Radar Vectoring


The Mathematical analysis  &  The "Rules of Thumb"


In teaching or instructing radar vectoring techniques people tend to use a number of practical rules , known under the term "The rules-of-thumb" . Others , when they want to describe a rule to a solution of radar techniques they simply answer : " ...It depends ..."  or others simply reject everything and say " ...It is a matter of experience which you can not describe

It has to be said though that if a technique can not be analysed and explained then no one can teach it . A skill is always based on some previous basic knowledge of terms and use of some simple rules to estimate certain parameters . And what is more , the student will always wonder ...: "But how can I learn if I do not know the why and the how ...."  . The answer is : The student is right .....He/She may not demand the mathematical analysis but will certainly ask for any rules that are used


The following analysis does not tend to reveal the magic of mathematics behind vectoring ; there is simply no magic at all . There are pure calculations that end up , however , with very simple practical rules which are in harmony with the daily practice . That's what it is all about . My point here is to justify the 'rules-of-thumb' by mathematics and derive their simple results , thus shedding some light to the wondering student and proving the daily facts .

It is true that at times many factors have to be analysed and estimated together  but this is merely a second step to the basic analysis that comes first . Once the student gets to the basics then he/she may develop his/her own 'logic of the things' . You may skip mathematics if not familiar with but do study the various situations and check the 'rules-of-thumb' - they all agree with theory !

Under that spirit you are welcomed to select and read the following chapters . Any type of feedback will always be received in a positive way :


Note : 

All examples were simulated with the 

ATC2k , PC radar simulator which you may 

visit and freely download from this site 


Chapters :

The rule 'One-in-Sixty'

Minimum Separation on crossing traffic (without vectors)

Separating by vectors on crossing traffic , at no wind , turning BOTH aircarft 

Separating by vectors on crossing traffic , at no wind , turning ONE aircarft 

 The wind effect.Correcting the vectoring angle due to wind

 Separating with vectoring on Same parallel Tracks

 Speed Control in APP & ACC-APP Pre-sequencing



Sites pertinent to radar & vectoring , around the world , to visit :










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