Difference between revisions of "OpenRadarGuide"

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Some words to our project targets:
Some words to our project targets:
* '''Realism:''' That means we show all the data a real lisve ATC would need. For instance we simulate a radar antenna and perform one position update per antenna rotation. But we don't have professional ATCs, neither do we have professional pilots contacting our ATCs. So we have to make some compromises...  
* '''Realism:''' That means we show all the data a Real-Live ATC would need for his job. For instance we simulate a radar antenna and perform one position update per antenna rotation. But we don't have professional ATCs, neither do we have professional pilots contacting our ATCs. So we have to make some compromises to a Real-Life operation.  
* '''Usability:''' The application should be handy, behave consistently, and require almost no training. The ATC has other things to do than to fight with the application
* '''Usability:''' The application should be handy, behave consistently, and require almost no training. The ATC has other things to do than to fight with the application.
We hope that we met your needs and are happy to get feedback!
We hope that we met your needs and are happy to get feedback!
'''Important:''' We support you with tooltip texts, that appear when you hover over an active area with your mouse. They shall remind you of possible interactions that you may have forgotten. Try pointing your mouse everywhere - maybe there is something available that you missed until now...
'''Important:''' We support you with tooltip texts, that appear when you hover over an active area with your mouse. They shall remind you of possible interactions that you may have been forgotten. Try pointing your mouse everywhere - maybe there is something available that you missed until now...
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Revision as of 08:56, 29 January 2015

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OpenRadar is a prototype to support Flight-Simulator ATCs in their work on our airports.

Some words to our project targets:

  • Realism: That means we show all the data a Real-Live ATC would need for his job. For instance we simulate a radar antenna and perform one position update per antenna rotation. But we don't have professional ATCs, neither do we have professional pilots contacting our ATCs. So we have to make some compromises to a Real-Life operation.
  • Usability: The application should be handy, behave consistently, and require almost no training. The ATC has other things to do than to fight with the application.

We hope that we met your needs and are happy to get feedback!

Important: We support you with tooltip texts, that appear when you hover over an active area with your mouse. They shall remind you of possible interactions that you may have been forgotten. Try pointing your mouse everywhere - maybe there is something available that you missed until now...



Of course you need an uninterrupted Internet access to exchange data between You and your clients/targets. The requirements for that connection are not very high -- but they must be uninterrupted!


We urge you to always offer your services as well in typing (MPchat) as also in speaking (Radio). You will soon discover, that using a Radio-application makes it much easier to communicate

  • as well for you (who hopefully will control many pilots at the same time)
  • as also for the pilots (who need both hands to control their plane).

There may not be enough time for typing!

  • MPchat is an integral part of FGFS and OpenRadar and needs no further installations. (ref.: http://wiki.flightgear.org/Howto:Multiplayer ) - so it is always available for communication between you and all pilots.
  • A Radio is not directly integrated into OpenRadar but must be installed in addition. Right now there are 2 versions in use:
    • FGcom is the more realistic Radio-operation with realistic frequencies for each function and a limited work-range based on frequency.
If FGCOM is not yet installed, you need to install a "standalone version of FGCom 3.0", which then can be controlled directely from within OpenRadar. For installation see http://wiki.flightgear.org/FGCom_3.0, item "3 FGCom standalone".
  • Mumble is an easier to handle application, that provides "named groups" that people with the same reason move/change into. Thus Mumble is not limited by range and much easier to use for defining by "groups" which people will communicate with each other.
If Mumble is not installed you may install it according to http://mumble.sourceforge.net/Installing_Mumble.
To activate it see http://mumble.sourceforge.net/Mumbleguide
The most used Mumble-server is "mumble.allfex.org"

Java V7

Make sure you have installed at least Version 7 of Java. Verify and or Download the installation packages from: http://www.java.com/en/download/index.jsp


For the currently available Prototype of OpenRadar see http://wagnerw.de/OpenRadar.zip. Extract the content of this ZIP to a place where it is easy to find. Make sure you have read and write permissions for that directory.

If you did already work with an OpenRadar installation you may want to

  • RENAME your current OpenRadar-directory (i.e. to "OpenRadar-BU")
  • then download and extract the new version into a newly created directory with the name of the old one (without the "-BU")
  • now you can replace all data in the new "OpenRadar/data" directory with the ones in the "OpenRadar-BU/data"
    • if you expect changes in the scenery etc. do not copy the the Airport (ICAO) directories
  • delete the BU-version only after you are sure you verified that all your personal data were transferred, i.e. still accessible!


Inside the downloaded OpenRadar base-directory you will find start-scripts. See

  • for Windows: OpenRadar.bat
  • for Linux: OpenRadar.sh
  • for OSX: OpenRadar.jar

At Startup you will always be welcomed by the “OpenRadar – Welcome”. That window presents 3 TABs to define your preferences:

Welcome (Linux)
Settings tab (Linux)
Tweaks tab (Linux)

For all data there are standard values given as defaults. If you do change any values, they will be saved and presented to you during the next start.
If this is the very first time you start OpenRadar, then you have to verify your “Settings” first, thus click onto the “Settings”-tab:

OpenRadar-Welcome - Settings

These settings are grouped into 3 parts:

1) FGCom (Radio/Voice Communication)

OpenRadar can support up to 4 instances of FGcom in 2 ways:
  1. It can start and control FgCom instances that operate in the background as sub-tasks of OpenRadar (except for OSX where FgCom must be run in a separate Terminal window)
  2. or just control manually started FgCom-sessions.
You select these modes of operation by the “FgComMode” selection:

1a) Internal: FGCom(s) are started and controlled internally by OpenRadar
For this mode you have to define all available fields to tell OpenRadar where your FGcom resides and what options shall be used:
Path: Here you define where your FGcom is installed.
In the following some examples:

type Windows Linux OSX
a standard installation C:\Programs\FGcom /home/YourName/fgcom *)
on another disk D:\FlighGear_2.6\FGcom /media/DiskName/FGFS/fgcom *)
on a LAN-server \\ServerName\Central\FGFS /home/YourName//.gvfs/fgfs on nas-server/fgcom *)
*) for OSX this does not apply because you will be starting FgCom in a Terminal window before starting OpenRadar, see 1b

Executable: Here you define the program-name that shall be started
  • For Windows: "fgcom.exe" or "anyName.bat"
  • for Linux: "fgcom" or "anyName.sh"
  • OSX: again for OSX this does not apply, see 1b
Do not forgett to mark "FGCom3" if you are using the new FGCom versions (e.g. with FGFS ver.3.0)
Server: As of today there is only one FGCom-server available that also supports FGFS ver.3.0: fgcom.flightgear.org
You still may be using fgcom01.flightgear.org in a group in that all users can uses this server
Client: must always be “localhost”
FGcom Ports: The here defined values are crucial for the operation because:
  • They are the only connection between the OpenRadar and FGcom. So you must define those the same in OpenRadar as well as in FGcom !!
  • They also define how many “Radio Units” (COM0, COM1, etc.) are generated within OpenRadar
Simply provide a coma separated list of UDP Ports to be used by FGcom. But be warned: More than two are hard to handle!
e.g. 16661,16662

1b) External: OpenRadar controls a manually started instance of FGcom - via the defined Port.
For this one you only need to define where that FGcom is running and what the connecting port is. e.g.:
  • Client: localhost
If you want to run FGcom on a different PC you must define here the IP of the remote PC and you must start FGCOM on that PC with the option -s,
e.g. "fgcom -Sdelta384.server4you.de  -p16662  -i1 -o1 -s192.168.178.23"
  • FGcom Ports: 16661,16662 (if e.g. 2 FGcom instances were started)

1c) OFF: No FGcom support (e.g. using MUMBLE or similar)
That means that You do not want to work with FGcom during your ATC-session – thus you do not need to define any of the FGCOM-fields.

2) Multiplayer Chat

Here you find the server and connection port of FlightGears multiplayer server. It delivers the radar contact position informations and is used for chat. You won't have to change the settings, as long as the server won't change.
In case you experience problems with the outside you may check and/or choose any "Server" that is listed in http://mpserver15.flightgear.org/mpserverstatus/: Look for a server nearest to your location that has a status of "OK" and shows the most "totals".
PLEASE NOTE: The "Client port" is the port used by your computer to talk with that server. If you want to use FlightGears internal chat parallel to OpenRadar, you must use a different port than FlightGear. Because of that, the default port of OpenRadar is 5001 (in order to differentiate it to the 5000 used in FGFS).

3) Flightplan exchange

You must define the Server for the FlightPlan data. So activate "enable flightplan exchange" and insert the server address:
Under this address you can also check where ATC's are offering services right now.


OpenRadar retrieves the weather information via METAR messages from a server in the INTERNET. This information is being displayed and used to calculate the usability of runways and the air speed of the radar contacts.
If your airport is too small to be in that worldwide list, you can provide the code of another bigger airport with METAR data nearby in the sector.property file. But be aware that then your customers weather-settings may differ to yours, because they may use the standard FGFS-METAR-Source!

Please click on the verify button to have your settings checked prior to returning to the left/primary tab:

Select Airport

This is always the first window that you will see after starting OpenRadar.

But at first, the available airport list (e.g. EDDF, KOAK,..) in the center will be empty. So at first define a location:

In order to define a new work-location simply enter the airport code (ICAO) or a part of the name into the search field and hit “search”: The list below then shows the results found in the airport database delivered with OpenRadar. There may be found several, so click on the one wanted and then activate the button "Download Scenery". Be patient and watch the Info-Field at the bottom: This first download of the required scenery will take some time before you see a "Ready"!

If the airport wanted does already exist, it will be shown in the big center-field, with an "(exists)" at the end. Double click onto the one wanted (or select it with one click and then click onto start) and you are in the ATC seat.


OpenRadar Prototype.png

Note: As of this version when the main screen starts in OSX it is completely minimized at the bottom left corner of the screen and you must expand this window.

The OpenRadar main screen is divided into three regions:

  1. Top left you see the big Radar Map showing the airport, its surrounding, the navaids and the radar targets.
  2. Below it, bottom left, you see the MPchat Area for the FlightGear multiplayer chat feature.
  3. On the right side you see the Service Area with 4 subparts. From top to bottom those are
    1. Status Information
    2. COM-Radios (only if you have defined one or more)
    3. Runway Manager to set up runways used
    4. the Flight Strip Manager, where you can manage your radar targets.

Please notice in the following description the lightblue background at some items, indicating changes that may not yet be available in your version of the OpenRadar!

Radar Map

The radar map is the most complex part of OpenRadar, thus you have many options to zoom in on any area you are interested in. You can:

  • set four functional zoom levels by clicking onto GROUND, TOWER, APP and SECTOR.
  • zoom in and out using your mouse wheel (Mac: hold your right mousebutton pushed while moving over the radar-background in NorthWest respectively SouthEast)
  • adjust the map-center by dragging it with your mouse (click-hold left and drag)

  • a double mouse-click onto the scope will move that point into the center of the scope
  • a double right mouse-click will center the scope back to your location

You may assign any current settings to any of the 4 zoom levels (GROUND, TOWER, APP and SECTOR) by a right mouse-click onto the wanted level

A typical tower operation

The Radar-targets

  • do have a label attached with the following informations
UID heading direction
Flight Level Airspeed
  • and are displayed in 5 different colors:
(See also the chapter "Flight Strip Manager")
white always the currently selected target, it's UID is also shown in the MPchat inputline (e.g. see "D-Leon" who just is getting his "clear to land")
blue targets who's Flight-Stripe is placed to the left (e.g. see "Side" (just started) and "D-AHGM" just going to intercept the ILS: These 2 PLUS the white "D-LEON" are actively controlled right then!)
yellow targets who's Flight-Stripe is placed in the middle (e.g. could be assigned to "jomo2" as an indication that we wait for him to "wake up" soon - because then he may become a danger to others when taxiing uncontrolled)
green targets who's Flight-Stripe is placed to the right (e.g. see "jomo2" just parking - not actively controlled right now)
gray a neglected target or one for which there were no refresh data received from the MPserver for some time. In those cases the aircraft-type will be replaced by either "neglected" or by the time that elapsed since the last MPserver-update.
A GND layout with active PPN's

The radar map has so many details to display, that it is impossible to display all at once. Because of that we display details depending on the zoom level. For instance we hide Fixes and/or Runway Numbers etc. at a certain level of zoom. Thus OpenRadar features an adaptive detail level. In addition you can hide types of data by the following buttons:

FIX Show/NoShow FIX's (they will automatically be set "NoShow" above distinct scale-settings!)
NDB Show/NoShow NDB's (they will automatically be set "NoShow" above distinct scale-settings!)
VOR Show/NoShow VOR's
APT Show/NoShow Airports, inclusive their groundlayout (You may double-click onto a wanted airport and zoom in to see the layout)
CIRC Show/NoShow circles at distinct distances around your present location. The distance between the circles shown depends on the chosen zoom-factor!
GSH Show/NoShow Glide-Slope-Heights along the centerline of the runway for landings. They will automatically be set "NoShow" above distinct scale-settings!)
PPN Show/NoShow the "Park Position Numbers", those may not yet be available on all airports!. The PPNs will automatically be set "NoShow" above distinct scale-settings!)
StP Show/NoShow the "Selected (target) To Pointer" (doggy), an attachment to the mousepointer, showing some data about the relation of the selected target to the location of the mouse-pointer (similar to line 3 in the "Status Informations", see above)

The "Runway Manager" (on the right side of the screen) allows you to define which runway(s) should be used for landing and/or starting. This status is shown with little green/red dots at the runway end. See in the picture "A typical tower operation" above:

  • 25L, 25R, and 18 are active (see the green and red dots at the ends)
  • 25L has in addition the blue approach center line and funnel, i.e. it is assigned for landings. This center line is drawn out for 100mi, helping you to align the arriving airplanes with the runway. In addition there is shown some kind of a funnel in a definable distance that may help you to align the planes coming via a base-leg for landing.

MPchat area

The MPchat area

This area allows you to enter chat messages, view the chat history and filter it.
In the entry-line atop you define your messages to any radar-target by:

  • Manually typing a message:
    • A left mouse-click onto a Flight-Stripe or onto a Radar-Target will place the Target-UID at the beginning of the entry-line
    • Then you may type or copy/past anything behind that - and send it out by ENTER
  • Generate a standard message:
    • A right mouse-click onto a Flight-Stripe or onto a Radar-Target (or the TAB-key if the target is already active) will open a list with the available messages - select one with a left mouse-click
    • That will place the message into the entry-line - you may now review/edit it and then send it out by ENTER
  • OpenRadar will always set the ATC-name (as it appears on the very top of the service area - see the following chapter) in front of the message.

Below that entry-line is the scrollable list of exchanged MPchat-messages. In that list the messages related to the selected target are colored cyan. With the button "SEL" you set a filter to show only the messages related to the selected target. This filter will be reset as soon as you select another target - or by clicking onto "ALL".

You may enlarge that area by grabbing the upper edge with the left mouse-button and move it upward. Of course that will reduce the size of the radar-screen -- so use it with care!

Service Area

This column at the right side of the screen is for setting up the base-data for the operation, display needed data for traffic-guidance, and provide tools for guiding the pilots.

Status Informations
The general Status Informations

This area shows in 4 lines the most used status-informations:

  1. A text box that allows you to see and change your MP-callsign. So you can quickly change it, if a second ATC takes another role at the same airport (TW/APP/GND/RADAR, etc). At the right of it is placed a clock with the UTC-time. Because you probably will always have international guests you should refer to that modern "Coordinated Universal Time" (replacing nowadays the formerly used "Greenwich Mean Time" (GMT))
  2. In the second line you see the ICAO (the international Code for airports) and the long name of your airport. In addition you see on the right the currently selected radar contact (e.g. "jomo").
  3. The third line lets you predict several values for that "radar contact" (e.g. "jomo"). Whenever you place your mousepointer somewhere on the Radar Map, the third line will give you several informations about that target:
    • StP = "Selection to Pointer": That is the compass direction between the target and the mousepointer, in both ways (TO/FROM)
    • Miles: The distance between the target and the mouspointer.
    • min: The time the target needs to get to that mousepointed area - IF the speed remains steady as is!! In this example there is given a "n/a" (not available) which most probably means the plane is not moving (may be parked)!
  4. The fourth line shows the mostly needed weather information Wind, Pressure and Visibility. If you hover your mouse over it, you can see the complete last METAR-message received, in it's original form. (For help ref to http://wiki.flightgear.org/METAR#METAR). Please note that these values are similar to ATIS information: METAR directions is given in TRUE, ATIS in magnetic...
The COM-Setting (that can be none or up to 4)

According to the amount of FGcom-Ports you defined during setup (compare chapter "3.1.1 FGcom") you find here as many COM-Units (COM0 to max COM3). Each of them has a PopUp-List of Radio-frequencies available for the airport you are located on. You may

  • choose a frequency out of the list by clicking onto the arrow at the right of the input-field
  • or empty the field by a right mouseclick and enter any other frequency wanted.

At the right of that field you find a "Push To Talk" (PTT) button that you can operate by mouseclick -- or you can use the shortcuts given in the following table.

COMx left on keyboard right on keyboard
COM0 Ctrl NumOff+Num0
COM1 SHIFT NumOff+Num1
COM2 NumOff+Num2
COM3 NumOff+Num7

Please watch the color change of the PTT buttons to know, when you can speak.

In case you operate the FGcom in the "controlled by OpenRadar" mode (compare the "FGComMode" in chapter "Startup"), then

  • the radio label turns to red when FGcom is unable to establish a connection on this frequency. (Remember: OpenRadar has more frequencies available than FGcom knows of!!)
  • you have an additional "Restart"-button: In case the communication becomes chopped or interrupted, you may click here to restart the FGCOM-program.
Runway Settings
The Runway Manager
The Runway Manager Settings

Here you define the major variables for your airport operations: That are the assignments of the runways! For this purpose OpenRadar gives you a lot of precalculated and or default values to support your decisions findings and/or informations pilots may ask you about. See e.g. the pictures on the right:

  • From top to bottom OpenRadar lists all runways available for that airport. For each runway you may define unique operating/display values. For these values see the picture "OpenRadar-Runway-Settings" below, e.g. see the 07C (you open that by a right mouseclick onto the runway-name (07C)):
    • In the header line you see left the now chosen runway to be edited, and at the left a button "Copy to All". With this switch you can copy the settings you make here to all the other runways - so e.g. for EDDF with its 8 settings you can save a lot! Only the values will be changed - all the selection-markers will remain as are in each unique setting table! These settings will then be saved separately for each unique airport in you private settings.
    • With "Main switches" you define which functions may be available for that runway. Usually you can define for each runway as well a "Starting" as also a "Landing" function. In the given example for EDDF there is a complication: Per Law you are forbidden
to use runway 36 at all --> thus disable both lines: All data for that runway disappear
to use runway 18 for "Landing" only --> thus disable only "Landing": Just the Land-Option disappears
(How do you know those details? Well, as a good ATC you prepare yourself by reading the official airport data (or look for something like e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankfurt_Airport, see on that page in the right column).
  • The "Extended center line" is the line you see in the above picture "A typical tower operation" at the right. If you want that line you may define how long it should be. Some people do not want it reaching over the whole screen. We suggest to limit it to the MPserver-range of 100 mi. It will only be visible for the runways defined for "Landing"!
  • The "Distance markers" are measurement markers on that "Extended center line". Here you define from were to were you want to have such markers (they may restrain your eyes if you use them all over!).
  • "Vectoring and base leg" define that funnel that you also see in the above picture "A typical tower operation". Also this will be shown only for the "Landing" runways.
One tip to the handling of the "Landing" runways: Those are always shown in the "ATIS" message. If you define two (or even more) - in that "ATIS" message appear all those with the ILS data, etc.! So if you use mainly one we suggest to define only one - and activate more if you actually assign an additional one. Otherwise the pilots may become confused of that many informations and you yourself may have problems to differentiate which line the target should follow!
  • From left to right you see the following informations for each runway (if available):
  • The runway-name
  • Check-boxes to define if that runway is used at all, may be just for landings or just for starts or for both. The program prevents you from assigning a runway in both directions (e.g. 25R and 07L)
  • A graphical display of the cross winds and and gusts: They are green from 0-5kn, orange 5-10kn and red above. When there are significant gusts that color-bar is divided into two. Typically the gusts then will be represented by the longer bar!
  • Above that bar you see the fractions of head- and crosswind. You may use especially the crosswind-fraction to warn pilots if those are => 10 kn! (Remember: You find the normal wind values in the METAR-data further up in the Status Informations)
  • To the right follows
  • in the upper line the exact runway heading (as needed for older type autopilots)
  • in the lower line the length and width of the runway in feet!
  • Then follow the ILS informations, if ILS is available for that runway. The data shown are: the ILS-beacon-name, the frequency, the glideslope, and the altitude at the threshold.
Flight Strip Manager
Handling the Flight-Stripes

Paper Flight Strips are the ATCs help to coordinate his traffic. In reality those strips contain many details about the flight, that we do not have (yet). Based on vertical space-limitations we have gathered the most critical informations into 2 lines, which are automatically initiated and controlled by the program. Those are:

Target UID Aircraft Type direction to it from ATC
distance to it IAS+GND speed Altitude (FL) current heading

In addition the user may add some more informations in additional lines. We urge you to reduce these additional lines to a minimum, because already with 2 lines the list will become that long, that you must scroll constantly! These additional lines will be saved as target-data and inserted each time a new stripe is created for that target! We suggest to maintain some target-data and some flight data for all frequent visitors. See as a suggestion several 3rd line examples:

This pilot knows how to use ILS, VOR, FGcom, the new Runway at EDDF || he is advised to approach via VOR GED and MTR.

"ILS VOR FGC NRW || KJFK 280° f510"
This pilot also can use ILS, VOR, FGcom, NRW || and will depart to JFK on a straight course of 280° on FL510"

You are absolutely free to define your own codes and whatever. To do so

  • enter/edit those data by opening the "Note Editor" with a right mouse-click (Mac: Alt + right mouse-click) while pressing onto the stripe
  • add additional lines by Strg+ENTER (remember: Not more than 2, please!)
  • Always exit that Editor with the ENTER-key in order to transfer the data to the stripe!
  • At the bottom of this editor you can also select in which additional language the "standard commands" shall be transmitted to that target.

You can manipulate the listing of the flight strips:

  • New radar-targets will always appear at the end of the list on the right side
  • You can move the stripes in vertical order by drag and drop
  • You can place them in three horizontal columns (left, middle and right) either by dragging them with the hold-down mouse button or by mouse-clicks left or right of the stripes (you may double-click to move directly from one side to the other)
  • with the "AUTO"-button at the upper edge of this area you can define that the stripes will be sorted automatically into groups according to their left/center/right position. This may be very irritating at first - so you may want to switch that "AUTO" off at first usages!
  • The radar-targets will change their color according to the horizontal position of their stripe:
    • the radar-targets for stripes at the right side will be green - these are all targets when initialized!
    • the radar-targets for stripes in the center will be yellow
    • the radar-targets for stripes at the left side will be cyan

On the radar-map the "cyan targets" will overlay the "yellow targets" - and the "yellow targets" will overlay the "green" ones!

You cannot change these combinations of color and position -- but you might define your own definition of what the positions mean! We suggest the following:

green = right = initial position: Means not yet defined or not under my control (e.g. passing through on high altitude, is controlled by another ATC, etc.)
yellow = center = I expect him to get under my control when in range (e.g. 60 mi), or he may be transfered to me by another ATC soon, etc. He may become a danger to the traffic controlled by me if he continues uncontrolled!
cyan = left = under my control (light cyan when active in the MPchat input-line!)

Again: That is a proposal - you can define your on assignments!

You can apply the following mouse-actions onto the stripes as well as onto the radar-targets:

  • a single left mouse-click selects/activates it, i.e. its radar-target becomes "light cyan" and its UID is set into the MPchat input-line. In addition
    • its listed messages in the MPchat-list become colored cyan
    • and the "doggy" at the mouse-pointer displays data about the relation between that target and the mouse-pointer
  • a double left mouse-click helps you to find the target by highlighting the target on the scope. It also changes the radar-range to show both: The Target and your location. The selection of any of the "preset zoom levels" (GROUND, TOWER, APP, Sector) will reset the map-position again to its center!
  • a center mouse-click opens the Note Editor (see above)
  • a right mouse-click shows the dialog to choose pre-defined ATC messages to be sent to the current contact
  • a CTRL+left mouse-click will define that target as neglected. Thus his radar-target will become just a light gray color, that will not overlay or otherwise disturb the radar-views.

Flight-Plan & Flight-Management

There is now a Flight-Plan feature inside OpenRadar. With this you can define internal Flight-Plans that get distributed to all ATC's within the range of the target, as it moves from area to area. Thus every ATC can decide on first sight whether that flight affects his duties and how. This Flight-Plan can only be generated and/or edited by the ATC that is actually controlling the target at the given time. In future there will be added a common interface to existing Flight-Plan-Programs, so that the pilot himself can pre-define his flights – and OpenRadar takes over that data automatically in its internal Flight-Plan.

Define/Edit a Flight-Plan:

The Flightplanning feature input sheet for OpenRadar

You open the Flight-Plan for a target by clicking with the “center mouse-button”

  • onto the Flight-Strip of the target
  • or the target on the radar-screen

You can also open the "active" target by the ^-key

Controlling the ownership:
You can only define/edit a Flight-Plan for a target that is under your Control. i.e. the field “Controlled/Uncontrolled" must state “controlled by me”!

  • If it is “uncontrolled” click onto “control” and that field will indicate your “ownership” and avoid others to change
  • If it is “Controlled by …..” you must wait till the ATC controlling it now will
    • either remove his “ownership” by
      • clicking onto “Handover to” and selecting
        • another ATC for takeover
        • or the “blank” for just removing his control.
      • or clicking onto the button “UnControl”
    • or the target gets outside the range of the indicated “Owner”. In that case the Flight-Plan will be set to “Uncontrolled” automatically
    • or you send the controlling ATC a mail asking him to release the target
  • If it shows “Controlled by me” you can release the target
    • by clicking onto “Handover to” and selecting another ATC (or “blank”) for takeover
    • or you grab the Flight-Strip with the mouse and move it to the left into the radar-scope and select an ATC (or “blank”)
    • or you move the Flight-Strip all the way to the right – that will just remove your ownership

Mandatory fields of the OR-Flight-Plan:

  • Contact is the FGFS-UID of the target (will be set automatically)
  • Aircraft is the model-code of the target (will be set automatically)
  • Departure is the departure Airport (will be set automatically to your airport if on GND - or manual)
  • Destination needs the ICAO-code of the destination (e.g. EDDF for Frankfurt)
  • ETA is the “Estimated Time of Arrival” - that is automatically calculated based on the given aircraft type, altitude (CrsgAlt) and speed (Crsg.TAS) (You might override it if you know/want it more realistic)

Optional fields of the OR-Flight-Plan:

  • native language is per default “en” for English. If you choose another language, then all your selected MPchat advises to that target will be sent in English and then repeated in that chosen “native language”
  • FgCom indicates that target can use Radio (FGCom or Mumble)
  • Squawk shows the Squake-Code you assigned to the target
  • Assgnd RWY shows the runway assigned to that target, as well for landing as for starting. You assign the runway either by the PullDown or by DoubleClick onto the runway number in the “Runway Settings”
  • Route defines the SID, STAR, etc. assigned
  • Altitude as assigned by ATC from time to time (not the planned/constant "Crsg.Alt"! (compare below))
  • Code will be used in future when given by a more professional Flight-Planning system
  • IFR/VFR may be defined by the PullDown
  • Route can be used to document a preplanned route
  • Crsg.Alt.: Define the planned cruising altitude en route (usually in FL)
  • Crsg.TAS.: Define the planned TAS en route (usually as GND-speed)
  • Alt.Airports can be defined as a needed deviation in case of bad weather etc. at the planned airport
  • Comments here you enter comments that will be kept together with the Flight-Plan - and are visible to all ATCs en-route
  • Private notes are comments that remain with the ATC making these (stored then in the local file OpenRadar/settings/atcComments.xml). The will always be re-inserted whenever that target is visible to the unique ATC, independent of if he is the “active controller” or not.


Open the wanted Flight-Plan

  • by a center-mouse-click onto the radar-target or the FlightStrip
  • you can also use the ^-key to open the FlightPlan of the active target.

Then continue as described in the following scenarios: (In these scenarios only the "Simulation" labels are shown - to see all possibilities see the summary at the end)

1. A target appears on your airport

There are no data filled in yet into the flight-plan from any ATC, and there is no ATC assigned yet. Thus
  • the text in the tag-color is “green” - i.e. you did not yet take controll
  • the flight-strip background color is light green, in order to indicate that you did not yet do anything with it - i.e. it asks for attention from you to decide what to do with it
  • a simple mouse-click or any other action will remove the green background.

2. You define a new Flight Plan

  • Pull the Flight-stripe all the way to the left (mouse-drag or double click left of the FlightStrip). (If there is still another ATC the owner, then you cannot take over prior that the other ATC released or transferred that target!)
  • Generate the Flight-Plan:
Compare the Informations given in the target-label and the stripe:
e.g. when there is defined (just below the scope) in “map → data mode → Simulation (Transponder enabled)”
jomo the pilot FGFS-UID
160° the current heading (now on ramp!)
HeadSet-sign that pilot uses radio (FGCom or Mumble)
CONC the FGFS-model is the Concorde
KJFK is the planned destination
260° is the straight heading EDDF (departure) to KJFK (destination)
BIBTI is the SID planned for departure (on arrival here would be the STAR)
RW25C is the runway assigned for departure (or for arrival)
0400* is the current altitude (on GND in EDDF!)
00 is the speed (still parking!)

  • Departing:
    • GND will use the data as shown above, to bring the plane to the HoldingPoint
    • TWR will take over
    • The runway-assignment will be removed automatically after Take-Off

  • Transfer Control to next ATC (or blank)
  • grab-move the FlightStrip left into the Scope and select the next ATC (or open the Flight-plan and select at “Handover to:”).
  • if there is no “next ATC” available select the blank entry – the target is then free to be picked by another ATC en-route.
  • the FlightStrip will indicate the pending transfer by showing
“current ATC” => “next ATC”
The FlightStrip on the console of the “next ATC” will change the background-color to yellow – to grab his attention!
  • as soon as the “next ATC” has taken over the Flight-Strip will turn back to normal – indicating the “next ATC” is active -- and you cannot do any more changes!

3. A target appears in your airspace:

  • take over the control if there is no ATC assigned or the FlightStrip indicates that the current ATC wants you to take over the control (i.e. move the Flight-Strip all the way to the left)
  • if the target has no owner yet and is just crossing your airspace and tells you his destination, you may open the FlightPlan and insert that destination so that all the other ATCs know about it.
  • If the target lands on your airport:
    • assign a STAR and/or RW
    • the needed GND-traffic (Taxiways, Parkinglots, Gates, etc) is not part of the FlightPlan. (But you can always add your remarks for your own usage).

4. A ATC forgets to “reassign” or “free” a target:

  • The ownership will automatically be removed as soon as the targets gets out of the rang of that ATC (~100mi). After that any other ATC may take over.

Summery of Flight-Strips and Target-Tags

Depending on what you selected in "map" -> "data mode" (see the menu above the MPchat entry-line, at the very left) the Radar labels may look different. See the summary in the following table:

Status FlightStrip Traditional

(no transponder interaction)


(Transponder enabled)

Pure Simulation

(Transponder enforced)

Target appears on EDDF airport:

no ATC and no Flight-Data are assigned yet

OpenRadar-target-lables-10.png OpenRadar-target-lables-11.png OpenRadar-target-lables-12.png OpenRadar-target-lables-13.png
jomoATC inputs a Flightplan:

from EDDF to KJFK via SID BIBTI straight hdg EDDF -> KJFK 260° on Cruise Alt. FL250 Rw for TakeOff 25C

OpenRadar-target-lables-20.png OpenRadar-target-lables-21.png OpenRadar-target-lables-22.png OpenRadar-target-lables-23.png
After TakeOff:

notice that RW25C is canceled

OpenRadar-target-lables-30.png OpenRadar-target-lables-31.png OpenRadar-target-lables-32.png OpenRadar-target-lables-33.png

EDDF forwards target to EDDK:

in EDDK it appears with a yellow background to enforce attantion

after ATC-EDDK has taken over, that yellow will disappear and the "lastATC ==> "newATC" will be replaced by "currentATC" and the "private Notes" will be replaced with those of the newATC (if he has some)

in EDDF that private notes remain,

but the new ATC is shown, indicating “no changes any more accepted from EDDF!”

OpenRadar-target-lables-42.png OpenRadar-target-lables-43.png

Useful Features

Radar Map

  • On contact
  • left click selects and sets cursor into the chat input field
  • middle click opens the radar contact settings (ATC note and native language)
  • right click opens the ATC messages selection box
  • left double click on map to center it on airport (return to airport)
  • middle click on zoom level defines the current view as new center and zoom setting (stored in a file)
  • a click on the texts, on the lower left, toggle display of FIX, NDB, VOR,...

Flight Strip Area

  • On flight strip
  • left click selects the contact and sets cursor into the chat input field
  • middle click opens the radar contact settings (ATC note and native language)
  • right click (or the TAB-key) opens the ATC messages selection box
  • left double click centers radar map on the contact (to find contact)
  • CTRL+left click sets the contact to be neglected
  • a click beside the flight strips moves the flight strips between the three columns (right, middle, left)

Runway area

  • right click on runway number opens the runway settings dialog to define the centerline and vectoring settings
  • If at least one runway is active you may double click the runway panel background to hide the inactive runways (frees space for flight strips)


  • a right click on the frequency list changes the input to be editable, so you can define the frequencies by yourself


Shortcut Action
ESC Close all open dialogs and cancel the text input (reset chat input field)
ALT + L Toggle FGCom Log Window (only if you run FgCom started by OpenRadar)
Left CTRL PTT Radio COM0 (if it has been activated via Port in Settings)
NUM off: Num0 PTT Radio COM0 (if it has been activated via Port in Settings)
Left SHIFT PTT Radio COM1 (if it has been activated via Port in Settings)
NUM off: Num1 PTT Radio COM1 (if it has been activated via Port in Settings)
NUM off: Num2 PTT Radio COM2 (if it has been activated via Port in Settings)
NUM off: Num3 PTT Radio COM3 (if it has been activated via Port in Settings)

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