Using Teamspeak in Formation Flying

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J5_Wolf
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Using Teamspeak in Formation Flying

Unread post by J5_Wolf » 04 Mar 2012, 05:05

OK Guys,
I just wanted to post this so that everyone has a basic understanding of what we'll be implementing in the next couple of weeks with the flights in online servers using TS
and the pilot count is rather large.

1. All pilots should be on same Teamspeak server.
2. Flights should have no more then 4 pilots per channel. This is a good round number.
(Example: Look at the 2 diagrams I have posted on this thread.)
3. Flight leaders only will have whispers set to each other so we can keep cross comms to a very minimum. All other pilots will be on their assigned channel only.
I used colored channels just as an example....
4. Flights should stay about 500-1000 meters distance from the other flight/flights so as not to cross paths and confuse pilots. You can still see them and/or assist them if needed.
5. If Flight lead is shot down or killed then his wing leader will assume command with remaining pilots and continue on with the assigned mission and
the dead/shotdown flight lead can stay on comms until his remaining flight can RTB.

Nothing here is written in stone and this is a work in progress but it is a good basic start.

If anyone has any questions/comments/concerns about this please feel free to post here or get on comms with me or Scheafer. Scheafer would you like to comment?

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J5_Rumey
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Unread post by J5_Rumey » 04 Mar 2012, 09:53

Some thoughts on the above. We have had this exact thing in the past so below is just some elaboration on how above could work in a bigger operation.

What above means is that we need to set up whisper (not a big problem really ) before each operation. My suggestion is only that also number 2's in each flight are on the whisper list. They are not allowed to interfere with the inter flight comms but will be ready to take over if 1 goes down.

For every day open server ops this will not require OP's but for tournament I think it might not be bad. See example below. (And yes that is a bunch of pilots right there, funny thing that is not all our pilots) :D So if you not on the list or in a position you do not like, don't fret/panic, this is only and example.

For instance 5 flights:

(Op lead) , second and third have responsibility for overall operations. Will have a second whisper list with another key binding, for just op comms.

(Flight lead) are primary on whisper comms. Are responsible for coordinating flights on mission and leading his own flight.

(Flight second) listens in on flight comms and are ready to take over if the need arises.

Chain of command is OP->FL->(FLS)->Pilots

Scout wing 1
J5_Wolf (flight lead)
J5_Schaefer (op second) (flight second)
J5_Sturm
J5_Kurt

Scout wing 2
J5_Vorlander (flight lead)
J5_Rumey (op third) (flight second)
J5_Goettle
J5_Schmidt

Scout wing 3
J5_Schneider (flight lead)
J5_Bock (flight second)
J5_Behlau
J5_Voss

Scout wing 4
J5_Schotte (flight lead)
J5_Lothar (flight second)
J5_Diesel
J5_Gonterman

FFA/bosta
J5_Berger (flight lead)
J5_Osterkamp (flight second)
J5_Baumer (op lead)
J5_Casey

In the above example the following would need to happen as a SOP.

Op whisperlist:


J5_Baumer
J5_Rumey
J5_Schaefer

Flight whisper list:

J5_Wolf
J5_Vorlander
J5_Schneider
J5_Schotte
J5_Berger

J5_Schaefer
J5_Rumey
J5_Bock
J5_Lothar
J5_Osterkamp


OP2 and OP3 are responsible for keeping OP1 appraised of overall situation and for spreading new overall orders to his flight lead who then spreads it on via FL whisper. OP's might or might not be on FL comms. I think if it is in example above it would be optimal, this way OP can keep a clear head and only info coming in would be from OP2 and OP3. Offcourse the weakness beeing that OP2 and OP3 might go down, maybe could be sorted by a OP4. (Bottom line here gents is DO NOT DIE!) :wink:

Whisper list set-up needs to be sent out before operations. Each pilot on the list needs to make sure he has it set up correctly.

Pilots in a decimated flight (flight lead and second lost) will be moving to channel and joining flight directly below (ex 2 goes to 3) This way no pilot will ever be out of the chain of command.

Off course for this to work comms brevity is an absolute must. If FL ask for a moment because he has incoming comms pilots need to respect this and shut up. FL also need to keep comms between flight brief as otherwise the individual flights operations might be hampered.

For BA this might not work as cross flight comms/ comms overall might not be allowed (we are still thinking about this)


Note

We need to take some time to look at if there also are other ways of doing this, is there not way that we can set up channel priorities like you have talked about Baumer? Where you would just drop into the correct slot? The whisper list then being set up to channels? What this would need is:

In below example the whisper list would be set to the channels(this would only need to be done once and we could all do it together to make sure we all got it right)

Green1 FL, Blue1 FL and Red1 FL. Flight lead and flight second would go into these channels.

Green 1 FL
Green 1

Blue 1 FL
Blue1

Red1 FL
Red1

So far so good, now here comes the tricky part, we would want the people in Green 1 to be able to communicate with the ones in Green 1 FL using their normal push to talk button. So this need to be set up on Team speak admin side of things. I know Schaefer has looked into this and so have I and I think there is a way for this to work. But not sure would need to talk to Baumer? Guess you are admin?

Suggest we set up a meeting for all interested and with the knowledge to help out just trying to work this out once and for all.

Off-course with the above ops would have to set up a second whisper-list, but that would be minor and every day operation would be easy pacey to set up.

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J5_Vorlander
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Unread post by J5_Vorlander » 04 Mar 2012, 10:46

Great work Wolf and Rumey.

Being a new pilot to the Jasta this will make a big difference for success.

I salute both of you.
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Schaefer

Unread post by Schaefer » 04 Mar 2012, 16:10

S~

I agree that what you have here is a start, and can be used until we are able to manage the tasking better. Wolf we need to get away from using Whisper if we can. I am researching the functions within TS this weekend and hope to be out in front of this by Monday. Baumer and Command seem to be behind us moving in the direction of a large scale overlapping comms type of network. We need INPUT from everyone here, especially the officer's as we wade into this.

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Unread post by J5_Wolf » 04 Mar 2012, 16:48

Good Stuff here that's for sure. My only comment here is that we must keep it simple. If you take this to the point where it starts to become to complex we will have trouble for sure. Whispers are really the only way to go Scheafer , I believe. Teamspeak doesn't have a lot to it. I could be wrong but if you find anything else out about it then please share. This is a really good start and all of the comments are awesome. This will help us get this into a routine that once every pilot understands then it will become second nature.

Rumey just a quick note on your input and that is You really shouldn't have Op Lead, The Flight lead is in charge of the whole flight, if the Flight lead goes down then yes the FL's wingman is in charge and he should have whisper set up and only give commands if FL is dead/Shotdown, good point there. We should give this a try tonight if you can Ill be online at 730pm EST....If anyone can fly then please do....Salute
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Schaefer

Unread post by Schaefer » 04 Mar 2012, 18:17

S~



It is a major undertaking. I have spent the better part of two days sifting thru threads on various forums, links to discussions, articles and the TS sight it's self. There is surly a way to communicate effectively, clans on ARMA and other large scale squad type games use TS....it works. For the moment (although I have not given up) it seems "whisper" may be or only recourse. There used to be an application called "Channel Commander" on TS 2. It seems it may no longer integrated with TS3 although there are other threads that seem to indicate it is available. The filter's here in the jail prevents me from looking at some of these because video's are attached. As Wolf said it is work in progress.

With that I want to comment on what I PERSONALLY see as the largest obstacle to successfully transitioning to this. It is a matter of discipline and accepting change. Simple or not, it's going to be an adjustment. No matter what we use, be it a form of Channel Commander or whisper, it will bring a new "feel" to how we fly and operate in group's. It is this I worry about. This needs to be fun, balancing that with comms brevity is always a critical endeavor as it should be. Adding another layer to this will add to the seriousness of what we are doing here on a daily basis, this is where we need to be careful. I guess the only way to overcome this is to start doing it and stick to the "plan". I would say more then four we break up into to two flights. Once we start doing that comfortably then we can get into stuff that is a bit more complex. I agree with Wolf, it all needs to be simple. Yet I see Rumey's point....we may need to operate on a larger scale at some point. I am committed to seeing this thru, like I said it is by no means an obstacle rather it is an opportunity. On monday I will dig around in this a bit more, maybe Wolf and can fool with it in the evening. We'll get there. ..we just need to carefully plod along until we stumble into what will work for the Jasta as a whole. Of course this is just my opinion and Command may feel differently.

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J5_Schneider
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Unread post by J5_Schneider » 04 Mar 2012, 19:35

Good stuff, gentlemen. Comms on TS has always been an issue. As a user, but not an authority, I have found TS to be OK for many situations, but selective comms can be a hassle.

Various schemes have been presented and they all have good points. But....The biggest trick will be for us to be able to change channels or talk to others selectively (or all at once) even when you only have 1 screen and the TS app is "hiding" behind the game. Even with 2 screens, you still have to mouse over to the other screen and do the channel changing. Or you have to program a number of keys or buttons to do this.

Whisper has always been a good tool and a problem. Keeping a whisper list updated is an issue. But I understand that TS3 lets you whisper to a channel and not just individuals. Maybe you whisper to your squad or kette, and talk to FL's on a single channel? But this requires setup prior to mission and possible adjustment along the way. And multiple buttons.

Some good things for us to check out. Let the plodding and stumbling begin.
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Unread post by J5_Wolf » 04 Mar 2012, 22:42

Here Here!
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Unread post by J5_Bäumer » 05 Mar 2012, 03:41

The pilots listed below have been assigned to the "staff" group on the TS server. Far from being confident that this will in fact be an improvement that supports your efforts on this project, please let me know if any of you run into problems. The goal was to assign sufficient permissions to this group such that you can continue this work and fiddle with configuring things.

I might suggest that anyone so inspired feel free to create their own subchannel group with the configurations and structure and permissions etc. according to your ideas. This way we can all see and try out different options.

Assuming my own configuring of permissions has not make things worse for you all... :)

Schaefer
Wolf
Sturm
Rumey
Schneider

Please be patient in my responding to your requests for permission adjustments. Unfortunately I could not find an easy way to simply set some global permission level for all of you according to some preset template of permission levels (as in Moderator vs. User) as sometimes is available with various programs.
Prosit!

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J5_Berger

Unread post by J5_Berger » 05 Mar 2012, 17:06

This is a very interesting idea, Wolf. I remember a similar setup in "Forgotten Skies" of IL2 Sturmovik and it worked quite well.

The one thing that I did notice is that if the Flight leader goes down or losses connection for a period of time, the comms with that particular channel are cut off.

One change we did make in IL2 was to have the comms from other channels heard by everyone on the present channel but only the FL could respond. The second in command of the flight would also have comms to all other relevant channels in case of emergency. This would also inform other pilots in the channel of what the overall situation was and boost their awareness as it would help lessen the "broken telephone" effect as information was passed down the line.

I hope these suggestions help you out.

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Unread post by J5_Wolf » 05 Mar 2012, 20:42

Correct Berger. We did use that type of system for IL2's Forgotten Skies and still use it for Ghost Skies now. I am looking at using the Separate channels for the Flight sections and using whispers set up with the Flight leads and their wingman only, this way we can have minumum cross talking and it still be effective for us overall. We also use to have one pilot in IL2 act as sort of an AWACS keeping control of all the flights info as well ,but that was way to complex, it was fun though.

Me and Scheafer and hopefully having more then 6 pilots online this week, we'll try to work on this more. If eveyone who can make it on Thurs. night 8pm EST for about 1 hour, we could set up comms and give everything a try. This way we can start to work out the bugs before BA starts.

P.S. If we can get about 8 pilots online I'd like to make a track of it cause that's an impressive number of greentails setting there on the same field and I'm sure we're going to impress some of the other pilots looking at us sitting there wondering what the hack were about to do...... :D :wink:
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Unread post by J5_Wolf » 05 Mar 2012, 20:47

If there are others in the Jasta who really dont know how to set up whispers to others please speak up here or get in contact with someone so we can show you how.....Salute Guys!
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Schaefer

Unread post by Schaefer » 05 Mar 2012, 23:14

S~

I concur with everything so far. Unfortunately the channel commander feature is now defunct, or so it seems. I also have looked at the "settings" pretty carefully. We need to map it out on paper so we can see it, and I am thinking that Wolf (and Schnieder) are onto something. It seems a unique feature of TS3 is you can map channels to whisper in addition to user's. I think that building a framework that relies on whispering "down" to the flight may be better then the FL's whispering back and forth. The key to me is to try to eliminate the cross talk and I agree (and like the idea) of the wingmen talking in channel and then whispering/or receiving whisper from the FL's. Lastly building a "complex" network is not as critical in ROF as things are pretty much line of sight as relates to comms. There were no radio communications so getting a basic flight network set up in that we can fly 8 plus planes in a single operation should be our jump off goal. Work in progress, we need feedback and idea's.

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Unread post by J5_Sturm » 06 Mar 2012, 01:14

S! All
There is no method that is right or wrong here. This is an issue that has plaiged the military for years(and stll does).
1. The only way to have an effective communication system is for all parties involved to be on the same comm system.
2. Identify the channel groups
3. Have ALL involved link to each group via the key with the least amount of interference to game operations (Example: Kette1 to Lctrl, kette2 to LAlt, kette3 to RCtrl, kette4 to RAlt ect....)
4. Teach all members these keys and the importance keeping chatter down.

Does mean we can not talk within the individual channels? No. It means that all personnel know that when a cross channel comm is taking place that they do not transmit at all unless it is dier emergency.

How is this accomplished? One simple word ( BREAK for cross channel comm and BREAK BREAK for emergency interruptions)
(Example: "BREAK Kette1 this is Kette4 over". Kette1 lead responds " Kette4 this is Kette1 go ahead over" Kette4 then begins the info he/she is wanting to communicate....Now the emergency trans as kette4 is talking. Wing4 of Kette1 is being attacked or sees immenate danger. (by depressing both keys for Kette4 and his own channel comm says " BREAK BREAK INCOMMING 5 HIGH break LEFT- OUT") What this does is lets Kette4 know there is an emergency with kette1 and reopens comms within kette1 to take care of the imment threat. This also lets kette4 know they may need to respond with helping kette1 or if thier situation was initally to request help then to contact the next closest kette.

How is all this accomplised? Training Baby Training.

Thank you all for taking the time to read theses words mine Please send me a grape and a dime.
S*A*L*U*T*E ;o)
Herr Sturm
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J5_Berger

Unread post by J5_Berger » 06 Mar 2012, 01:46

I remember that "AWACS" person from IL2 and I have to admit it worked very well for situations that required immediate attention (i.e. bombers spotted in a certain sector). I'm not sure if we are allowed to develop a comm system like that given that WW1 aircraft had no radio comms between each other and future campaigns may not allow for radio comm at all.

For different flights in IL2, I use to map each of them to my Function # keys (i.e. Red flight to F5, Green flight to F6...etc) and write them down for quick reference.

I won't be able to make it tonight as I have a test tomorrow afternoon that requires some study time.

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