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Modes of operation
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Release notes
AMOD 3080
CIMA spec

FRDL Overview

Flight Recorder DownLoader

FRDL is designed to be as idiot proof as possible....

FRDL is designed for Microlight and Paramotor competition organizers, and for team leaders or pilots to all quickly reliably and painlessly extract track data relavent to competition tasks from a variety of different GPS flight loggers, and then convert it into the FAI CIMA specified format for detailed examination in a flight analysis program.

FRDL backs up all log files it finds on a logger and instantly displays a simple outline and altitude profile of the track it has written to the output .igc file. This means the downloading can be done the moment the pilot lands from a championship task, and in the mutual knowledge of what has been saved, the logger can confidently be immediately returned to the pilot.

FRDL maintains all the information it needs about the championship, championship tasks, and the loggers in use in a championship file (*.frdc). Once a championship file is open, FRDL is ready for use.

FRDL operates in two different modes:

  • Full mode is for normal everyday use and for use by the championship organization.
  • Download only mode Designed for team leaders and pilots. In this mode the settings (task windows, local time offset Etc.) are copied from the logger to their instance of FRDL so they can extract tracks from their loggers using the exact same settings as the organizer has used. This means they will be able to do their own flight analysis on the same basis as the championship organization.
For further information, see the Modes of operation help item.

Basic sequence of events

FRDL keeps a constant watch on USB ports. If a logger is connected, then FRDL attempts to identify it from a special file on the logger (logger.frdl) which uniquely identifies it and which was written to it the first time it was connected to FRDL.

Once a logger is identified, FRDL immediately backs up its entire contents to the host computer.

FRDL then attempts to extract from this data all GPS fix information which occurred within a pre-set Task window.

This is saved to a CIMA specification .igc file which is used by other software (eg MicroFlap) to analyse the flight data. This is exactly the same data format as output by downloaders of other loggers such as the MLR.

A basic outline of the track, its altitude profile and some statistics are displayed on screen as a 'quick and dirty' indication of what has been saved. It is NOT intended to constitute any kind of definitive flight analysis which should be done in a dedicated flight analysis program (eg MicroFlap), but it is probably good enough for both the organizer and the pilot to clearly understand what was recorded by the logger so it can be immediately returned to him. It may also indicate poor reception which can be improved by the pilot placing the logger in a better place in his aircraft next time, and alert the organizer to important penalties such as outlandings which merit further detailed investigation.

Assuming a USB-2 connection, a good quality USB cable and the data is being saved on the local computer, the whole process should take no more than a few seconds. If the data is being saved to a network location then the limiting factor will be the speed of the network rather than anything to do with FRDL. Good