Advanced Simulation Technology inc. (ASTi), a leading provider of modular, product-based solutions to the simulation market, last week unveiled a pioneering, low-cost commercial pilot ATC communication training environment at the Flight Simulator Engineering and Maintenance Conference (FSEMC) in Tulsa, OK.
The new product, called Simulated Environment for Realistic ATC, or SERA, provides pilots with fully immersive flight training by incorporating all aspects of the external environment including air traffic control (ATC) radio instruction, radio calls from other aircraft, and a corresponding visual representation of traffic in the simulation. SERA employs a real-world database of flights, airports and weather conditions, enabling pilots and copilots to learn valuable radio and operational skills in a lifelike environment. SERA constructs and maintains a complete external environment along the simulated aircraft's route, automatically including all appropriate ATC functions such as Clearance Delivery, Ground, Local, Approach/Departure, and Center. The solution also responds intelligently to what the trainee is or is not doing properly and communicates corrective action.
By automating ATC radio communications, SERA also reduces the instructor's workload, enabling focus on crew performance rather than role-playing a succession of ATC functions. Its automated ATC capability employs ASTi's world-class speech technology which provides robust text-to-speech and speech-to-text capabilities, accommodating noisy cockpits and the accents of both pilots and synthesized voices.
At FSEMC, ASTi allowed conference attendees to use SERA in a simulated cockpit, provided by its partner Airliner1 and equipped with a Cobra Simulation mini-dome display as part of a fully functional 737NG simulator.
"Adding ASTi SERA to our simulator was the final piece of the jigsaw in our development of a groundbreaking training solution," says Steve Masson, director of the Airliner1 training facility in Glasgow, Scotland. "While designed to remove the instructor from role-playing ATC during exercises and freeing him up to focus on evaluating the student pilots, the software offers a lot more. It creates the perfect simulated world with other aircraft traffic, the workload you would expect when flying, and the pressure this real-world equivalent brings to the crew."
Both simulator and airline agnostic, SERA can be integrated with virtually any type of flight simulation training device and simulate any commercial aircraft, airport, flight plan, and scenario. It also supports all requirements for Section 9 of the ICAO 9625 global industry standard for simulated ATC and flight training devices, among these the correlation of radio signals with the visual scene.
Says Neil Waterman, Commercial Aviation Director at ASTi, "Our deployment flexibility allows ASTi to recommend the optimum blend of performance, features and price for any flight simulator training device."
Available today, SERA is fully deployed and operational at flight training facilities in the US and UK.
Since 1989, ASTi has been at the forefront of simulation innovation, delivering products that provide highly immersive synthetic sound effects, virtual radio communications, live radio-over-IP bridging, networked voice integration and interactive voice-enabled training solutions to enhance training and experimentation effectiveness across live, virtual, constructive and gaming domains.