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PocketFMS Digital Data.

Digital aeronautical information.

Besides building the EasyVFR and AirspaceAVOID software, we also manufacture the required digital aeronautical information. Without the proper information, a flight planning solution becomes useless - dangerous, even. All of the data except for the 3rd party aeronautical maps is included with a Frequent Flyer Membership annual subscription at no extra cost.

The key component of the digital information is called the AeroData. It is professionally maintained and continuously updated and improved from a variety of verifiable sources. Reports of omissions that are received by us are investigated and if necessary repaired on very short notice - often the very same day.

Leading avionics manufacturers such as MGL Avionics and Dynon Avionics are also using PocketFMS AeroData to provide accurate and detailed information to their users - details are found here.

Digital aeronautical data.

The PocketFMS AeroData provides all the important reference objects required by a VFR pilot and shown on paper charts - and a lot more. Unlike paper charts, AeroData provides seamless coverage, and can be refreshed at any time, any number of times. Data is organised into ICAO Flight Information Regions (FIRs, ARTCCs in the USA), which for ease of download are also grouped into the major geographic regions - Europe, Continental USA, Canada, and Australasia.

  Briefly, the PocketFMS Digital Data consists of:
  1. Topographic Maps. The background topographic features, often referred to as the Roads & Rivers Map, provide a reference to the physical features being flown over. Included features are highways and roads, rivers and oceans, railways, urban areas, and major forested areas.
  2. AeroData. The aviation boundaries and objects which can't necessarily be seen, but which are critical to VFR navigation. Included are controlled airspace boundaries, Special Use Airspace (Prohibited, Restricted, Danger, Military), airports, runways, comm frequencies, NavAids, IFR waypoints, VFR reporting points, minimum safe altitude, names of major (and many not so major) cities and towns - in developed countries, all continuously maintained to be current with AIP. In selected areas, other special uses are defined, such as VFR transit lanes, fly-neighbourly & broadcast zones, and sports aviation activity.
  3. Terrain Elevation. To ensure your safety, this dataset has been processed to represent maximum terrain elevation across the globe, unlike many other systems which show average elevation - flying in below-average visibility is definitely not the time to be relying on average mountain heights!
  4. Weather. For many regions, aviation weather information is available. This information not only gives you the familiar METAR and TAF information, but also winds aloft at 2000', 5000' and FL85 are present, as well as significant weather and cloud base information. Precipitation radar images are also available.
  5. NOTAMs. The PocketFMS Foundation is a certified EuroControl Data User and has a secure connection to the global NOTAM system. New NOTAMs arrive minutes after they were created and are processed into our NOTAMBase for furher digital distribution.

As one of the very few organisations collecting and maintaining its own worldwide aviation database, we're proud of our independence and ability to set and achieve high levels of data quality and service at a very competitive price.

1 - Topographic Maps.

The background topographic features, often referred to as the Roads & Rivers Map, provide a reference to physical features on the ground. Included features are highways and roads, rivers and oceans, railways, urban areas, and major forested areas.

PocketFMS is confronted with unique issues for accurately displaying MapData across the globe on devices with limited computing power. We do this by rendering the vector source data into millions of image tiles which make up the Topographic Map dataset and which our software stitches back together on your device to form the seamless background to the moving map display. An alternative map display engine is under development which will have advantages for redraw times and 3D options.

Our Roads & Rivers maps are far more detailed than a World Aeronautical Chart and is comparable to a Terminal Chart (approx 1:250,000 or better).

2 - AeroData.

AeroData consists of airspace- and SUAS boundaries, airports and related information, NavAids, reporting points, obstacles, and placenames. The primary purpose of AeroData is to support the use of our software, however AeroData can also be exported for use in a.o. the SkyView, Enigma, Odyssey, iEFIS and AFS glass cockpit systems. Other manufacturers rely on PocketFMS data as well for their solutions.

The AeroData is continuously updated; every 2 hours a new Intermediate AeroData set becomes available which holds the very latest changes. To support the varying needs and situation of users, there are 4 categories of AeroData, which relate to the source and currency of the data - AIP Maintained, AIP Pending, AIP Legacy, and non-AIP.

  AeroData categories:
  CAT 1 - AIP MAINTAINED
Applying in most developed countries, it is derived from the official Aeronautical Information Publications (AIP) and updated according to the ICAO 28-day AIRAC cycle (if applicable to that specific region). This data is professionally maintained to the highest standards of currency and reliability.
  CAT 2 - AIP PENDING
Derived from AIP LEGACY but in the process of being upgraded to AIP MAINTAINED. The conversion process typically takes up to 3 cycles (3 months). AIP PENDING is more reliable than AIP LEGACY but should be treated as indicative only and not relied upon as current.
  CAT 3 - AIP LEGACY
Derived from psuedo AIP sources at 31 October 2006 and not structurally maintained. This data is provided to support small but growing General Aviation countries. It should be treated as indicative only and not relied upon as current. AIP LEGACY is upgraded to AIP MAINTAINED as demand warrants.
  CAT 4 - NON-AIP
Consists of airport information, obstacles, and placenames which are not published in AIP. A wealth of aviation information does not appear in official records but is highly sought after by pilots, primarily to assist with flight planning and to augment official publications. This data is derived from many sources and typically provided by PocketFMS users as their contribution to the common-good. By its nature it is very difficult to ensure currency and is provided on an "all care, no responsibility basis".

Coverage per region: AeroData Cat 1 (and often augmented with Cat 4 as well) applies to all of Europe, North America & Canada and Australia & New Zealand. The remainder of the world should be considered Cat 3.

3 - Terrain Elevation data.

Like most other aviation systems, PocketFMS terrain data is primarily sourced from the NASA Space Shuttle Radar Topography Mission. Terrain is represented in our software as a continuous set of cells approx. 500m square. In keeping with the PocketFMS emphasis on safety, and unlike many other systems, the value of each cell has been processed to give a conservative estimate of the highest terrain in the cell area.

Although the shuttle data is available at more closely spaced intervals, the PocketFMS Terrain representation recognises the requirements of VFR pilots to maintain minimum clearance above the highest terrain within approximately 600m of the aircraft position, and has been carefully crafted to provide the best combination of safety and performance on devices with limited computing power.

4 - Meteorological data.

Meteo or WX are the collective terms used for aviation reports and forecasts (METAR and TAF). This data is sourced in real-time by Internet download from national aviation or meteorological organisations which have responsibility for issuing this data. The information can be displayed in PocketFMS in an internationally standardised textual format, and can also be viewed graphically using the innovative PocketFMS Weather Information System (WIS), embedded in PocketFMS Desktop and EasyVFR.

In many countries, real-time weather radar can also be displayed as animated images overlaying the Moving Map, and in Europe, advanced weather modelling is obtained from a private meteorological provider to add SIGMET to the WIS display.

5 - NOTAM data.

The PocketFMS Foundation is a certified EuroControl Data User. Via a direct, secure server-to-server connection, a constant stream of digital NOTAM data is processed into the PocketFMS NOTAMBase. 24 Hours a day, 7 days a week all NOTAM messages sent from anywhere in the world are stored here no more than minutes after they were sent. The information can be downloaded into PocketFMS Desktop, AirspaceAVOID and EasyVFR, and will be displayed as airspaces on the Moving Maps. It's also automatically included in flight planning.

6 - Platzrunden; German Traffic Patterns.

The public domain in Germany knows a phenomenon called platzrunden.txt ('Airport rounds'). It's open for all to use, and describes the exact layout of many of the airport traffic circuits in Germany. EasyVFR will display these on the moving map, so it becomes very clear where you're expected when approaching a German airport. The complete file is always included in the latest EasyVFR software, but individual updates can be found here. For clarity: if you're an EasyVFR user, you do NOT need these updates; we'll include them for you.

Our thanks to our friend Mr. Wolfgang Scheller, who has taken it upon himself to verify, update and maintain all of these circuit descriptors!

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Updated on woensdag 15 juni 2016. Trademarks & copyrights are property of their respective owners.
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