOC and ask them to publish a list. Add the locations to the Local Point file, save the data then use TaskView's DAFIF - Look Up Selections to perform another lookup. Keep beating the Unplottable lists down until all the units are located. Use Excel2FV's Local Point Manager to move the new "Pseudo ICAOs" Point Group to all the Local Point files you use.
Improved DAFIF lookup is one of the best new features in TaskView 3.3.1. Combine it with a list of non-ICAO identifiers in your Local Point file and you'll have a complete ATO plotting solution.