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The Ferret King
Nov 23, 2003

cluck cluck

CatchrNdRy posted:

Are your monitors and screens sort of basic and chosen for its appearance because its the most efficient or because its difficult to update reliably? The screenshots look like what I'd stereotype air traffic control screens to be 20-30 years ago. Why doesn't it look like a trendy smartphone app!?!?!

The lines and overall map presentation is a pretty old design. When color scopes became available, studies were done to see which colors had the best effect on clarity and attention-grabbyness.

There's a whole document specifying colors that must be used.

quote:

FAA Joint Order 7210.3

3-10-1. COLOR USE ON ATC DISPLAYS
<editor note: For Terminal Facility Displays only>

Color use on terminal systems was developed jointly
with the Terminal Safety and Operations Support
Office and the Terminal Automation Human Factors
Team. This section provides guidelines on the use of
color on ATC displays through a national standard for
terminal air traffic displays. These guidelines are
intended to standardize the use of colors across the
terminal systems. Any use outside these guidelines
must be developed jointly with the Terminal Safety
and Operations Support Office, the appropriate
Service Area Director, and the Terminal Automation
Human Factors Team. All use of color on ATC
displays must fall within these guidelines, except for
MEARTS<don't worry about this acronym>:

a. Whenever color capabilities exist, the following
National Color Standard for Terminal Systems
shall be installed:

1. Background shall be black.

2. Point out identifier blinking or steady shall be
yellow.

3. Compass Rose, range rings, maps A and B
shall be dim gray.

4. Coordination rundown list as follows:
(a) Unsent shall be green.
(b) Unacknowledged shall be blinking green.
(c) Acknowledged shall be steady green.

5. Geographic restriction border, fill, and text
shall be yellow.

6. Data blocks owned shall be white.

7. Limited or partial data blocks unowned shall
be green.

8. Search target symbol shall be blue.

9. Beacon target extent shall be green.

10. History trails shall be blue.

11. Predicted track line shall be white.

12. Minimum separation line shall be white.

They sperg out pretty hard about this stuff. You are also correct, like many things in aviation, our technology updates at a pace much more slow than private industry tech. It has to all be evaluated and contain multiple layers of redundancy. But I like the displays where I work quite a bit, I've also worked on the old round radar scopes that still had a "sweep" going round and round constantly. Those were only 1 color, green, and though they worked very well it definitely looked dated. I plan on doing an info post on current and recent radar systems soon.

The Ferret King fucked around with this message at 23:43 on Feb 11, 2014

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Zochness
May 13, 2009

I AM James Bond.

Pillbug

The Ferret King posted:

But I like the displays where I work quite a bit, I've also worked on the old round radar scopes that still had a "sweep" going round and round constantly. Those were only 1 color, green, and though they worked very well it definitely looked dated. I plan on doing an info post on current and recent radar systems soon.

You guys have STARS down there? We still work on the old scopes with ARTS-IIE, was lots of fun getting to work with STARS/ACD at the academy then get back to facility with the old submarine scopes. They definitely get the job done though, I don't even notice the sweep any more.

The Ferret King
Nov 23, 2003

cluck cluck

Zochness posted:

You guys have STARS down there? We still work on the old scopes with ARTS-IIE, was lots of fun getting to work with STARS/ACD at the academy then get back to facility with the old submarine scopes. They definitely get the job done though, I don't even notice the sweep any more.

Yep, we have STARS. I came from a facility with ARTS-IIE. The extra functionality and display clarity of STARS is very welcome. We also operate in a radar mode called FUSION, where our targets move every second instead of once per radar antenna sweep, it's neat. Very fluid motion.

Please don't worry folks, I'm gonna go all crazy on Terminal Radar Systems in a later update!

fknlo
Jul 6, 2009




Fun Shoe

Tommy 2.0 posted:

Seriously, the amount of people I work with that are anti-union and republican BLOWS MY MIND considering what happened with white book. I suppose that since they were grandfathered in it was "eff you got mine".

It's that and the fact that they make a decent amount of money, but not enough to qualify for the loopholes that actual rich people use to pay less in taxes. Then you have those filthy government moochers(controllers that work less than 2 hours a day aren't this) living life high on the hog on their tax money and you get die hard republicans. Controllers bitch a lot about everything, but holy poo poo if you start talking about taxes they go nuts.

Cerebral Mayhem
Jul 18, 2000

Very useful on the planet Delphon, where they communicate with their eyebrows

QL from ZTL here. (Atlanta ARTCC)

I've been a controller now for 24 years, all here at Atlanta. I was hired "off the street" as it were, went through the screen at Oklahoma City and ended up here. Never really wanted to go anywhere else. I was here when we upgraded to DSR (Display System Replacement), and we will finally be getting ERAM this year.

Tommy 2.0
Apr 26, 2008

My fabulous CoX shall live forever!

fknlo posted:

It's that and the fact that they make a decent amount of money, but not enough to qualify for the loopholes that actual rich people use to pay less in taxes. Then you have those filthy government moochers(controllers that work less than 2 hours a day aren't this) living life high on the hog on their tax money and you get die hard republicans. Controllers bitch a lot about everything, but holy poo poo if you start talking about taxes they go nuts.

You are spot on, hence why I went far out of my way to find myself a real good tax guy. It is absolutely mind boggling to me the amount of things you can legally write off and little things you can do to help with this stuff.

Cerebral Mayhem posted:

QL from ZTL here. (Atlanta ARTCC)

Who do you but up against?

Cerebral Mayhem
Jul 18, 2000

Very useful on the planet Delphon, where they communicate with their eyebrows

Tommy 2.0 posted:

You are spot on, hence why I went far out of my way to find myself a real good tax guy. It is absolutely mind boggling to me the amount of things you can legally write off and little things you can do to help with this stuff.


Who do you but up against?
Jacksonville Center (ZJX). My area encompasses ATL and the area southeast to AGS, to south of MCN

The Ferret King
Nov 23, 2003

cluck cluck

Cerebral Mayhem posted:

Jacksonville Center (ZJX). My area encompasses ATL (Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport, GA) and the area southeast to AGS (Augusta Airpot, GA), to south of MCN (Middle Georgia Regional Airport)

Sorry, not picking on you, but what tends to happen in aviation threads is a lot of folks ask for abbreviation definitions and I just want to head off the requests for the airport names. Thanks for chiming in. When do you plan on retiring and how have you enjoyed your career?

xaarman
Mar 12, 2003

IRONKNUCKLE PERMABANNED! READ HERE

*golf clap* Nice title pun

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnHdpTpmAsY&amp;hd=1

The Ferret King
Nov 23, 2003

cluck cluck

It's absolutely my favorite ATC related pun/song pairing.

I love the Offspring.

MrYenko
Jun 17, 2012

#2 isn't ALWAYS bad...


CatchrNdRy posted:

Are your monitors and screens chosen for its appearance because its the most efficient? or because its difficult to update reliably? The screenshots look like what I'd stereotype air traffic control screens to be 20-30 years ago. Why doesn't it look like a trendy smartphone app!?!?!

Ferrets enroute radar example at least isn't exactly representative of even the outgoing Host display, let alone the new ERAM displays. That said, even ERAM is pretty much mired in a 1980s era UI design.

Cerebral Mayhem
Jul 18, 2000

Very useful on the planet Delphon, where they communicate with their eyebrows

The Ferret King posted:

Sorry, not picking on you, but what tends to happen in aviation threads is a lot of folks ask for abbreviation definitions and I just want to head off the requests for the airport names. Thanks for chiming in. When do you plan on retiring and how have you enjoyed your career?

Sorry about that. I'll actually be eligible to retire in October, and I'm pretty sure I'll go out then. I don't have any kids to put through school, it's basically my husband and me so I really don't have much incentive to stick around. That being said, Air Traffic Control's been very very good to me and allowed me to do things I've wanted without worry. I never wanted to go into management or Traffic Management, I've felt my talents were best utilized right there in front of the screen, and it's a responsibility I take very seriously.

As someone brought up earlier, you do see a lot of retired controllers that get jobs with Raytheon or Lockheed Martin and come back to work in the training department or whatever. Yeah, not doing that.

Tommy 2.0
Apr 26, 2008

My fabulous CoX shall live forever!

Cerebral Mayhem posted:

Jacksonville Center (ZJX). My area encompasses ATL and the area southeast to AGS, to south of MCN

Allenburgers are pretty tasty.

fknlo
Jul 6, 2009




Fun Shoe

MrYenko posted:

That said, even ERAM is pretty much mired in a 1980s era UI design.

Our keyboards and trackballs are straight out of the 60's! The numberpad is even backwards! That's the hardest part of the job, learning the backwards numberpad. We did get some new backlit keyboards that look like they're from the 80's a few months ago though.

Zochness
May 13, 2009

I AM James Bond.

Pillbug

fknlo posted:

Our keyboards and trackballs are straight out of the 60's! The numberpad is even backwards! That's the hardest part of the job, learning the backwards numberpad. We did get some new backlit keyboards that look like they're from the 80's a few months ago though.

You guys have standard QWERTY keyboards right? We still have the ole alphabetical keyboards and backwards numberpad, it is the dumbest thing. I've gotten pretty good at it by now though.

Cerebral Mayhem
Jul 18, 2000

Very useful on the planet Delphon, where they communicate with their eyebrows

fknlo posted:

Our keyboards and trackballs are straight out of the 60's! The numberpad is even backwards! That's the hardest part of the job, learning the backwards numberpad. We did get some new backlit keyboards that look like they're from the 80's a few months ago though.

The backwards number pad was designed to be like a phone's number pad. Back when I started in '90, we still had the 300 Switching System (PBX) for our landline calls, and I guess they felt it would be too confusing to have two different types of number pads on the consoles.

MrYenko
Jun 17, 2012

#2 isn't ALWAYS bad...


fknlo posted:

Our keyboards and trackballs are straight out of the 60's! The numberpad is even backwards! That's the hardest part of the job, learning the backwards numberpad. We did get some new backlit keyboards that look like they're from the 80's a few months ago though.

We have em in the DYSIM TTL lab, and theyre supposed to migrate to the floor when we finish the 24hr run of ERAM.

Also, they're loving MILITANT about not calling the TTL the DYSIM anymore.

sleepy gary
Jan 11, 2006



I would appreciate if one of you would post a more calm screenshot of whatever you look at all the time with a little bit of explanation.

How does the pension work... forced retirement at 56 (25 years if you are 31 upon entering) but only 1.5% per year, so you'd get 37.5% of your salary in retirement? I don't know anything about pensions.

edited for clarity

sleepy gary fucked around with this message at 16:39 on Feb 12, 2014

MrYenko
Jun 17, 2012

#2 isn't ALWAYS bad...


DNova posted:

I would appreciate if one of you would post a more calm screenshot of whatever you look at all the time with a little bit of explanation.

This is a (terrible LockMart) image of a next-gen ERAM console:



For various reasons, there aren't a lot of pictures of the inside of centers.

The display on the left, almost out of the frame, is called URET in Host, or EDST in ERAM, and contains all of your flight plan data for all the aircraft entering your airspace. It also probes for traffic conflicts, and will alert you if it detects one. You can edit flight plans, enter new ones, etc etc. It also has your winds aloft data, and in ERAM, all of your NOTAMS, General Information messages, weather products, etc etc.

The display on the right is the radar display, and it is a triumph of bureaucracy over sane UI design.

MrYenko fucked around with this message at 16:31 on Feb 12, 2014

Cerebral Mayhem
Jul 18, 2000

Very useful on the planet Delphon, where they communicate with their eyebrows

Discovery Channel did a documentary on Air Traffic Control, they shot some footage from inside Atlanta ARTCC. This was from before URET, when we still had the strip bays of physical flight progress strips, but the radar screen is still the same one we use today.

Found a dubbed copy of it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0nYEmrq1as
The bit about Atlanta Center starts at 30:10

Cerebral Mayhem fucked around with this message at 18:24 on Feb 12, 2014

CatchrNdRy
Mar 15, 2005

Receiver of the Rye.

I forgot where I read it, but are New York Controllers known for being the sassiest with the pilots and will punish them if they don't react correctly?

Tommy 2.0
Apr 26, 2008

My fabulous CoX shall live forever!

Cerebral Mayhem posted:

Discovery Channel did a documentary on Air Traffic Control, they shot some footage from inside Atlanta ARTCC. This was from before URET, when we still had the strip bays of physical flight progress strips, but the radar screen is still the same one we use today.

Found a dubbed copy of it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0nYEmrq1as
The bit about Atlanta Center starts at 30:10

CM, not sure if you caught my Allenburger comment, or maybe you actually don't butt up against Allendale?

JohnClark
Mar 24, 2005

Well that's less than ideal


DNova posted:

I would appreciate if one of you would post a more calm screenshot of whatever you look at all the time with a little bit of explanation.
Sure thing. I work at a facility called Potomac Consolidated TRACON, or PCT. We're split into 4 areas which each cover a major airport: Washington Dulles (IAD, the area I work in), Washington National (DCA, never called Reagan), Baltimore-Washington (BWI), and Richmond (RIC).

The ops room at the facility looks like this (although the lights are always off):

Controllers sit in front of the scopes on the outer wall, and the inner positions are staffed by traffic management, the operations manager and the SOC (our maintenance guys).

This is the best image I could find for the sort of radar scope we use, sorry that it's so blurry:

Most of this is about what you'd expect, circles represent airports, crosses are typically fixes of one sort or another, and the solid lines are usually airspace boundaries.
The yellow arrow points to an aircraft. The data black is made up of 2 lines, the top one is the aircraft's callsign, in this case JZA7914 (JZA stands for Jazz, a Canadian regional airline). The lower line is split into two parts, the first showing the aircraft's altitude in hundreds of feet (059, or 5900 feet above mean sea level). The second spot shows the aircraft type, CRJ1 (Canadair Regional Jet 100 series). The altitude portion will also timeshare with the scratchpad, which is 3 characters long and input by the controller. A typical scratchpad at Dulles would be something like 01C, indicating that the aircraft will land on runway 1 center. The aircraft type portion will timeshare with the aircraft's ground speed (which is distinct from its airspeed).
The red arrows point to three airspace definitions, which represent different rings of class bravo airspace. Without getting in depth, class bravo airspace surrounds busy airports in order to keep little guys away from big jets, and it looks like an upside down wedding cake. So, the inner ring extends from the surface to 7000 feet, the next ring from 3000 - 7000, and the outer ring from 4000 - 7000.

I found a cool shot of some of the newer tools we have for separating aircraft:

These targets are aircraft lined up on final. The datablocks show their callsigns on the top line (these are test targets so they just numbered them in order), their altitude in hundreds of feet followed by their ground speed in tens of knots on the second line, and their distance from the aircraft ahead in nautical miles on the third line. The triangles extended out from the front of the targets are each 3 nautical miles long. The first is blue because everything's looking good, no problem with separation. The second one is yellow which indicates that separation will be lost eventually, but not straight away. The third one is red because separation is going to be lost imminently or already has been lost.

Lastly, since MrYenko showed you his cool URET business for handling flight plans, here's what we use:

These are printed by printers I have never seen anywhere else, I believe the FAA keeps that company in business single-handedly. Still, antiquated though they are, flight strips contain a ton of useful information. Going from top to bottom and left to right on the uppermost strip, it has the callsign, aircraft type, and computer ID. It then has the transponder code, proposed departure time, and requested altitude. It then has the departure airport and the route of flight.

quote:

How does the pension work... forced retirement at 56 (25 years if you are 31 upon entering) but only 1.5% per year, so you'd get 37.5% of your salary in retirement? I don't know anything about pensions.
Because controllers retire early, the calculation is slightly different than it is for other federal employees (though we're still part of the same system, called FERS). For controllers you get 1.7% of the average of your highest 3 years of salary for the first 20 years of service, and then another 1% for every year after 20. So, if you retired after 25 years of service, you're pension would be worth 39% of the average of your high 3. To close that out, let's assume the average of your high 3 was 100,000/year. In that case, your pension would be $39,000/year.

JohnClark fucked around with this message at 00:14 on Feb 13, 2014

Tommy 2.0
Apr 26, 2008

My fabulous CoX shall live forever!

I still have to use strips at the area in my center and it is absolutely freaking pointless. Terminal strips are so much more eloquent.

sleepy gary
Jan 11, 2006



Thanks MrYenko and JohnClark!

MrYenko
Jun 17, 2012

#2 isn't ALWAYS bad...


Tommy 2.0 posted:

I still have to use strips at the area in my center and it is absolutely freaking pointless. Terminal strips are so much more eloquent.

We're the only area in my facility with no strip posting requirements. It's GLORIOUS.

Cerebral Mayhem
Jul 18, 2000

Very useful on the planet Delphon, where they communicate with their eyebrows

Tommy 2.0 posted:

CM, not sure if you caught my Allenburger comment, or maybe you actually don't butt up against Allendale?
Well yes, I work South Departure, Sinca and Augusta which but up against Allendale, Columbia, Waycross and Ashburn.
Never heard it called Allenburger, sorry.
You know a guy called Silky Smooth?

Cerebral Mayhem fucked around with this message at 01:49 on Feb 13, 2014

Tommy 2.0
Apr 26, 2008

My fabulous CoX shall live forever!

Cerebral Mayhem posted:

Well yes, I work South Departure, Sinca and Augusta which but up against Allendale, Columbia, Waycross and Ashburn.
Never heard it called Allenburger, sorry.
You know a guy called Silky Smooth?

....yes. Some people at the facility call him "cartoon voice". That's funny you talk to both my wife and I (she's in a different area).

But yeah, some of us call it "allenburger".

MrYenko posted:

We're the only area in my facility with no strip posting requirements. It's GLORIOUS.

Strips with URET is the dumbest drat thing. And this is coming from someone who did nothing but handwritten strips for his first 6 years in this job.

Tommy 2.0 fucked around with this message at 02:20 on Feb 13, 2014

two_beer_bishes
Jun 27, 2004


Any ZMA guys working the abaco sector or SUMRS/SNAGY, or LETON/LNHOM/LAMER/LUCTI?

kmcormick9
Feb 2, 2004
Magenta Alert

Nobody at ZDC uses strips. Not for departures, approaches, or emergencies. We still run the printers, wasting thousands of dollars a day printing gi messages and tmu advisories.

Here's some more info for people wondering what we look at
\ this is an airplane. Specifically it's a paired beacon. You can click it and a data block will appear.
I this is a mode C intruder. It will have a beacon code and an altitude. You MAY be able to find a flight plan using the code. If there is no code, it is a VFR above 5000
/ this is an unpaired beacon. You cannot click it or get a flight plan from it. It will have a code and a mode C.
X this is a paired primary target. This is a plane with no transponder that someone has tagged up. Obviously no mode C.
+ and . are primaries.

Crunk Abortion
Mar 5, 2009

Young based lord and I look like JESUS


I'm getting ready to apply for an off the street position, and would love any advice TRACON goons could offer. I just had Parahexavoctal update my resume, did you guys also include a cover letter when you applied? How much should I specialize my resume to include FAA keywords and stuff?

I'm a little nervous, because I took on a lot of student debt pursuing the CTI program only to have it pulled the gently caress out from under me at the last second. I can't afford to miss out on this round of hiring. I'm 27 now and 31 feels like it's coming at me like a freight train.

MrYenko
Jun 17, 2012

#2 isn't ALWAYS bad...


Crunk Abortion posted:

I'm getting ready to apply for an off the street position, and would love any advice TRACON goons could offer. I just had Parahexavoctal update my resume, did you guys also include a cover letter when you applied? How much should I specialize my resume to include FAA keywords and stuff?

I'm a little nervous, because I took on a lot of student debt pursuing the CTI program only to have it pulled the gently caress out from under me at the last second. I can't afford to miss out on this round of hiring. I'm 27 now and 31 feels like it's coming at me like a freight train.

Honestly, my experience with submitting an attached resume was not particularly positive. If I were to do it again, I'd transcribe everything from my resume to their forms. That said, I still got selected and hired, at the same age as you, maybe a bit older, even, but I had no end of trouble with my paperwork. Apparently when they get an attached resume, they process it into the same template for everyone, so the selection committees don't have to rifle through hundreds of resumes with different formats.

SaltPig
Jun 21, 2004



CatchrNdRy posted:

I forgot where I read it, but are New York Controllers known for being the sassiest with the pilots and will punish them if they don't react correctly?

I can't speak for their interactions with pilots, but New York controllers do have a reputation of being inflexible and difficult to work with amongst other controllers.

Fragrag
Aug 3, 2007
The Worst Admin Ever bashes You in the head with his banhammer. It is smashed into the body, an unrecognizable mass! You have been struck down.

CatchrNdRy posted:

I forgot where I read it, but are New York Controllers known for being the sassiest with the pilots and will punish them if they don't react correctly?

I remember that as well but I forgot so I looked it up and it's from a segment in Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell on Crew Resource Management. I don't have the book on me but what I remember, Avianca Flight 52 was on a holding pattern and the co-pilot was in charge of communications. Gladwell mentions that New York ATCs have a rather inflexible reputation as Liar of the Shire mentioned. He thinks it slightly bullied the co-pilot and bad communication with his superior pilot led to him not reporting to ATC that they were on a dangerous amount of fuel.

xaarman
Mar 12, 2003

IRONKNUCKLE PERMABANNED! READ HERE

So if someone reports an ELT, what is the process that happens? Today, ATC asked several planes if they could pick it up, how strong it was and if it was getting stronger/weaker, but then what?

What if it's on 243.0?

CatchrNdRy
Mar 15, 2005

Receiver of the Rye.

Fragrag posted:

I remember that as well but I forgot so I looked it up and it's from a segment in Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell on Crew Resource Management. I don't have the book on me but what I remember, Avianca Flight 52 was on a holding pattern and the co-pilot was in charge of communications. Gladwell mentions that New York ATCs have a rather inflexible reputation as Liar of the Shire mentioned. He thinks it slightly bullied the co-pilot and bad communication with his superior pilot led to him not reporting to ATC that they were on a dangerous amount of fuel.

YEAH thats where I read it.

What is the ATCs ITT relationship with the pilots like normally?

SCOTLAND
Feb 26, 2004


Anybody here work MIA? I'm curious if it's actually a big deal that you check in 10 prior when overflying Cuba on the way back from South America? Or have relations thawed enough that you talk to each other these days?

kmcormick9
Feb 2, 2004
Magenta Alert

xaarman posted:

So if someone reports an ELT, what is the process that happens? Today, ATC asked several planes if they could pick it up, how strong it was and if it was getting stronger/weaker, but then what?

What if it's on 243.0?

Tell the sup, sup passes it on to whoever who investigates. They may come back and ask you to solicit more reports

The Bramble
Mar 16, 2004



So I have something called REM sleep behavior disorder. All it does is make my legs twitch while I sleep, no other symptoms. I have a prescription for 0.5mg klonopin that I can take to stop the twitching, but I could certainly live without it. As far as the medical goes, how long would I have to be off klonopin to not have it disqualify me?

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Tommy 2.0
Apr 26, 2008

My fabulous CoX shall live forever!

The Bramble posted:

So I have something called REM sleep behavior disorder. All it does is make my legs twitch while I sleep, no other symptoms. I have a prescription for 0.5mg klonopin that I can take to stop the twitching, but I could certainly live without it. As far as the medical goes, how long would I have to be off klonopin to not have it disqualify me?

I am pretty sure you would have to talk to a flight doc. Be careful with what you say. Some want to disqualify people just for sneezing once a day. Hit me up on steam CoX bro.

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