Automated ATC in Military Flight Simulation

I/ITSEC 2015 | What's New

One area that doesn't get much attention in today's military flight training is the synthetic world around the student pilot. The airfield and surrounding airspace should be abuzz with radio chatter between other aircraft, ground control, tower and air traffic controllers. But, as often is the case, instructors either don't have the capacity to play more than one of these roles at a time (they've got enough to do already), or they don't have the facilities to replicate this busy environment beyond perhaps a few generic background recordings. The student pilot's surroundings suffer from a lack of activity, and training effectiveness suffers in the long run when students aren't prepared for real world airfield operations.

ASTi's Simulated Environment for Realistic ATC (SERA) and Construct products address these shortcomings to provide a more realistic and immersive pilot training experience.

Featuring advanced speech recognition, first-rate synthetic voices, entity generation and behavior modeling, these products create a dynamic, intelligent, and fully automated environment in which to train. Simulated players produce speech and interactions for air traffic control (ATC), ground, tower and all the other radio traffic one would expect at a real airport or base. Instead of simply sticking to a script, these actors recognize trainee speech, and respond appropriately with contextually-relevant answers and instructions.

SERA and Construct provide pilot instructors with the freedom to do what they're meant to do: train their students.

Additional features and capabilities include:

  • Robust speech recognition (over 97% accuracy) supporting FAA/ICAO standard ATC phraseology
  • Handles various accents of English-speaking trainees
  • Over 30 synthetic voices (including international accents) for more realistic and immersive communications
  • World wide airport database
  • Regionally specific ATC features (e.g. call signs, idents)
  • Entities and behaviors for fast jets, prop aircraft, helicopters, heavy aircraft and other vehicles
  • Easy integration with the following image generator/visual systems, as well as any DIS or CIGI compliant system: Lockheed Martin Prepar3d, Rockwell Collins EP-series, FlightSafety VITAL X, RSI Visual Systems and FlightGear open-source systems
  • Military and commercial flight plan support
  • VFR and IFR
  • Adjustable traffic density
  • Go-arounds, holds, TCAS conflicts, emergency handling
  • Gate-to-gate ATC interactions
  • Reports, requests, readbacks, clearance and handoffs
  • Instructor display and override features

Applications can also be extended beyond ATC, providing speech-enabled and realistic AI-driven communications environments for training applications such as:

  • JTAC/CAS/CFF training
  • Air-to-Air refueling
  • FAC operations
  • AOC, ASOC, TOC command and control
  • UAV and MUM-T operations
  • Carrier operations
  • and many others

In all cases, the benefits of SERA and Construct are manifest: Instructors enjoy reduced workloads and the extra manpower normally required to achieve realistic training is drastically reduced or even eliminated. The simulation benefits from enhanced complexity and a boost in realism which, in turn, leads to better immersion and more stress for the trainee.

USAF ATC Simulator
Photo: Kristina Cilia