The current weather by text message (SMS) in the cockpit. So you never lose track of the weather during your cross-country flights in Namibia!
The text message (SMS) solves the problem that in Namibia often no Internet reception is available. Nevertheless, you want to know, whether thunderstorms or a blue areal arise.
Sure, at first glance it looks cryptic. But we want to get a lot of information in the text message. For example: what does the sky look like? Which clouds are there? Have showers or thunderstorms formed and, if so, where?
To get that much information into a single text message (SMS), we "encode" this. The pilot must then "decode" it in the cockpit. Sounds complicated, but a little practice makes it a lot easier.
Each block in the message stands for a geographical sector. The sectors are aligned exactly along longitude and latitude circles. They are about 100km x 100km. Bitterwasser (--B--) is almost exactly at a crossing point, which makes the navigation very easy. In the picture above you can see the four sectors around Bitterwasser, which are important for the final glide.
But what exactly does it mean? 2C2? 0c0?
The details are explained below. A short example already here:
- 2C2 means 2/8 Cumulus congestus
- 0c0 means 0/8 Cumulus, almost blue thermal. Quite a few small CUs possible. Completely blue sky is b0.
If you visit the satellite images section, you can find the so-called FlySat Message control picture. Here you can see very nicely how the coding fits the actual sky:
To understand the text message (SMS), you need to assign the individual text blocks (e.g. 2C2 or b0) to the corresponding sectors in the satellite image. Bitterwasser --B-- is an important orientation point.
Each sector is about 100 x 100 kilometers in size. A text block describes the weather in this sector.
As already mentioned in the example above, the enoding is necessary. Only in this way can we store the large amount of information in a few blocks of text.
The Namibia annual subscription includes 100 text messages (SMS). If these are used up (after approx. 11 days of use), the delivery of the messages (SMS) ends automatically.
At firstname.lastname@example.org you can always buy another (SMS) contingent upon request. One text message (SMS) costs 0.44 €. A maximum of nine messages (SMS) per day will be sent, so one day costs 3.96 €.
Unused text messages (SMS) expire at the end of the expiration period.