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Greetings Mission Planners,

Well the chill is barely in the air here in Washington, but everyday brings us closer and closer to The Mission Planning User's Conference (MPUC) 2005.  MPUC will return to the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas from 14-18 March 2005.  If you're a Mission Planner then now's the time to register.  If you're an exhibitor then you need to get off the schneid and sign up for some floor space.  The ever proactive NGA AF Customer Support Team is asking for your (early) inputs on what you'd like to see from NGA and what questions you want addressed.  Please send your inputs to Barry Roslin.  NGA also posted the transcript of the NextView OrbImage Press Conference

Recently NGA released 1:25K CADRG TLM CD's.  FalconView 3.2 can't normally display the files, but versions 3.3 and beyond can.  Those of you with FalconView 3.2 aren't totally out of luck.  If you follow the steps below (developed by Tom Nelson at Kadena) you'll be able to use the files just like anyone else:

  1. Using Windows Explorer, copy the map frame files from the CD's "\RPF\CTLM25\CT25Z0#\" subdirectory to the "C:\PFPS\Falcon\Data\RPF\MM25\#\" folder, where the "#" is replaced with a zone number.  If PFPS is installed on a drive other than C then replace the C: with the appropriate drive letter.
  2. Open a "Command" window by pressing the Start button, selecting Run, typing in CMD and pressing enter.
  3. In the Command window change to the drive letter where PFPS is installed by typing "C:" and pressing enter.  If the prompt shows you're on the correct drive then skip this step.  Substitute the appropriate letter if PFPS is installed on a different drive.
  4. Type "CD \pfps\falcon\data\rpf\mm25\#" - substituting the appropriate RPF zone number for the "#" character and substituting a different drive letter if necessary.
  5. Type "ren *.tt# *.mm#".  Replace the "#" with the RPF zone that you determined in step 1.
  6. Wait.  The renaming process takes about 5 minutes.  When the blinking command prompt returns type Exit and return to Windows.
  7. Use Excel2FV's "Map Path Scrubber" (on the "Repairs" tab) on the path you just copied the data to.  When the path is "scrubbed" all the files that may have copied over as read only will be reset for read/write access.
  8. Start FalconView.  Do a Map Data Check on the path you copied the data to.  After the Check is complete you'll see 1:25K Miscellaneous Map coverage.

If you don't want the data on the drive where PFPS is installed you can create a map directory on a different drive.  Use Windows Explorer to create a "Renamed_Maps\RPF\MM25\#" folder then follow the instructions above with the new path.  After you finish renaming the files use FalconView's Map Data Manager to add the new path.

OK, now that you're done, what the heck did you do?  The CADRG file extension .tt# is reserved for 1:25K TLM's, but support for that scale wasn't coded into FalconView 3.2.  Fortunately 3.2 does support 1:25K Miscellaneous Map data.  By copying and renaming the files you're converting them from TLM frames to Miscellaneous Map Frames.  You can copy the newly created miscellaneous maps to any map data path, including a network path where the files can be used by multiple users.  Once you get FalconView 3.3.x you can delete the 1:25K Misc Map frames and copy over the correctly named 1:25K TLM data.  What if you install 3.3.x and forget to delete the frames?  Everything will continue to work just fine.

Some users have reported problems with DTED appearing in the wrong hemisphere.  DTED that should be in the southern hemisphere is flipped over the equator to appear north of the line.  This only happens with FalconView 3.3 and it's caused by lower case DTED filenames, i.e. "s22.dt1" instead of "S22.DT1".  The DTED spec requires the filenames to be in upper case, but some downloaded DTED files have lower case names.  Running Excel2FV's Map Path Scrubber on a path will adjust the case of the filenames and after a Map Data Check on the affected path the DTED will function correctly.

Mission Planning Tip: Viewing an ATO Using TaskView - Grande Finale

Last week's tip concluded with the ATO/ACO loaded, the DAFIF lookup's complete, the ATO text viewed and printed and the missions plotted in FalconView.  All that's left to do is to take the missions out of TaskView and inject them into the rest of PFPS as route files.

Today we'll look at the 34th Bomb Squadron:

Doubleclicking on the unit name shows that three missions are assigned to the 34BS in this ATO - Missions 0100, 0143 and 0145.  Using the Windows CTRL and Shift keys for multiple selection I've selected all three routes, gone to the Edit menu and selected Build Missions:

TaskView is courteous enough to warn me how much time it will take to build the missions:

Admittedly, 3 seconds isn't a lot but if you try  to build routes for every mission in an real world ATO it will take a while.  After a seemingly endless 3 seconds TaskView finishes the job:

Now  you can open the missions in any PFPS application:

The mission names are a combination of the mission number and the date/time of the first event specified.  Here's Mission 143 in CFPS:

Even though the route name is "msn0143-121200AFEB.rte" the "1200" isn't a takeoff time - it's the time on target.  An ATO only specifies a very few pieces of information for a route.  In this case it populates the departure/arrival locations, the target and the TOT.  Everything else is up to the planner. 

Although the mission is specified for a B-1, TaskView isn't smart enough to create the mission that way.  Instead it uses the default PFPS aircraft type (as specified in CFPS Admin) for every mission you create.  Take a look at the CFPS Premission Configuration:

Here's the same mission in FalconView:

That's it for ATO's.  Next week it's onto the Airspace Coordination Order (ACO)...