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Golze ADL cloud tops accuracy

I got it few days ago and it is really significant improvement. In my opinion, it’s much better suited for the flights usually the majority of GA pilots fly at. Previously I was sure I can fly above light grey while dark grey was pretty ambiguous. With this color coding I’ll be pretty sure I can top up dark grey in majority of the cases if not always.

LDZA LDVA, Croatia

Emir wrote:

I got it few days ago and it is really significant improvement. In my opinion, it’s much better suited for the flights usually the majority of GA pilots fly at. Previously I was sure I can fly above light grey while dark grey was pretty ambiguous. With this color coding I’ll be pretty sure I can top up dark grey in majority of the cases if not always.

I agree, but as a non-turbo, non-oxygen pilot, I would have been even happier if Sebastian had kept the old altitude ranges and introduced a new range GND-FL 75.

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

European IFR over any distance is not viable without oxygen, however.

Also cloud tops estimation at the lower levels is much harder. Actually I wonder if the IR image is being corrected for actual temps aloft, or just for ISA. We did this before, and all websites displaying tops just used ISA, which gives you big errors in the summer. One website corrected the image for GFS “actual” and then closed down…

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

Light grey → Tops GND-FL100 (previously FL75-150)
Dark grey – > Tops FL100-200 (previously FL150-250)
Blue → Tops FL200-FL300 (previously FL250-350)
Cyan → Tops over FL300 (previously over FL350)

My question would be, why this is not user configurable, because the usefulness of any given fixed scale is highly aircraft depending.

What we see here is actually perfect for the Malibu:
Light grey → You are on top anyways so no need to worry
Dark grey → Can easily get on top with a margin
Blue → Unlikely that you can get on top
Cyan → impossible to get on top

While these steps make sense for any types, the altitude bands are obviously very different.

Germany

Peter wrote:

European IFR over any distance is not viable without oxygen, however.

Your mileage may vary. I’ve flown lots of IFR in continental Europe “over some distance” without oxygen. Certainly some things would be easier and your dispatch rate would likely go up if you do have oxygen.

Last Edited by Airborne_Again at 29 Nov 11:43
ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

Peter wrote:

Actually I wonder if the IR image is being corrected for actual temps aloft

Yes it is corrected, anything else is rather useless ;-)

Airborne_Again wrote:

I would have been even happier if Sebastian had kept the old altitude ranges and introduced a new range GND-FL 75

Unfortunately for a long list of reasons the number of colors is fixed. Any change would require massive changes.

Malibuflyer wrote:

My question would be, why this is not user configurable, because the usefulness of any given fixed scale is highly aircraft depending.

That might be a possibility at some point but there are also some problems with that. The data compression is adapted to a certain kind of data so massive changes from one user to the other are not that easy to do.

But in my opinion the massive gain of the new solution is less the ability to see exactly what you can fly over but being able to identify holes in the cloud cover, fog etc. for IFR cancellations. Below some images from a flight I did yesterday:

First the old infrared image. We did fly over a solid undercast at this point. But as low clouds are not detected this situation is not really obvious from the infrared image.

Second the new satellite image product which shows the undercast and also shows we are suppose to fly over a little hole in the cloud cover. Actually I could not believe it as it did not look like it from the distance.

But then we came closer and there was really a hole in the cloud cover which looked like this:

www.ing-golze.de
EDAZ

@Sebastian_G
Is it possible that the legend in the IOS app has not yet been adapted?

Abeam the Flying Dream
EBKT, western Belgium, Belgium

Niner_Mike wrote:

Is it possible that the legend in the IOS app has not yet been adapted?

Yes waiting for Apple

www.ing-golze.de
EDAZ

I really like that the new setup now includes clouds GND-FL75, and agree that it’s quite important, especially flying a quite low capable vessel regarding icing.

So I agree that the new range 0-FL100 is good; But I think for light GA some other indication at FL150 would be highly valuable. Because if you don’t want to or are not able to use oxygen you still could fly short times over small tops in say up to FL150 and descend thereafter, but not any higher. So if you don’t know whether those tops are in FL120 or FL180 this doesn’t help as much as it could.

Would it be possible to introduce some other sort of flag for clouds up to FL150, like cloud form indicated like a strainer or some characteristic pattern, like leaving every second dot without grey color, like chequer-style (in German: eine gepunktete Darstellung, oder eine andere charakteristische Form, wie ein Schachbrettmuster). This would allow another layer indication without introducing another color. And whenever you identify a cloud in chequer-style, it is below or up to FL150, and if it is indicated “normal” it is above – or the other way round.

Another possibility would be to encode estimated cloud top directly into the cloud pattern. Like if you have a solid layer with some extension, then you have some form of “blackboard” or “grayboard” (wie eine Anzeigetafel) and you could “write” letters into the cloud like estimated top altitude at some place in the middle of that cloud layer. You would just need to “de-gray” the dots. You could define a minimum cloud size where to write something, because it only makes sense for bigger cloud layers, and in particular with those bigger cloud layers you don’t need every single dot of information, if it is all gray anyway. Would this be possible? I’ve added an example where I took the standard green color of the background.

Germany

How about keeping it straight to the point one layer that estimate clouds in (+5deg,-20deg) temperature band and plot fronts on it

I don’t think FL75-FL100 difference (2500ft) is very meaningful? WX & ATC planning in NA SEP will allow for +/-3kft around 8kft sweet spot

GND-FL100 seems sensible to me, it enhances accuracy and rebase expectations

Last Edited by Ibra at 02 Dec 12:20
Paris/Essex, United Kingdom
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