Virtual Radar Client

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Virtual Radar Client (VRC)
Developer(s) Ross Carlson
Stable release
1.2.1 / May 5, 2007
Operating system Microsoft Windows 98 or higher.
License Free

Virtual Radar Client (VRC) is a Windows-based software application that simulates the radar workstations of real-world air traffic controllers. It allows the user to simulate the duties of Air Traffic Controllers by viewing a radar display of, and data pertaining to virtual aircraft connected to the VATSIM network of air traffic and flight simulation.

A screenshot of ZMP (Minneapolis) airspace taken from the VRC program while in use on VATSIM


VRC is a program designed to emulate a radar screen used by Air Traffic Controllers. It was created by Ross Carlson, and released by VATSIM to the flying public Friday, April 14, 2006. VRC sends and receives data in real time to the VATSIM servers which allows users to provide the functions of ATC. VRC was created with multi-monitor users in mind, with all non-essential data being displayed in windows that can be moved to the second screen. It is one of three major radar clients, its rivals being ASRC and Euroscope.

VRC is not available for Macintosh or Linux based users, nor is ever planned to be. Some clients have reported being able to run VRC using Windows compatibility layers, such as Wine and Boot Camp. VRC is proprietary and closed-source software, but it is free.

Radar Modes[edit]

Radar Mode Common Position Utilised On Description
Simple Clearance Delivery Contains only the aircraft's callsign and voice capabilities
Ground Ground Movement Control Contains aircraft's callsign, aircraft type, ground speed and voice capabilities.
Tower Tower Control Targets contain a full data block, with all of the above plus warnings when aircraft are, for example, squawking an incorrect ASSR Code.
ARTS Approach Control Designed to mimic the American Terminal Control Center setup, targets will contain varying amounts of data depending on the squawk mode of the aircraft, amongst other things.
STARS Approach Control Similar to ARTS mode, however the target's data tag rotates at a slower rate.
DSR Enroute Control This mode is similar to what would be found in a standard Area Control Centre. It contains up to three lines of information in the data tag including destination, ground speed, temporary assigned altitudes and aircraft ownership.
Park Air Approach Control This mode is similar to the radar setup found in British Approach Control Units, and displays 2 lines of information when the aircraft is squawking mode Charlie, and nothing when squawking mode standby.
TAAATS En route, Approach and Aerodrome Control Designed to appear similar to The Australian Advanced Air Traffic System. This mode's label contains up to 5 lines of information at some points with data such as wake vortex separation and Reduced Vertical Separation Minima status. The position symbol is based on the highest priority ATS Surveillance System available for tracking the aircraft. Additionally, certain SSR Mode A codes may trigger special symbols.
PSR Various Simulates a Primary Surveillance Radar, hence displays only the aircraft's blip.
3D Ground, Tower Control Simulates a basic 3D view from an air traffic control tower. The datatag contains one line of information which periodically cycles.
A screenshot of Jersey Approach's airspace using VRC in "Park Air" mode, used by British VRC approach controllers.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]