Where to Obtain SUA Data

SoarPilot uses SUA data using the Tim Newport-Peace format (.sua) This is also the same format used by Cambridge’s PocketNAV, GlideNav II and the Ilec SN-10. Airspace files can also be in OpenAir format (.air)

Obtaining SUA data for a specific geographic area can be obtained a different ways:

  1. World-Wide Soaring Turnpoint Exchange - There are actually three mirrors of this site now. Within this site, there are a couple of places that you may find the SUA files you are looking for. Here are all three sites for you to choose from:
    1. Special Use Airspace Area - Once at the initial webpage, select “Special Use Airspace” link. You will be taken to the main SUA page where you can then select your geographic region. However, the files listed here normally cover large/general areas such as the entire country of Denmark for example. For the US and Europe, you will also find links to the “Airspace” and “Eurospace” programs from Carl Ekdahl. These programs are specific to the US (Airpspace) and Europe (Eurospace). So if you are outside of those areas, you will not be able to use the programs. See below for more info on these programs.
    2. Turpoint Exchange - Also on the main page is a link to the Turnpoint Exchange. You will find that once you drill down to the specific area and perhaps specific location for which you are trying to find SUA data for, that in addition to the turnpoints for that location, there may be a “Special Use Airspace” link there as well. Selecting this link following by the link for the “Tim Newport-Peace” formatted files will give you a SUA file that someone has created for that specific soaring location.
  2. Airspace or Eurospace Programs - As mentioned above, if you are in the US (Airspace) or Europe (Eurospace), you can use the programs created by Carl Ekdahl to create properly formatted Tim Newport-Peace files for a specific geographic area from DAFIF files. Follow the “Special Use Airspace” link from the main World Wide Turnpoint Exchange webpage then select either USA or Europe. The top of these pages has the download link for the program. There are also links for downloading the required DAFIF files. However, these links are very old and do not work. See the “Where to Obtain DAFIF Files” section below to get the latest version of these files.
  3. SoaringDotNet Program - This program, written by Harald Maier 1), can be found under Files on the Soaring Pilot Yahoo group site or on the SoaringDotNet website. In addition to several other functions helpful to using SoarPilot, you can create SUA data from DAFIF files. Please see the instructions for this program for the proper method to create them using SoaringDotNet.
  4. WELT2000 - This (German) program + database, maintained by Michael Meier contains all soaring turning points of the world with WGS84 coordinates as well as SUA information of Europe collected from various sources. This program can create SUA and waypoints files that are compatible with Soaring Pilot.
The SoaringDotNet program can also be used to convert OpenAir format SUA files into the format required for SoarPilot.

From 4.1.0 beta versions onwards, airspace files can also be in OpenAir format (.air)

However, SoarPilot is fairly strict on the formatting of co-ordinates. e.g. extra spaces, tabs, position of commas, extra comments after the line, leading zeros etc etc. If some items are shown in error, please check those items carefully in the text file to correct the formatting.

Where to Obtain DAFIF Files

DAFIF or Digital Aeronautical Flight Information Files are needed by the Airspace, Eurospace and SoaringDotNet programs. They are available from US National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) free of charge from their DAFIF webpage. Once at this webpage, you must scroll down to the area with a heading of “DAFIF CD ROMs”. There are two columns under this for the “Current” and “Next” releases of the DAFIF data. You should use the “Current” release. Under that they may also be multiple “Editions” of the data (ex. Ed. 6, Ed. 7, Ed. 8). You should select the lowest edition available as the higher editions are probably for testing use or do not contain all required information. You can then select the FTP or HTTP link as required and the download of the DAFIF data should begin. Once the file is downloaded, you should following the instructions from the respective programs as to how to properly extract the files required by each program.

Notice: The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) has removed DAFIF™, FLIP, and ECHUM data from the NGA public web site effective October 1, 2006. Department of Defense (DoD) customers are able to access DAFIF™, FLIP information, and ECHUM by accessing the NGA’s web site on the NIPRNet. The NGA NIPRNet site, in accordance with a number of DoD directives, is Public Key Enabled (PKE); meaning that the site is encrypted using the DoD Public Key Infrastructure (PKI).

Checking What You Have

T N-P airspace files can be viewed using a number of top end gliding flight analysis programs such as SeeYou. These enable you to check both the graphics and altitude limits etc. If you have access to such software it is highly recommended that you crosscheck what you have against your current map. After all, the integrity of your airspace data could be the most critical information in S.P. in terms of your safety and the safety of others.

T N-P files may also be opened and viewed using a conventional Windows based text editor (NotePad, WordPad) and this is useful for checking their age and status.

How do I Load my Airspace Files into SoarPilot?

We recommend that you select one of three preferred methods depending upon your particular hardware set-up :-

A) By using a serial cable and the dedicated P.C. application SoaringPilot Terminal, available from the web site.

B) By using an external SD expansion card and a card reader. This method is the simplest (provided you have the hardware) and is recommended if you want to upgrade single or multiple Palm units without the need to connect to a P.C. i.e. in your glider or at your gliding site.

C) By converting your airspace file into Palm Doc format (pdb) using a suitable application and then transferring it to your Palm RAM using serial/USB cradle and the HotSync Manager. This method is convenient if you are distributing airspace files via the web as it uses standard Palm set-ups.

Method A, Loading using the SoaringPilot Terminal Program and a Serial Cable

For this to work your T N-P file must have the file extension .sua. The file name itself is not critical so you could use, for example, myairspace.sua.

Firstly, check that the Palm works correctly in serial mode when connected to the P.C. A good way to confirm this is to perform a serial HotSync. When satisfied, exit the HotSync program and start SoaringPilot Terminal on the P.C. and S.P. on the Palm. Now proceed as follows:

  1. Bring up the options highlight in S.P. by tapping the applications button in the Graffiti area or the navigator centre button if using a Palm T. Select “Settings” and then “NMEA/Port”.
  2. From the NMEA/Port screen select “Serial” in the Data Xfer Type section.
  3. Reselect “Settings” as for 1) above and select “Transfer”
  4. From the transfer screen select SUA. S.P. will now show the number of SUA items already loaded and the total points (connecting lines, circles etc).
  5. If you want to clear out the existing airspace data select “Delete all” and “OK”
  6. Go to the SoaringPilot Terminal program on your P.C. and check the settings using “Connection” and “Properties”. These should be the same as those used for the serial HotSync (e.g. your current COM port number with no flow control).
  7. Press the “Open Port” button, the light on the right hand side should go green.
  8. Still on the P.C, select “Upload” and SUA File(*.sua) for the file type. Browse to the directory containing your airspace file. On the Palm SUA screen select “Receive” and go back to the P.C. and double click on your airspace file to open it in the window. The P.C. will transfer the data and the “SUA Items” display on the Palm will count up. On completion the Visual Basic Terminal window on the P.C. will close and the airspace will have been loaded. Go to the checking instructions outline below.

Method B, Loading using an SD Expansion Card

For this to work the SUA file must have it’s file name changed (using Rename) to suadata.sua. The steps involved are:

  1. If not in place, set up the following directory on your SD expansion card using a card reader and your P.C. so that S.P. can find the file: Palm/Programs/SoarPilot/
  2. Copy your suadata.sua file to the SoarPilot/ directory on the card.
  3. Place the card in your Palm and start S.P.
  4. Bring up the options highlight by tapping the applications button in the Graffiti area or the navigator centre button if using a Palm T. Select “Settings” and then “NMEA/Port”.
  5. From the NMEA/Port screen select “Card” in the Data Xfer Type section.
  6. Reselect “Settings” as for 4) above and select “Transfer”
  7. From the transfer screen select SUA. S.P. will now show the number of SUA items already loaded and the total points (connecting lines, circles etc).
  8. Either clear out the existing data by selecting “Delete all” and then load using “Receive” or add the information on the card to the existing data in S.P. by just selecting “Receive”. Note: If you load the same data twice it is duplicated and just slows down the machine. Return to the FG screen by pressing Home or the navigator ring (Palm T). The data is now loaded and can be checked (see later).

Method C, Loading SUA Data via the Palm Cradle using HotSync Manager.

To load using the normal HotSync Manager you must first convert the file to the Palm PDB format. Various free applications exist on the web to do this, MakeDocW.exe being one that is reasonably user friendly. The set-up required will be described in the help file for the particular program, but the following general points should be noted:

  • The output file name for HotSync must be: suadata.sua.pdb where suadata.sua is the name and .pdb the extension.
  • Most conversion programs expect to see the input file as text so you may need to rename the T N-P file to suadata.txt. from suadata.sua
  • If compression is an option, switch it off.
  • When the new file suadata.sua.pdb has been saved to a chosen directory on your P.C. you can HotSync it to the Palm RAM in the normal way. It is recommended that you delete any existing version from the Palm before the HotSync using the normal Palm O.S. Delete function. The file to be deleted from RAM will show up as suadata.sua.

To load the Doc format airspace file from RAM, start S.P. and perform the following:

  1. Bring up the options highlight by tapping the applications button in the Graffiti area or the navigator centre button if using a Palm T. Select “Settings” and then “NMEA/Port”.
  2. From the NMEA/Port screen select “DOC” in the Data Xfer Type section.
  3. Reselect “Settings” as for 1) above and select “Transfer”
  4. From the transfer screen select SUA. S.P. will now show the number of SUA items already loaded and the total points (connecting lines, circles etc).
  5. Either clear out the existing data by selecting “Delete all” and then load using “Receive” or add the information on the card to the existing data by just selecting “Receive”. Note :- As in the previous example, if you load the same data twice it is duplicated and slows down the machine. Return to the FG screen by pressing Home or the navigator ring. The data is now loaded and can be checked.

Checking the SUA Data

The SUA data can be checked as follows:

  • Bring up the options highlight by tapping the applications button in the Graffiti area or the navigator centre button if using a Palm T. Select “Navigation” and then “SUA List”.

  • You can now scroll through the list enabling or deactivating individual items as required. You can also check individual airspace blocks using the View feature.


Note: You will be alerted if any errors occur when loading in SUA data. Any items that had invalid co-ordinates, or did not make completely closed polygons (ie. the last points is the same as the first point) will be marked as type “Error” on the SUA List. The items in error can be found by sorting the list by Type. Items in Error cannot be activated. You can see the cause of the error by looking at the SUA Display screen for each item in error. You must correct the input file, delete all the items and re-load them.

  • Go to the section in this manual dealing with SUA configuration and check the settings (SUA Display & Warning Configuration). Finally and most importantly, go to the Moving Map screen and check that your local airspace, as displayed, agrees with your paper map. Remember, if the paper map is current and disagrees, the paper map is correct!

Can I Save a Specific SUA Configuration Loaded into the Palm ?

You can save SUA data that has been combined in the Palm provided that you are using an expansion card and have enough space on it to store the whole S.P. program. Simply use the normal Palm save to card system and copy it across. If you delete/lose S.P. from the machine in the field, just load back from the card and all the SUA and it’s configuration will be fully restored. This also applies for waypoints, terrain etc.

The same save and load-back operation can be performed using the HotSync Manager provided that the attributes have been correctly set up on the Palm for the individual S.P files.

Can I keep more then one SUA file on my Palm?

Yes. See the Loading and Saving Data section for information on how to do this.

Latest SUA File Specification

This can be found on Tim Newport-Pierce’s site on the Specialist Systems Airspace page. The SUA file specification is contained in the USER.AIR file.

In addition to this specification, keywords of CLASS, RADIO and ACTIVITY are also support.

1) Harry for intimi ;-)
 
soarpilot/load_sua_data.txt · Last modified: 2009/09/08 23:21 by pgleesonuk
 
Recent changes RSS feed Creative Commons License Donate Powered by PHP Valid XHTML 1.0 Valid CSS Driven by DokuWiki