TP-GPS Software Specifications in 2009
The program was originally written at the end of the 1990's as a
technology demonstrator to evaluate the use of GARMIN GPS for Hang Gliding
and Paragliding Competitions.
To see if one can do without Photo verification, goal marshall and
take-off time keepers.
To reduce the amount of manpower for competition organizers.
To see if this technology will enable competitions to run faster, cheaper
and with less helpers
Initially the code checked for pilots if they were in the FAI Sector.
The FAI Sector check has been removed in 2003. And the code now only
does Cylinder, beercan, turnpoint checking.
TP is for someone who knows RACE and is familiar with GPS based competition
scoring. It is not for someone who never has been involved in scoring a
competition and reckons it does everything for him automatic. TP has evolved by
input from people who did scoring while on the job. Best to understand and learn
how to use TP is by sitting with someone who knows how to install and configure
it and operate it under supervision of an experienced person.
In June 2009 TP
introduced the GPSDUMP interface. The recommended way of operations is to use
GPSDUMP in Competition mode.
Or the TP code supports the following range of GPS devices
The TP program ...
The code is free shareware and is available from
Checks if a pilot took off in the designated take off area
Checks if the pilot took off in the defined take off window time period
Determines the take off time for an elapsed time race
Checks if a pilot got into the cylinders and in the correct sequence
Used to determine if a pilot got into FAI sector. FAI Sector will no more
be supported from software level 4.12 onwards.
Uses the FAI May 2005 Section 7-A, Chapter 8, page 39, Distance Formula
Displays tracks in Mercator projection and in Zoom uses true Distance projection
In case a Starttarp / Start of Speed (SS) section is used, make sure the
pilot was in the correct time window for crossing the start of speed section
Cater for inside or outside SS crossings
Handle either first SS crossing of a pilot or last SS crossing
Interpolate the SS crossing time
Checks that the pilot crossed a SS Cylinder from the right direction
Cuts off a pilot track and highlight when a pilot is still airborne after
stop flying time
Determines when a pilot has landed and is stationary and use this as his
Has an option to use the closest track point to the next turn point in
case a pilot decides to turn around ( for safety reasons ..) or score the
pilot to where he landed
Caters for a Goal Line with a defined range ( default 1 km) or Goal
Cylinder (ES) with a default 400 meters.
Calculates and interpolates the goal line crossing time
In case a task gets cancelled, determines how far a pilot got at that moment
and score him accordingly
Point out pilots who still fly after down and safe time and optional give
them a 0 score
Allows for marked waypoints, in case a track point is missing , as an option.
Not recommended to be used.
Provides a platform to test different track tolerance and interpolation
Provides a "pin chart" to enable pilots to give a visual feedback where
each pilot landed.
Pin Chart Data can be used in mapping software, via Ozi interface
Uploads the turnpoint coordinates into various GPS devices
Offers a possibility to have the turnpoints sorted in alphabetical order
Can provide turnpoints in the short 6 character with altitude format or
in a long name format
Feeds RACE with turnpoints or get turnpoints from RACE
Puts a unique identifier into the GPS that identifies the pilot number
that can not be tampered with
Makes use of a unique competition identifier in the GPS for the competition
to avoid reusing old pilot numbers form previous competitions
Stores any track data with maximum accuracy
Can cater for GPS error margins. Nowadays we use 0 tolerance.
Enable a batch processing of all downloaded tracks without operator interaction
Can offer a self-service operation mode, where pilots plug in their GPS
at a scoring station and everything else is done automatic
Convert track data between csv, IGC, OZI, Aircotec and Gardown format
Can combine a 2D track log with a barogram log file and make a 3D track
Predefined Zoom capability for the turnpoint and goal area. With time stamps
Interactive Zoom capability for the track , with time stamp and altitude
and 10 meter grid display option using true distance projection
Color coded speed display.
Checks for non movement as an indication that pilot has landed.
Calculates the distance towards the next turnpoint and the total kms scored
by the pilot
Feeds to RACE either the radial distance towards the next turnpoint or
the goal crossing time
Create a RACE Bulk xml file with the pilot's distance or start and goal crossing
Or can do a direct update of the RACE database. Direct RACE DB update only works
for a single computer setup.
Allow for individual track logs to be processed in one joint track log,
or one by one. Pilots can switch off GPS between turnpoints to reduce their
Caters for pilots who fly with 2 or more GPS and then can combine/append
their track logs into one
Can process in parallel multiple GPS devices using different comports.
Can operate in a networked clients and one central server setup
Can check for GPS that provide altitude info if a pilot went above
a defined ceiling
Cater for a fun hand-tow event , speed over a given distance and
Scores Open Cross Country, or Open XC along a given direction
If a pilot is too slow going over the goal crossing the whole score panel
goes red . To highlight
in case the pilot walks into the cylinder
In Full Screen Zoom provide a dynamic cursor
distance display relative to a chosen turnpoint
In Full Screen Zoom allow to rescore a pilot to a
cursor position (Shift MB1). (RACE has to be updated manually)
Produce a csv based score file for fun comps that
do not use RACE and want to use a simple spreadsheet solution
Has a problem report facility in the score window,
in case there is a wrong score, it gets logged
Keeps a log file for each day of what happened when,
in case there is a duplicate score for the same pilot number or something
else goes wrong.
Shows current scored pilot result compared to best scored pilot ( Top pilots
want to know how far behind they are)
Earth Google kml and kmz output.
NASA World Wind Interface
RACE 2003 GAP2003 Lc factor calculation
GPX track file format conversion Option
Can score direct IGC based tracks
Can create a simple html website with the track logs in KML/KMZ, IGC and GPX
Can check for a re-launch of a pilot after crossing SS
Minimum Specs for hardware is a Windows 95 PC with 48 MB memory and
some graphics card.
The program can process in average 1 pilot in 2 minutes on a Pentium
The GPS track download is the time consuming part. Organizers should
provide 1 PC with one operator for 30 entrants to be processed in 1 hour.
But I recommend to not rely on one PC only at a competition.
PC's tend to die, get hiccups, and it is a good idea to have multiple
PC's setup in case one PC goes down.
In Africa to rely on one PC alone to handle all the processing is too
The idea is to spread the code over as many PC's and Laptops as possible
and have them all download and score track data.
In case one computer dies one can still carry on with the remaining
And there are enough pilots nowadays entering a comp who bring along
Which can be made available for track downloads.
Laptops can handle power outages. In case someone drips the main power
supply the usual PCs go dead.
Or if the generator dies while we busy scoring ( with the computers,
not with the girls....)
Also have the know-how spread in the pilot community so that many pilots
can be used to do the scoring.
A good idea is to have a hub and network cables, assuming the PCs and
Laptops can be networked.
Otherwise one has to go the stiffy route to get the results to the
RACE scoring program.
Code is written in Visual Basic, due to RACE being based on VB.
Initial idea was to provide an option for some tighter integration
between RACE and TP.
And since VB stores the data best in csv file format, the code
uses csv at the moment to avoid any loss of accuracy.
Other data formats supported are IGC, Ozi, Gardown, GPX, .
Track Logs from newer GPS devices , which deliver 3D altitude track
logs, get stored in csv and IGC format.
If there is a need for 3D and DEM topo data, then you can use the T3D2
code to display 3D track logs over DEM based terrain data and analyze your
flight for optimal best speed to fly and thermal activity. But I recommend to
rather use Google Earth for this.
TP will rely on existing interface code, which is available for
a specific device and then convert the file from whatever interface is
available to the format that TP uses. If TP can not handle the GPS
device direct, then use GPSDump,
... or whatever else is at hand to get the track. And then convert and process
it in TP.
How to process various GPS devices, either direct or via 3rd party code
Use GPSDUMP from http://www.multinett.no/~stein.sorensen/body_gpsdump.htm
GARMIN - either direct interface via TP. Or via GARMIN MapSource, save
as gdb. Then use GPSBABEL
http://sourceforge.net/projects/gpsbabel and convert the gdb to IGC and then
score the IGC in TP.
Magellan / Thales, like Sportrak - either direct Interface
by TP or use G7toWin from
http://www.gpsinformation.org/ronh/ or Gartrip.
Via Gartrip Magellan interface, save track as gardown format, and use TP
Convert gardown to csv.
MLR SP24XC - use the direct TP interface for rapid waypoint and
track download and NMEA turnpoint uploads. Or use GPSDump
Aircotec TopNavigator - Either use the direct interface
of TP. Or use TNCOMM 3.5 exe from Aircotec
website and in TP Convert to CSV. Or GPSDump.
Compeo( ex Galileo) - Either use the TP direct interface. Or
use the GPSVAR code from the Braeuniger
website and the use in TP Convert IGC to csv
Digifly Graviter - use GPSDump or CompE, save as
IGC then TP/CONVERT/IGC>CSV
Renschler Solario - treat it like an MLR in direct rapid
track download mode
either direct or via other 3rd party code into IGC
either direct or via MaxPunkte
FAI CIVL SC7
Some more ideas how a future scoring system
could look like
Back to Index for TP Code
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