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  • Question about MLAT and further improvements

    Hey guys,

    i am using a setup consisting of a Pi B + Flightaware (orange) stick + filter + standard antenna from DVB-t package, which i put onto a can , as recommended by abcd567. Thanks btw for that idea, it improved my range and seen airplanes a bit. I installed it on Saturday, so if you have a look at my performance graphs which will be attached later on this post, you will see some small changes.

    Official stats of flightradar 24: (at the moment i am not allowed to post links here: so, check stats of fr24 =>radar code: T-ETUO22

    So coming to my first question: How can i further improve my range/ seen airplanes?
    => First of all i will place my pi to a better position (line of sight is obstructed by some trees/houses in NW and West and NE. I also want to cut the surplus of my antenna. But are there any further things which can be achieved quite easily and for example with low costs? Pre-amp? Software/preferences?
    Maybe you guys can conclude something out of my performance graphs...Basically i would appreciate a slightly better visibility of airplanes approaching FMO airport in Muenster. If they are passing by my house from South in Flightradar 24 they are only seen by MLAT calculations and the way to approach is quite poor.

    Max range day/ visibility of dump1090: Capture.jpg

    day chart performance: Capture3.PNG

    week chart performance: (so you can see the change of setup on saturday (can under the antenna instead of no can the days before) Capture4.jpg


    2nd question: I installed MLAT and regarding my 8754 it is running, but i don't see any MLAT tracks in my performance charts above. What is going wrong? Is my Pi not suitable for that kind of purpose?
    8754: Capture1.PNG

    Maybe you guys can help me a bit
    Thanks in advance. Best regards

  • #2
    MLAT contacts on the web view won't be seen any better without a lot more receivers around you. The fact they are MLAT indicates no position is given out for you to see them on your map either (without some feed back from flightaware or other provider)
    Posts not to be taken as official support representation - Just a helpful uploader who tinkers

    Comment


    • #3
      Yes okay, but i am quite surprised that at FR24 they are shown as MLAT as well instead of actual radars; as i am apparently feeder number 22 in this area (due to my radar code ) and coverage by feeders in NRW, Germany should be quite good.

      Comment


      • #4
        They can't be shown as normal radars. As they do not have positions.

        The aircraft would need to be upgraded to send their GPS for it to show as anything but mlat.

        And the number of radar IDs does not reflect true number. Lots of people register IDs in the hope of free business plan only to find they need hardware too.

        Also RPi only contribute to MLAT to help f- feeders. If there are 20 RPi and only 1 F- it will likely not increase the position calculations without more.

        Sent from my XT1092 using Tapatalk
        Posts not to be taken as official support representation - Just a helpful uploader who tinkers

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks for your explanation Oblivian. I thought that there are so many Pi's for example 20 or more and that i can help other F- or Pi's with my data to get more accuracy for the MLAT airplanes in this region.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by ger241 View Post
            So coming to my first question: How can i further improve my range/ seen airplanes?
            => First of all i will place my pi to a better position (line of sight is obstructed by some trees/houses in NW and West and NE. I also want to cut the surplus of my antenna. But are there any further things which can be achieved quite easily and for example with low costs? Pre-amp? Software/preferences?

            (1) You dont need a Pre-amp. Pro Stick already has a built-in Pre-amp. Adding an external Pre-amp may overload dongle and worsen performance.

            (2) The most important thing to improve performance is "antenna location". Basic criteria is that antenna should be at a location from where it has an un-obstructed view of horizon in all or most directions. If your location is surrounded by tall houses or trees, raising antenna slightly above the height of these obstructions will enable un-obstructed view of horizon, and greatly improve maximum range/plane count. If you cannot raise antenna above these obstructions, still raising antenna to whatever height you can, will give some improvement. If you cannot go outdoors, try different locations indoors for best signal. Antenna near a window, or outer wall or attic generally gives better result than inside room

            (3) Any antenna placed outdoors on roof/mast gives better results than the SAME antenna placed indoors.

            (4) Determine what mximum range you can get. Follow procedure here:
            What is the Maximum Range I can Get?

            (5) After you have completed item (4) above, you can permanently add maximum range ring to your dump1090-mutability map by following this thread:
            STEP (8) of How to Install dump1090-mutability_1.15~dev on RPi.
            I recommend not to add too many rings to avoid clutter on map. One ring at 40,000 ft = 12192 m should be enough.
            Last edited by abcd567; 2017-12-19, 17:00.

            Comment


            • #7
              Hey abcd567,

              thanks for your reply.

              (1) So i won't spend extra money on pre-amps
              (2) At the moment it is fitted on a garage at 3m above ground but obstructed by our house/ tree's neighbour houses to NW to NE; other directions are perfect without any obstructions.
              => Two options left: I need to find a waterproof case => mounting my Pi in back of our garden on a mast (approx. 5m) above ground. => Line of sight angle will get smaller so better for seeing airplanes further North.
              Second option: Put the Pi onto our attic and put the antenna outside on upper pan tiles => 360 deg view and unobstructed and at approx 10-12m above ground. Remaining question/Problem: What about lightning strikes? Do i need to protect my equipment especially or do i even provide better hitting points for a strike? I assume this might be a quite critical point so option 1 would be better than 2 in terms of lightning strikes at the house.
              (3) Already placed outside
              (4) Capture.jpg Max range lines added in panorama => If you compare this to my range especially West/North/ a bit of East could be better; direction South nearly perfect if i can see some AC's at Karlsruhe or a lot of FL21 and above traffic at Frankfurt Main Airport.
              (5) I chose to not install them; i don't like them in my virtual map
              Last edited by ger241; 2017-12-19, 17:39.

              Comment


              • #8
                You have site circles in your map at 100, 150, and 200 kms.
                Since your range is 400+ km, if you like, you can add one more Site Circle at 400 km.

                For additional Site Circles in map:

                STEP (10) of How to Install dump1090-mutability_1.15~dev on RPi.
                Last edited by abcd567; 2017-12-19, 18:01.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by abcd567 View Post
                  You have site circles in your map at 100, 150, and 200 kms.
                  Since your range is 400+ km, if you like, you can add one more Site Circle at 400 km.

                  For additional Site Circles in map:

                  STEP (10) of How to Install dump1090-mutability_1.15~dev on RPi.
                  Atm i have got 100, 150 and 200, which was far enough for my configuration with the standard DVB-T stick...with the flightaware stick i reach values up to 170 nm -> approx 300km...
                  400+ would be only the case if i can pick one AC under lucky circumstances. But thanks for showing me how to add extra rings. *thumbsup*

                  Two options left: I need to find a waterproof case => mounting my Pi in back of our garden on a mast (approx. 5m) above ground. => Line of sight angle will get smaller so better for seeing airplanes further North.
                  Second option: Put the Pi onto our attic and put the antenna outside on upper pan tiles => 360 deg view and unobstructed and at approx 10-12m above ground.
                  Remaining question/Problem: What about lightning strikes? Do i need to protect my equipment especially or do i even provide better hitting points for a strike? I assume this might be a quite critical point so option 1 would be better than 2 in terms of lightning strikes at the house.
                  Any recommendations or knowledge from your side abcd567?
                  Last edited by ger241; 2017-12-19, 18:15.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Lightning protection is a specialized subject. Its PRIMARY funtion is to protect property and life of persons living in the property. Protecting electronic/electrical equipment is of secondary importance.

                    I dont have sufficient level of knowledge on this subject to give advise.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by abcd567 View Post
                      Lightning protection is a specialized subject. Its PRIMARY funtion is to protect property and life of persons living in the property. Protecting electronic/electrical equipment is of secondary importance.

                      I dont have sufficient level of knowledge on this subject to give advise.
                      Yes i know about the PRIMARY function but i am quite unsure whether an extra installed antenna on my roof will increase the possibility to be hit by a strike...protecting electronic is "quite useless" if it is more or less directly hitted. => high Voltages/Amperes

                      Okay, thanks for all the answers. => > Next steps for me: Re-positioning of the antenna + Pi more to the back of the garden for better 360 view and installing at a higher spot.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I recalled that couple of years ago, there was a discussion about lightning protection in thread "best antenna". I searched that thread, and found it was in 2014, on pages 70 and 71(starting from post #692).

                        https://forum.flightradar24.com/thre...antenna/page70

                        The discussions are non-conclusive, but can shed some light on the subject.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by abcd567 View Post
                          I recalled that couple of years ago, there was a discussion about lightning protection in thread "best antenna". I searched that thread, and found it was in 2014, on pages 70 and 71(starting from post #692).

                          https://forum.flightradar24.com/thre...antenna/page70

                          The discussions are non-conclusive, but can shed some light on the subject.
                          thx abcd567!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Single Point Lightning Protection



                            .


                            Multiple Point Lightning Protection

                            Last edited by abcd567; 2018-01-06, 14:22.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              How much power in a bolt of lightning?

                              Lightning bolts carry from 5 kA (5,000A) to 200 kA (200,000A) and voltages vary from 40 kV (40,000V) to 120 kV (120,000V). If we take average values, say, 100 kA and 100 kV, this bolt would carry power P as calculated below

                              P = 1001000 A x 100x1000 V

                              = 10,000,000,000 Watts or 10 billion Watts.


                              Some animated photos of Lightning Strikes

                              High-speed photography showing different parts
                              of a lightning flash during the discharge process.



                              A downward leader travels towards earth, branching as it goes.



                              Lightning strike caused by the connection of two leaders,
                              positive shown in blue and negative in red
                              Last edited by abcd567; 2017-12-20, 00:55.

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