Android Paragliding Altivario (demo) - functional description

AVario is an Android mobile application that turns your mobile phone into a full functional paragliding variometer. Being developed by paraglider I seek continuously to improve the application functionality, therefore any suggestion or feedback is much appreciated.


Note: The application is using the phone GPS receiver, magnetic field sensor and the pressure sensor. Without these hardware capabilities the application will have limited functionality.

Features

  • Altimeter with altivariometer indication the vertical speed both acoustic and visual scale (+- 5m/s or +- 1000 feet/min);
  • It can SPOKE (using your phone speech system) the vertical speed, so it is really cool for audio only;
  • It has tracking/recording of the flights in icg file so you can download and post the track to various sites;
  • Compass functionality using the phone magnetic sensor;
  • Indication of the last thermal point;
  • Indication of the wind direction;
  • Last X (configurable - default 10) seconds flight experience: altitude gain/lost;
  • Flight duration;
  • Virtually unlimited history of the recorded flights (max altitude, start end altitude, max min vertical speed, etc);
  • Indications in Metric and Imperial units system;

Continuously developing new features...

Functional description

Main screen

This is the AVario screen that it is normally used in flight. It is best seen for the devices with 320x480 pixels:


  • Compass - Real time indicator of the cardinals using the phone geomagnetic sensor. In case your phone does not have this hardware sensor the compass functionality is useless. The compass circle color turns red until the application acquires the GPS fix.
  • Direction to the active place - Real time indicator of the direction to one of the points (the active one) that you setup in the Places menu.

    Note: In the above image the active point selected by the pilot is at the left at 34 km distance. For imperial system this will be the equivalent in miles.

  • Last thermal indicator - Real time indicator of the position of the last thermal you were in. Then the pilot is at the same point of the last lift the indicator is in the center of the compass circle. As the pilot moves(fly) the indicator position gets updated and once the pilot is 100m away from that point the indicator reach the edge of the compass circle. The indicator remains at the ege of the circle until the pilot gets 200m away from the thermal. These values are configurable from Settings menu.

    Note: In the above image the thermal is about 60m behind the pilot

  • Altitude - Real time indicator of the current altitude. The altitude measurement if from the barometric sensor correlated with the GPS value for a high precision.
  • Last 10 seconds altitude gain - Real time indicator of the altitude gain (positive or negative) over the last 10 seconds. The 10 seconds parameter is configurable from Settings menu.
  • Ground speed - Real time indicator of the current ground speed. The measurement is done with the GPS precision.
  • Flight duration - The time span since the start of the AVario application.
  • Current time - In case you have an appointment somewhere else...
  • Flight distance - Real time indicator of the total distance you've glide over. This is NOT the distance from the start point to the point you are actually at.
  • Vertical speed - The climb or sink speed (in meters/second or feet/minute). The visual vertical speed scale is from -5m/s to +5m/s (or -1000f/m to +1000f/m). The minimal speed to trigger a notification is set at 0.2 m/s and the minimal sink speed to trigger a sound notification is set to 1.5 m/s. These values are configurable from Settings menu but these will make the vario not being annoying at 'normal' vertical speed values.
  • Wind direction - Indicates the direction of the wind during flight. You may ignore this indication if you are just parawaiting. The precision of this is accurate only during flight.
  • Distance to the active place - Real time indicator of the distance (metric or imperial) to one of the points (the active one) that you setup in the Places menu. The distance is expressed in meters (or feets) for less than 10km and has a maximum value of ~300km.

    Note: In the above image the active point selected by the pilot is at the left at 34 km distance. For imperial system this will be the equivalent in miles.

  • Flight recorder indicator - Indicates if the application is recording the current flight by flashing "Rec" or else it indicates the vario scale measure ("m/s" or "F/s").

Menu

By pressing the phone menu button the following options are available:


  • Start / Stop Tracking - Starts or stops recording the flight. Once the flight is recorded (after stop) it will be available to download in IGC format in the phone MMC card in the /AVario folder with the date_timestamp.igc file. There is no limit for the number of tracks you can record but the space on your MMC card. Once you download the icg track file you can upload it to various sites (like xcontest.org) or view it with various applications.

    The recorded flights are also available in the Tracks menu

Tracks

By pressing the phone menu button and selecting Tracks the following screen appears:


  • The list of the recorded tracks are displayed. The records list is the one got from the MMC /AVario folder where they were saved, so removing a track manually from that folder it will also remove from the AVArio application.
  • In order to delete a track hold the display pressed over the track for 2 seconds and the deletion menu will appear.

Places

By pressing the phone menu button and selecting Places the following screen (fig 1) appears:


  • NEW - Look around search the internet for the closest paragliding places around you current position.
  • You can add in the Places menu new points (referred by GPS lat long coordinates) and associated them a name. To add a new place click the phone menu button and the Add place menu.

    In case you have a GPS fix the Latitude and Longitude values will be populated with your current position coordinates

  • In order to delete or set a place as being the ACTIVE one hold the display pressed over the place for 2 seconds and the menu will appear.
  • The ACTIVE place distance and heading will be marked in the Main screen

Settings

By pressing from the main screen the phone menu button and selecting Settings the following screen appears:


    You can set the following application parameters from the settings menu:

  • Sounds

    • Use speech - Use speech to indicate the vario speed. This use the phone TTS engine and language. Configure the phone TTS for language and other parameters
    • Beep interval - Default beeps interval (in seconds). This interval decrease with the speed making the beeps faster for faster speeds.
    • Sink start - The minimum skink speed to start the vario sound. There is no point doing beeps in the normal sink speeds (~1.5m/s)
    • Lift start - The minimum lift speed to start the vario sound. This is mostly to avoid beeps while parawaiting
    • Tone variation - The variation of the tone in Hz per each vertical speed unit
  • Thermal

    • Thermal distance - The distance from the thermal to keep the track in the main screen. The measurement is in meters, default 200.
    • Thermal time - The time in seconds used to measure if there is a thermal. Default 3 seconds
    • Thermal gain - The altitude gain (in meters) in the last Thermal time to consider that there is a thermal to be marked. Default 3 meters
    • Therefore we consider by default a thermal if you gained 3 meters in 3 seconds.

  • Filters

    We have to apply different filters for the sensors 'noise'. These filters will make the application more or less sensitive

    • Baro sensitivity - A value from 1 to 10 where the 1 is to sensitive and 10 is not enough sensitive.
    • Compass sensitivity - Compass rotation sensitivity - from 1 to 10
  • Units system

    • Metric - by default.
    • Imperial
    • Main screen values and tracking/recorder information are displayed in the selected units system. However, the settings parameters described in this paragraph are set according to the metric units system

  • Location history

    - Seconds to keep the gain (- or +) altitude; default 10 seconds
  • Normalization interval

    - Interval used to normalize sensors

For any questions you may contact me at sarto.mihai@gmail.com

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