CisLunarFreighter/Scripts and case studies/Radio communications/Space traffic control

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Space Traffic Control.

Implementation Project[edit]

This is the project to build a real system based on this concept:

Control Levels[edit]

Space Traffic control consists of various control levels.

Currently the levels are

  • Level 1 - Starports and spaceports , essentially local towers which handle landings and launches
  • Level 2 - Orbital Control, handling local Traffic and approach control for Spaceports
  • Level 3 - Space lanes, These are defined air lanes between major destinations.
  • Level 4 - Space based Instrument Flight Rules Zone...
  • Level 5 - Deep space. (i.e out of range of STC radio relays)

Normally most 'local' orbital traffic will never leave level 2 airspace. However, Earth<->Moon traffic will enter level 3 airspace.


For a craft entering higher level airspace from lower level airspace(i.e Level1 to level2), it is the responsibility of the higher level control to confirm entry with both the vessel and lower level control.

For a craft leaving higher level airspace for lower level airspace(i.e Level 2 to Level 1), It is the responsibility of the higher level control to advise lower level control of the vessel (and course) concerned. The craft must confirm this with lower level control, before higher level control can handover.

General procedure notes[edit]

All messages between STC are of the form "<callsign> <message>" For messages from the craft to the tower the callsign used is that of the vessel, with an additional (to <callsign>) being added for clarity.

STC operates on a shared channel, so it is not unusual to hear messages from other craft.

Radio procedure for civilian vessels is that messages are between STC and individual vessels. It is not usual procedure for 'civil' vessels to talk directly to one another.

STC however can request or authorise vessels to DCC (Delta-Charlie-Charlie) in some circumstances. Military/Police vessels are able to DCC without specific authorisation.

Launch Procedures (level 1)[edit]

Launches are managed by local spaceports.

Civilian vessels are required to call into the tower before firing engines.

To call into tower vessels will issue their full call sign and a "Request Launch window" message

Papa Alpha Sierra - Sierra Foxtrot Zero Zero Request Launch Window

The tower will respond with '<vessel> Launch window granted <conditions>'

Sierra Foxtrot Zero Zero Launch Window granted, closes in 10 minutes

Alternatively the Tower may need to hold a launch for a number of reasons.

Sierra Foxtrot Zero Zero Hold On Launch Sierra Foxtrot Zero Zero. Incoming landing


A craft is expected to acknowledge the launch window status prefixing with an 'Acknowledge' and read back any conditions assigned accurately

A 'Confirm' or 'Query' can be used to query details

Sierra Foxtrot Zero Zero - Acknowledge Launch closes in 10 minutes
Sierra Foxtrot Zero Zero - Acknowledge Hold , Awaiting release
Sierra Foxtrot Zero Zero - Confirm launch window close in 10 minutes?

A Tower releases a previous hold using a Release Hold message

Sierra Foxtrot Zero Zero - Release Hold

which the craft acknowledges.

Sierra Foxtrot Zero Zero - Confirm release.

Orbital Control (level 2)[edit]

Lane managment (Level 3)[edit]

Flight Rules Zones (level 4)[edit]

Off limits space...[edit]

Restricted Airspace (for example Demios, Europa)

Control Handover[edit]

Space Patrol/ Star Corps[edit]

As well as other 'civil' vessels, military (Star Corps) and police vessels (Space Patrol) will be encountered. This link shows a spacecraft model available in 3dsmax source: http://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Image:ECOHELVW.OGG

Star Corps(military/Coastguard) and Space Patrol(Police) use the call sign VIPR(Victor India Papa Romeo) with VIPR42 being used exclusively by Space Patrol.

Space Patrol interceptors work in pairs, this occurs regardless of the situation.

Space Patrol do NOT under normal conditions open fire first or shoot at civilian vessels, However by firing on, or acting suspiciously towards to Space Patrol or Star Corps vessels is NOT advised, by doing so you will be classified as 'hostile' and actively hunted.

Some vessels are known 'hostiles', but in general these are rare. Known 'hostiles' will be intercepted usually without intervention from STC, however it is rare for vessels to be blasted out the sky.

In addition to 'security' Space Patrol also run the rescue service and have been known to escort 'troubled' vessels into some landing sites/bases.

Intercept Procedure[edit]

Whilst ALL civil vessels are required by STC regulations to carry IFF(Interogate Friend or Foe) equipment, this isn't foolproof, so for all intercepts a specific procedure exists. If 'intercepted' co-operate.

The intercept procedure is a follows:

  • To intercept, Space Patrol will overfly on the port and starboard sides of a vessel and execute a roll while doing so. While executing the role the Vipers will issue a 'CEPT <vessel call sign>' message on all channels.
  • An intercepted vessel is REQUIRED to acknowledge CEPT's by repeating the call back to the VIPR's over the radio, and/or making a rocking motion (should radio comms be difficult).
  • If this is ignored - the overflight is repeated twice again with CEPT calls.
  • If a CEPT is ignored three times in succession, then VIPR's can shoot to disable.

but cannot shoot to kill.

If during an intercept, VIPR's receive hostile fire (derbies and sparks don't count), use of return fire by them is authorised in an attempt to disable. The cival craft firing weapons is NOT acknowledgement of an intercept.

Both Star Corps and Space Patrol take prisoners and have the power to board vessels. Its is ill-advised to ignore their requests.

Specialist codes[edit]

These are some 'special' codes you may hear in traffic control messages.

Some of these can be sounded phonetically, although voice version can also be used


  • VADER (V,A,D,R) - Unidentified rouge ship
  • V,I,P,R - Space Crops military vessel - (You don't mess with these!)
  • HAWK (H.A.W.K) -
    • HAWK 1 Presidential Transport.
    • HAWK 3 Presidential 'Yacht' Reserved call sign
    • HAWK 251 Royal Flight (United Kingdom)
  • STAR (S.T.A.R) - Diplomatic Vessel

Indications usually sounded vocally, but can also be phonetic if needed:

  • EVA - I have persons active outside vessel
  • LAME - (to tower) I have partial loss of maneuverability
  • DEAD - (to tower) I have TOTAL loss of maneuverability
  • CHOKE - (to tower) I have loss of life support.

Declaring Emergencies[edit]

Sounded codes...

  • MAYDAY - Declares a critical emergency.
  • PAN - Declares non critical emergency
  • DRILL - Used for training purposes to simulate emergencies.

Call Signs[edit]

In respect of Sol system call signs for spacecraft are centrally allocated in respect of civil vessels by Sol Central Registry.

Military vessels (Star Corps) and police (Star Patrol) use their own registry, with all police/military vehicles being assigned the callsign V,I,P,R (number) in respect of their interaction with civilian traffic.

Important Military//Police call signs to note are

* VIPR 42  - Standard operating call sign for Sol Space Patrol.
* VIPR 911 - Standard operating call for an emergency response 
* VIPR 505 - Search and Rescue.

Civilian Traffic callsigns consist of two parts.

The first is a three character vehicle class

  • H,E,V - Heavy freighter
  • F,T,R - Freighter
  • R,I,G - Rig - Freight.
  • T,D,R - Trader
  • P,A,S - Passenger Vessel, Large
  • P,E,R - Passenger vessel, Small
  • P,L,X - Pleasure craft, usually small.
  • O,O,K (Abbreviation of Cocoon)- Cryogenic suspension vessel, frequently unmanned.

Typical Exchanges[edit]

Games Inspiring some Features[edit]

  • Asteroids
  • Elite
  • Lunar Lander
  • Nomad
  • Xpilot
  • Virtual Airport (Never published, producer out of business, user:mirwin has intellectual property rights to code and art)


The way we hope this to eventually work is we have a net of little space games that interact in a MUD (multi-user dungeon). We will possibly interface with JFreerails via a spaceport. There is a loading module with some educational and fun mass distribtion. Then comes Terran Takeoff (horizontal or vertical), both talking to STC, the asteroids/Xpilot, then talk with Lunar STC, lunar landing, mission is now complete.

We will have a lunar rover gamelet. JFreerails is already playable and I think easily added to for an interface to the spaceport. Subgames in cisLunarFreighter could be broken out as loading game, lunar lander take off or horizontal orbiter, both those talking to STC, then asteroids/xpilot, then talk to STC, lunar lander, mission complete, see what I mean by "little space games"

Base/Vehicle Operational Standards[edit]

	<mirwin>	have any ideas on how a pirate base would operate ...they would not use STC?
	<ShakespeareFan00>	mirwin: Well, a priate base would try to operate within STC as far as they could
	<ShakespeareFan00>	but they would have their own procedures...
	<mirwin>	good point flyby's maybe necessary to identify or follow pirate ship in
	<ShakespeareFan00>	STC has a special code VADR for unidentifed vessels
	<ShakespeareFan00>	VADR vessels behaving in a hostile manner and that don't respond to cept messages are liable to be disabled...
	<ShakespeareFan00>	mirwin: However operating a base outside STC rules is a serious matter...
	<ShakespeareFan00>	Star Corps have been known to be 'unpleasent' with rouge operators...
	<mirwin>	hmm maybe a rover trip ground inspection of some kind
	<ShakespeareFan00>	Thats or a flyover...
	<ShakespeareFan00>	All 'legit' bases have to confirm to STC spec
	<ShakespeareFan00>	Like having certain mimumum equipment standards, radar etc
	<ShakespeareFan00>	Pirate bases of course might not have the same standard of equipment...
	<mirwin>	there was an asteroid style game with gravity and bunkers ... good model for simple flyover prototype LSG
	<ShakespeareFan00>	'legit' cival bases also have to register...
	<ShakespeareFan00>	the Sol Registry containing at presnt abvout 30 known bases...
	<ShakespeareFan00>	Star Corps keeps it's own list of milatyr facilities
	<mirwin>	ah good - players pick site and establish bases and facilities -- ties to Lunar Boom Town
	<ShakespeareFan00>	(sometimes these are shared with 'cival' ones)
	<ShakespeareFan00>	Or buy into common ones...
	<ShakespeareFan00>	The STC is in effect a bit like the FAA
	<ShakespeareFan00>	but in some areas it has more powers , and some less
	<ShakespeareFan00>	For example the STC can ground usafe vessels
	<ShakespeareFan00>	I don't think the FAA can canit?
	<mirwin>	or buy abandoned miliatary! Imagine a flyover that turned from easy picking to lets get the hell out of here if we can!
	<mirwin>	oh yes FAA shuts down unsafe in seconds
	<ShakespeareFan00>	mirwin: The millatry tends to hang onto it's fcailites...
	<mirwin>	if they can spot it in paperwork and inspections
	<ShakespeareFan00>	STC also inspect facilites as well as vehicles...
	<mirwin>	true - be rare abandond secret bases ...CIA types
	<ShakespeareFan00>	The Star Corps knows about some of these... but won't tell ;-)

Implementation Details

We could have a percentage reportig damage. Certain probably of blowing up when damaged. survivers to pick up after shp blows but player loses ship.

Friendly fire incidents occur when Star Patrol shoots civilian