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Old 10-31-2019, 05:05 PM   #1
Bankler
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Default Automatic interrogation (not sure if bug?)

I fly head to head with a MiG-29S. My DL, IFF and NCTR are on. No AWACS available.

If I use the right MFD in radar page to lock (STT or LTWS) the MiG-29 within a reasonable range (up to 24.5 nm or so), the target is immediately interrogated automatically. I don't need to press Sensor Switch Depress.

However, if I instead lock the target with Boresight Acquisition, the target is not automatically interrogated but I need to hover over the target on the radar and manually press Sensor Switch Depress. Same result if I press Sensor Switch Right for Auto Acquisition.

Is this the intended behaviour? If could wield my magic wand, I'd love the aircraft to automatically interrogate on boresight acq (that's when I'm usually in a hurry!).

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Old 10-31-2019, 05:29 PM   #2
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If you've locked a target you can interrogate it at any time via a Sensor Switch Depress; there's no need to move the TDC on the radar.

Also, when you do hover the TDC over a radar contact for about .5s and LTWS is enabled, the contact is automatically interrogated. I'm guessing that's why your STT/LTWS locks are already interrogated.
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Old 10-31-2019, 06:13 PM   #3
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I'd say the bigger issue is that FA18C auto interrogates available targets at random, no rhyme no reason,

and in particular skipping the nearest bandit right in front that is entering your BVR range within parameters and in what seems 50% of occasions.

Which is becoming rather tedious, not to mention disastrous, which is quite the rather sad state of affairs, what.
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Old 10-31-2019, 06:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by majapahit View Post
and in particular skipping the nearest bandit right in front that is entering your BVR range within parameters and in what seems 50% of occasions.
That has nothing to do with IFF interrogation.
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Old 10-31-2019, 08:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slug88 View Post
That has nothing to do with IFF interrogation.
Noticed lately auto IFF interrogation identifies coalition as bandits for a couple of seconds when you're in ~10nm range
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Old 10-31-2019, 08:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slug88 View Post
If you've locked a target you can interrogate it at any time via a Sensor Switch Depress; there's no need to move the TDC on the radar.

Also, when you do hover the TDC over a radar contact for about .5s and LTWS is enabled, the contact is automatically interrogated. I'm guessing that's why your STT/LTWS locks are already interrogated.
Thank you. This was very helpful and well explained. That means I can always press boresight acq quickly followed by sensor depress to lock and interrogate. That's awesome.

Some small details I have noticed:

"when you do hover the TDC over a radar contact for about .5s and LTWS is enabled, the contact is automatically interrogated"

I don't get this to work. At least not in the way I parse your instruction. Maybe I'm doing something wrong? For me, if I LTWS-lock a target it's instantly interrogated. If I LTWS-lock it out of interrogation range (25 nm+), the target gets automatically interrogated when it's inside ~24.5 nm. There's no need to hover over it to start the interrogation. And if I hover over another in-range contact (not locked up) when I already have a LTWS target, they don't get interrogated. In fact, the only way I can interrogate another target is to select that one as the new LTWS target (requiring 2 x TDC depress on the new target (yeah, 3 for STT in this case).

However. If I interrogate target #1, then TDC-depress two times on another target (target #2) making that the new LTWS target, and then hover over target #1 again, it indeed shines up red. I guess it has remembered the first interrogation. This matches your description. But note that (as far as I have experienced) you need to have already have interrogated a target once to get the hover-thing to work.

Btw, not trying to nitpick. Just want to understand this stuff once for all. Your reply was super helpful regardless and pointed me in the right direction! Thanks a lot!

Last edited by Bankler; 10-31-2019 at 09:13 PM.
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Old 10-31-2019, 09:02 PM   #7
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Two more things:

1) If I lock the target with Sensor Switch Right (having the radar in the right MFD) for auto acq, I find no way to interrogate the target. Am I missing something? (Edit: If I unbox LTWS it works)

2) If I LTWS lock a target at 30 nm, it will get auto-interrogated at 24 nm. But if I STT lock the target at 30 nm, I need to manually interrogate when it gets in range. It seems a little weird to me, is it correct?

Last edited by Bankler; 11-01-2019 at 09:43 PM.
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Old 11-01-2019, 12:35 AM   #8
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You're mixing IFF interrogation (radio signal interrogation and a yes/no reply) with the ROE Matrix (conditions that need to be met in order for a contact to be declared Hostile, Friendly or Ambiguous). On the F-18, declaring a detected contact as hostile (red diamond) is a two-step process.
If you have donors on the Link 16 network, one step comes from them and one has to come from you. You have two ways of doing this: 1) IFF interrogation and 2) NCTR.
IFF requires either TDC hover over the contact or SCS Depress, depending on whether the target is locked or not. For NCTR, you need to be within the <25NM range, so your radar can use JEM to scan the turbine blade pattern of the target and determine the aircraft type. If the type matches with aircraft that the enemy uses, it's flagged. To use NCTR, you need to be within the aforementioned range and in a +-30 degree aspect from the front or rear of the target. You need to lock them up in STT (possibly it works with "soft locks" as well, I don't know. Seems to half-work with LTWS, although I suspect that's wrong).
If you don't have any donors on the Link 16 network, you need to do both of the above yourself, in order to declare a contact as hostile.

Some notes:
1) I personally believe that LTWS enabling NCTR, as is currently the case, is wrong. LTWS is just a sub-mode of RWS and shouldn't have the ability to be so accurate. Also, it doesn't update the aircraft type on the SA page, it still says Unknown, even if the contact is declared hostile). I think this is because LTWS currently works differently in the sim than it does IRL.
2) NCTR automatically knows all the aircraft the enemy is employing, because it's a sim. You can't hop on a red Hornet and "fool" a blue Hornet's NCTR scan. Simply because the enemy is also using Hornets in this scenario.
3) Right now, the ROE Mastix cannot be changed, but it's not always the same IRL, it depends on the situation, the involved combatants etc. I suspect we'll be able to change it later, maybe once the dynamic campaign is done. In the above Hornet vs Hornet scenario, NCTR would probably not be required, for example. You'd either rely on IFF interrogation of other modes (mode 1 alongside the current mode 4, for example) or having to verify the target visually etc.
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Old 11-01-2019, 09:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harker View Post
You're mixing IFF interrogation (radio signal interrogation and a yes/no reply) with the ROE Matrix (conditions that need to be met in order for a contact to be declared Hostile, Friendly or Ambiguous). On the F-18, declaring a detected contact as hostile (red diamond) is a two-step process.
If you have donors on the Link 16 network, one step comes from them and one has to come from you. You have two ways of doing this: 1) IFF interrogation and 2) NCTR.
IFF requires either TDC hover over the contact or SCS Depress, depending on whether the target is locked or not. For NCTR, you need to be within the <25NM range, so your radar can use JEM to scan the turbine blade pattern of the target and determine the aircraft type. If the type matches with aircraft that the enemy uses, it's flagged. To use NCTR, you need to be within the aforementioned range and in a +-30 degree aspect from the front or rear of the target. You need to lock them up in STT (possibly it works with "soft locks" as well, I don't know. Seems to half-work with LTWS, although I suspect that's wrong).
If you don't have any donors on the Link 16 network, you need to do both of the above yourself, in order to declare a contact as hostile.

Some notes:
1) I personally believe that LTWS enabling NCTR, as is currently the case, is wrong. LTWS is just a sub-mode of RWS and shouldn't have the ability to be so accurate. Also, it doesn't update the aircraft type on the SA page, it still says Unknown, even if the contact is declared hostile). I think this is because LTWS currently works differently in the sim than it does IRL.
2) NCTR automatically knows all the aircraft the enemy is employing, because it's a sim. You can't hop on a red Hornet and "fool" a blue Hornet's NCTR scan. Simply because the enemy is also using Hornets in this scenario.
3) Right now, the ROE Mastix cannot be changed, but it's not always the same IRL, it depends on the situation, the involved combatants etc. I suspect we'll be able to change it later, maybe once the dynamic campaign is done. In the above Hornet vs Hornet scenario, NCTR would probably not be required, for example. You'd either rely on IFF interrogation of other modes (mode 1 alongside the current mode 4, for example) or having to verify the target visually etc.
Thanks a lot for the input! Much appreciated.

It indeed seems that there is some weird behavior related to the LTWS and NCTR.

In a situation with no other donors:

* If I "sensor sw right" auto lock a target with LTWS enabled (i.e boxed under data), NCTR does not identify the target.
* If I "sensor sw right" auto lock a target with LTWS disabled, NCTR does identify the target.
* However, if I lock the target with the TDC, NCTR does identify the target, regardless of LTWS setting.

To me this seems strange. IIRC AACQ is just a way of locking someone up. The STT lock it results in should be the same as when manually locked with the TDC, right?

Another question:

Am I supposed to get any feedback when IFF interrogatiing if there isn't already another source (donor or NCTR) verifying it? To me, the button seems completely non functional in this case.

* If an AWACS has identified my contact, and I lock it up and press SCS depress it gets verified as hostile right away (even at long range like 50 nm).
* However, if I don't have an AWACS, nothing happens when pressing SCS depress at long range. If the target later gets identified by NCTR at short range, I need to press SCS depress *again* to verify it.

To me, it seems a little odd that the order of the two "steps" is relevant (donor/nctr first, IFF last). Of course, I wouldn't know how the real life bird behaves, but technically it doesn't really make much sense to me.

Btw, I would love to get NineLine's input on this.

(Regarding the blue/red Hornets etc, I think it's fine tbh. I have a feeling that 99% of the times we use Hornets on red side, it's for training, or as a replacement for the lack of really good Russian jets. Not for recreating a USA-Finland conflict).

Last edited by Bankler; 11-01-2019 at 09:34 PM.
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Old 11-02-2019, 12:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bankler View Post
Thanks a lot for the input! Much appreciated.

It indeed seems that there is some weird behavior related to the LTWS and NCTR.

In a situation with no other donors:

* If I "sensor sw right" auto lock a target with LTWS enabled (i.e boxed under data), NCTR does not identify the target.
* If I "sensor sw right" auto lock a target with LTWS disabled, NCTR does identify the target.
* However, if I lock the target with the TDC, NCTR does identify the target, regardless of LTWS setting.

To me this seems strange. IIRC AACQ is just a way of locking someone up. The STT lock it results in should be the same as when manually locked with the TDC, right?

Another question:

Am I supposed to get any feedback when IFF interrogatiing if there isn't already another source (donor or NCTR) verifying it? To me, the button seems completely non functional in this case.

* If an AWACS has identified my contact, and I lock it up and press SCS depress it gets verified as hostile right away (even at long range like 50 nm).
* However, if I don't have an AWACS, nothing happens when pressing SCS depress at long range. If the target later gets identified by NCTR at short range, I need to press SCS depress *again* to verify it.

To me, it seems a little odd that the order of the two "steps" is relevant (donor/nctr first, IFF last). Of course, I wouldn't know how the real life bird behaves, but technically it doesn't really make much sense to me.

Btw, I would love to get NineLine's input on this.

(Regarding the blue/red Hornets etc, I think it's fine tbh. I have a feeling that 99% of the times we use Hornets on red side, it's for training, or as a replacement for the lack of really good Russian jets. Not for recreating a USA-Finland conflict).
You're right, AACQ (SCS Right) should indeed result in an STT lock and NCTR should work with it. I've also noticed the weird behavior you're describing and it doesn't make sense. AACQ is extremely WIP right now, so I'll chalk it up to that.
I hadn't noticed that AACQ ID's the aircraft type with LTWS disabled, but LTWS shouldn't play a role here regardless. LTWS is just a way of displaying trackfile information in RWS, that the MC has built. It doesn't change the way the radar functions. Right now, it seems that only locking with TDC Depress leads to a "true" STT lock, with everything that STT entails. Furthermore, contacts locked with AACQ sometimes don't get the L&S symbol, leaving only the top HAFU visible.
Also, keep in mind that locking a target manually with the TDC will almost always run an IFF check on it (with LTWS enabled only, I think), since you'll likely keep the TDC over the target for at least 1 second or something.

Without donors, using IFF at long range (without NCTR info) should indeed not give any feedback, since you're only satisfying one of the two ROE criteria for hostile declaration. If you get the second confirmation via NCTR, then the target should be upgraded to hostile. I don't see why the order would matter indeed, unless either there's a time limit that the IFF response is considered valid, or if the radar lost the contact after the initial IFF interrogation (or lost the trackfile info), rediscovered it later and had to build a new trackfile from scratch. I hope I'm making sense here..

In conclusion, the oddities you're observing are because the systems involved are still very much WIP. I'd also appreciate hearing from NineLine, BN etc, since I've had this particular discussion in several different threads, without input from them. I'd just like to know what the dev team thinks of these issues and if they will be addressed in the future.
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