Pablo's Mission Planning Website
Greetings Mission Planners,
The MPSSF has posted tips on new AMC Mission Planning Laptops, the DTED Display Anomality in PFPS 3.3 (caused by lower case filenames), An incorrect altitude for R-5802D located near Ft. Indiantown Gap, PA, a problem with CYZ-10's ("Crazy 10's)" loading GPS keys for AWE software, instructions (and pictures!) for loading the Korea 1:25K TLM charts for use with FalconView 3.2 and recall of power adapters for Dell C800 and C810 laptop PC's. After all that they still found time to post the processed November EChum files. This month the MPSSF switched to unique icons for each cycle's processed DAFIF/EChum files to help even the most clueless of user.
Of course since the MPSSF has posted the processed EChum that means that NGA has posted the "raw" EChum files on the EChum website. The "DAFIF Next" (effective 28 October) has been posted as well. Remember that new EChum can be used immediately while DAFIF can't be used before the effective date.
Mike Collins has finished a PowerPoint training presentation on Excel2FV Mark II and it's posted on the MPSSF website and my website. Unless someone raises an objection it's likely that Excel2FV Classic will go bye bye shortly.
On a personal cheapskate note, I recently finished my commitment to Earthlink. I'd been "on the hook" for one year of dsl at $50 a month. After shopping around for what offers were available, I called Earthlink and asked for a price reduction. After being transferred four times I got a supervisor who gave me a month free, dropped my monthly fee to $40 and doubled my connection speed - at the cost of being on the hook for another year. Remember that no company will lower your bill if you don't ask. Once your commitment is up don't be shy in asking for a better deal on anything. It'll cost 'em a lot more to get a new customer than it'll cost 'em to keep you happy.
Mission Planning Tip: Viewing an ACO Using TaskView
After a seemingly endless discussion of viewing ATO's with TaskView it's finally time to move on to the ACO. If the ATO is the playbook of the air war then the Airspace Coordination Order (ACO) is the description of the playing field. Previous events have shown the importance of reviewing the ACO. Never forget that the "O" stands for Order. To view ACO airspace in TaskView click on the "ACO" radio button:
TaskView has "ROZ" (Restricted Operating Zone) selected. Clicking on "Graphics" will plot the ROZ airspace in FalconView:
The FalconView map isn't too congested because the sample ACO file is pretty simple. If you chose to display all the ROZ airspace using a real world ACO you'd hardly see the map until you zoomed into a TPC (1:500K) chart. Fortunately TaskView 3.3.1 added support for Airspace Usage categories:
The Airspace Usage codes roughly correspond to the "ATO 98" Airspace Types. The ATO 2000 specification really cut down on the Airspace Types so you need Airspace Usage categories to filter the airspace. In this case, I've selected "AAR" (Air to Air Refueling) so I can plot the Refueling Tracks without all the other ROZ airspace:
You'll note that FalconView has ToolTip Text (appears beside your mouse) and StatBar Text (appears in the lower left corner of the FalconView window) that describes the airspace you're pointing at. You can also view the Airspace's text description in TaskView:
As you can see, AEW North's ACM type is ROZ, but it's usage includes AAR, ABC, AEW, EC, SOF and UAV. If you'd select any of those usage codes you'll see AEW North. You can also view the raw USMTF text:
Of course you can also select individual airspace boundaries when you use the "Designator" ($1.95 word for "name") list:
In this case I've selected CSAFA, CSAFB and CSAFC. Clicking the "Graphics" button plots the three boundaries:
Another great addition in TaskView 3.3.1 is improved altitude filtering. Earlier TaskView versions only filtered on altitudes included in the airspace limits. Filtering on "230" would produce airspace that started or stopped at 23,000ft, but totally ignore airspace that extended through the altitude. For example in this case, a refueling track that went from 20,000ft to 30,000ft wouldn't match the filter for FL230. TaskView 3.3.1 fixes this problem as part of a general revamping of filtering. To set altitude filters press the "Filters" button in TaskView's lower left corner:
The filter dialog has two tabs - one for Area of Interest (AOI) filtering and the other for Altitude filtering:
If an airspace's lower limit is specified as an AGL altitude it will be treated as if it were 0 ft MSL. If an AGL altitude is used for the upper limit then the airspace will only be included if "Include All AGL's in Filtering" is checked. You're safest course is to always check "Include All AGL's in Filtering". As soon as you click on "Apply" or "Close" the filter takes effect:
The TaskView status bar displays the active Altitude Filter. In this case you're seeing all the Airspace from 0-15,000ft MSL and all AGL altitude airspace. You can toggle the filter on and off by double clicking on the "Altitude Filter" text in the status bar. Ditto for the AOI filter. If you haven't defined your filter then you'll get the filter dialog when you double click.
When you apply a filter you'll see the FalconView map gets updated too:
When you right click on an airspace boundary in FalconView and "Get Info" you'll see a subset of the airspace information available in TaskView:
Using TaskView 3.3.1 and an ATO2000 formatted ACO file give you the best of both worlds. You have the precision airspace category selection you had with an ATO98 formatted ACO and you have the color filtered airspace display you had with ATO2000 formatted ACO. Before you had to choose between better airspace filtering and a color coded display. Now you don't. If you're using TaskView 3.3.1 there's no good reason to use an ATO98 formatted ATO/ACO.
Next time we'll move on to Power Users TaskView when we look at the Table View.