FalconView - open source mapping application

In doing some research on ground stations, I came across FalconView - an open source pc based mapping software.

"FalconView is a PC based Mapping Application developed by the Georgia Tech Research Institute for the Department of Defense.
The software is widely used by the US DoD and Allied countries, but historically it has not been available to the general public. Thanks to an initiative by the US Air Force, we have begun releasing a Free and Open Source version of FalconView."

Guys from AeroVironment integrated it into their ground station. I came accros all this by vatching a video about Puma uav - link to video (it's in two parts, there is a comircial at the begineeing and middle of the video)

Actually on EngineringTV you can find other informative videos about UAVs, robotics, and another engineering stuff.

Maybe in future we'll integrate FalconView with ArduPilot GCS :)

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Comment by Mike on January 24, 2010 at 12:52am
More a map viewer than an actual mapping system

Comment by Morli on January 24, 2010 at 2:06am
@ automatik , The falcon view (FV)Does offer lot of options for a open source , Compatible with many formats as per the web info. Interesting, downloading the latest ver 4.3 .0.514 9 500Mb !!!) , thanks for the link., BTW the video in the web site did not show any flying or use of Falconview, do you have any video links to the GCS usage of FV?
@ Mike , I am not sure as to what you mean by actual mapping system. some of the options have been removed due to lic restrictions as per web info. Can you pls, elaborate on what other features are missing in FV that we could use/need for a good GCS? Thanks
Comment by automatik on January 24, 2010 at 2:25am
@Morli: hand-held ground station and FalconView are mentioned in the second part of the video. To see full video don't stop it or navigate away when there are commercials, just let them play out (there are two ads one at the very beginning and one in the middle of the video)
Comment by High Society on January 24, 2010 at 8:14am
The best option that I like about falconview for UAS ops is the waypoint editor where you can plan your flight mission during preflight and during flight but that is only on the military version. I haven't tried yet, but you can develop your own tools in falconview much like the waypoint editor. That is what AV has done, it is a tool that has complete control over the aircraft. I love falconview for flying and mission planning. I would highly reccommend it.
Comment by Jay Smith on January 24, 2010 at 9:11am
Bases on the FeatureMatrixIt might be useful to have the Basic Aircraft Route Planningand, Aircraft Route Calculation
Comment by Mike on January 25, 2010 at 2:06am
was referring to 'mapping' as the process of creating a map - as in cartography say. But in particular I was interested in its potential for making orthophotos by creating orthorectified mosaics.

Sorry but given recent posts and the recent mapping competition the title of the post kind of misled me!

Having said that probably the most practical use of lightweight UAVs is aerial mapping and there seems to be little real enthusiam for it here and it is that type of discussion - rather than rogue FPVers - that may save the day for those interested in UAVs, whether as a hobby or for something more serious.

Comment by Matt Holtsinger on January 26, 2010 at 5:54am
A route / waypoints editor (GPlan) has recently been added to the Open Source version. That combined with FalconView's plug-in API should be enough to put together a really nice GCS. I think that many of the existing FalconView Open Source plug-ins such as GPS, Predator UAS, Cursor on Target, and Terrain Masking could come in handy as well.
Comment by Dane Johnson on January 26, 2010 at 7:48am
FV is designed for a pilot to create a cross country flight plan(IFR or VFR) it will generate generate the charts and plan from a database like NIMA for an IFR plan it has the option of downloading sectional and TCA charts for a VFR plan. The charts and plan can then be transfered to a glass cockpit or MFD.
One of my favorite feature of FV is that it will collect metars and tafs for departure, arival, alternate and enroute. It will also generate either great circle routes or station to station(airway) routes
Comment by High Society on January 28, 2010 at 4:50pm
I have used FV a Lot with controlling a UAS. Cursor On Target is a highly desireable protocol for interconnecting various systems (UGVs, UASs, Manned Aircraft, whatever) I am a fan of COT (XML based),petty much plug-n-play as with STANAG. I have used the GPS tool to find lost aircraft many times using a ground station GPS and using another tool that parses the incoming COT messages from the UAS ground station (lat,lon,etc). I haven't tried the latest open version lately but I will download it now. I would love for Ardustation to be used with FV!!

My list of required features for FV would be: Waypoint editor(for editing and uploading WPs), GPS tool: (for tracking the home position in case of downed aircraft), ArduStation Control: (Video display, mode control, failsafe control. etc). But that is a ton of work i know.
Comment by High Society on February 6, 2010 at 11:43am
It seems as though the latest FV build link is broken. Have to wait to get the latest version.


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