Knowledgebase: Active Sky Next
Frequently Asked Questions
Posted by Damian Clark, Last modified by Robert Halmich on 03 September 2020 01:11 AM


Product Questions



What specs will be sufficient for ASN?

You will need the following requirements for your PC/Laptop:


Windows XP or later (Windows Vista, 7 and 8 compatible)

Microsoft Flight Simulator X with SP2 or Acceleration or Prepar3D v2.4 or later

Pentium 1GHZ processor or better

1GB RAM or better

300MB free hard drive space

Minimum monitor resolution to access all user interface features: 1024x768

Online internet connection (for weather data access) <----------------------

Sound device (for sound and voice features)

Requires an online internet connection with automatic online activation in order to use online features.



How is Active Sky Next any different from AS2012?

Active Sky Next is much newer, in development for the past 3 years, focuses on weather simulation, and does not provide included graphics.  You can use any graphics add-on or default graphics with ASN.  The focus is on weather injection and simulation and includes new features such as accurate radar, cloud position awareness and associated effects, simplified weather modes, elimination of harsh cloud transitions, elimination of DWC mode (and its limitations), much better cloud accuracy, directly controlled ambient wx condition accuracy, new microburst simulation, re-designed wake turbulence simulation, and brand new UI, and much, much more.  The differences are immense, and represent a true breakthrough in weather simulation realism. for more information.



Will graphics be available for ASN?

We are working on a graphics add-on to supersede our last graphics product (AS2012).  This will include full ASN integration.  However, any graphics add-on, including AS2012 can be used with ASN.  The graphics textures and other content are completely separate from the weather injection and simulation that ASN provides.  Graphics add-ons generally control only the graphics textures of clouds and other environmental items.  They do not control the actual conditions, clouds and weather parameters depicted.



Does ASN work with P3D?

Currently, ASN for FSX is about to be released and ASN for P3DV2 will follow very shortly after.  We may support Prepar3D v1.4, but this is undecided at this time.



Will ASN for FS9 be released?

Due to advanced techniques in depiction, we do not support FS9 which does not include advanced integration potential.  FSX and P3Dv2 are the only supported platforms at this time.  We do not anticipate the ability to create an FS9-compatible ASN version.



Will ASN for XPlane be released?

Possibly.  We are actively researching XPlane (current and expected versions) and determining suitability in depiction control.



Will an upgrade/discount be available for past AS users?

Yes.  We will be offering an upgrade path for past AS version customers.  Eligible version will include ASX, ASA, ASE and AS2012.



Does ASN simulate icing?

Yes.  We actively depict appropriate icing conditions in cloud layers appropriately.  It is up to FSX/P3D and/or the aircraft being used to depict such icing effects.  In default FSX icing effects, the pitot tube is effected quickly (requiring use of pitot heat) and airframe/prop icing are also simulated at a slower effective rate, but they do reduce lift performance after some time in icing.



How accurate are effects such as Microbursts?

We have painstakingly spent the past 3 years making features like this as realistic as possible, based on FAA, NWS, NTSB and other real-world information.  Generally, our MB events will be simulated with intense downdrafts, precipitated radially from strong thunderstorm cells, by a large increase in airspeed (positive windshear), followed by a large decrease in airspeed (negative windshear), while accompanying increasing downdraft intensities



Are all weather and graphical display issues with FSX/P3D solved with ASN?

We have worked very hard to eliminate most of the limitations of the FSX/P3D weather system, and have been successful in most regards.  Using theme cloud depiction, we have eliminated most gaps in overcast and provided a much more accurate cloud depiction based on reported weather depiction.  Using smooth theme reloads, we have eliminated nearly all harsh cloud pops/changes during cloud condition changes.  Using direct ambient weather control, we have eliminated quick changes in other parameters including wind direction/speed, temperature, dewpoint, visibility and pressure.  All general conditions are changed smoothly and accurately.  This however does not mean that we have solved every single depiction or graphical issue with FSX/P3D.  




In the past, in order to achieve accuracy and smoothness in certain areas of weather depiction, you would need to enable a weather depiction mode in Active Sky that focused on certain aspects.  For example, for the best in smooth and accurate winds, you would need “DWC” enabled (Direct Weather Control) which would provide great winds, but at the expense of possible harsh cloud transitions and inaccurate cloud depictions in general.  For the best in cloud depiction, you would need “Smooth Cloud Transitions” mode, but this would result in inaccurate and harshly-changing aloft winds.  With ASN, you can get the best of all depiction modes at all times.  Smooth and accurate cloud depictions are coupled with accurate and smooth wind aloft depiction at all times.  There are no further compromises in weather depiction modes necessary.  With ASN, you can have the best situation at all times, in any location, with any set of weather conditions.






I am experiencing strange turbulences/rolling/bumping motion on short final and/or when in the vicinity of other aircraft.  How can I prevent this?

ASN simulates wake turbulence.  To avoid wake turbulence, you should not fly within the recent path of a larger aircraft (remember, wake trails sink and drift with the wind).  When landing, you should always fly well above the path of preceding aircraft and land past their touch-down point.  When taking off, you should lift off before the preceding aircraft and fly above the vertical departure path.  When flying in formation, or when being towed in a glider, you should avoid the area directly behind and slightly below the preceding aircraft in order to avoid wake (although wake from similar-sized aircraft is minimal).  If you do not desire wake turbulence effects, you can turn them down (or off completely) using ASN options.



How can I increase frame rate performance in overcast or very complex cloud conditions?

Drawing overcast cloud layers is extremely taxing on the system.  You can disable “Enhance overcast conditions” to prevent overcast cloud layers from being doubled, which should provide a significant increase in performance.  You should also evaluate your cloud graphics textures in use.  Higher-resolution textures will result in lower performance, especially if used with “Enhance overcast conditions”.  You may also want to limit your Cloud Draw Distance, either statically or dynamically using the ASN Min/Max CDD options.  We suggest 90/90 as a good default setting, but you may want to adjust this for increased coverage range (higher CDD) or increased performance (lower CDD).



Why am I getting turbulence (CAT)?

Wind/Clear Air Turbulence can be generated by several things which include Sigmets (significant meteorological weather condition alerts specifying turbulence for a given area), thermal activity and terrain-based wind activity (drafts).  If you are flying within or near to a Severe Turbulence Sigmet zone (within the altitudes specified) or near significantly-sloped terrain with higher wind speeds, turbulence is likely.  To avoid turbulence, check the weather conditions and/or map to avoid such conditions, and/or try flying a different altitude.



How can I prevent certain clouds from showing a rectangular or square pattern when viewed from very high altitudes?

FSX controls cloud lighting and occasionally will render things like stratus clouds with less-than-desirable lighting effects.  This generally occurs with stratus cloud layers during lower-light levels such as dawn and dusk.  You can minimize or eliminate this effect by using "brighter" sky textures from your graphics add-on.



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