Air Traffic Simulation Lab
In the fall of 2006, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University made the decision to begin work on an ATC training and simulation laboratory at their Prescott, Arizona campus. Requirements included quick ramp-up time, flexible physical installation options, ability to be deployed on existing computer hardware, integration with existing flight simulation systems, and above all, high-fidelity at a competitive cost.
Metacraft was chosen to deliver a package of SimSuite applications including SimScope and SimTarget. SimSuite was an ideal fit for the project due to its ease of installation on standard desktop computer systems, the high-fidelity emulation of modern radar displays, and the very competitive price point.
Since the initial system deployment, Embry-Riddle has enhanced their lab with high-quality consoles for the SimScope display screens and a multi-display visualization system for the tower training portion of the lab.
Metacraft has worked closely with the university staff on a regular basis to continually refine and expand the functionality available in the SimSuite product set, and now the lab is an integral part of the Air Traffic Management curriculum. The lab also serves other roles including being used as a training environment for FAA developmental controllers, and for large-scale simulations in conjunction with the flight training department at the university.
Simulation Lab Reconstruction
After a hurricane severely damaged their existing simulation laboratory, Texas Southern University in Houston needed to find a cost-effective platform on which to base the reconstruction of the lab. The university required a versatile, small-footprint system that could be adapted for use in any aspect of the air traffic management curriculum, including ground/tower training, terminal radar simulation, and enroute radar instruction. TSU also required that the system be capable of generating any type of pseudo-pilot traffic as well as integrate with flight simulators piloted by students or instructor staff.
TSU learned of the SimSuite solution through another Metacraft customer in early 2009, and immediately set the goal of acquiring and deploying SimSuite components in their new lab for use later that year. Robert Prather of Virtual Airport Labs was brought on board as a consultant to lead the design and on-site implementation of the new training facility. Through direct collaboration with Metacraft, the deployment target was easily met and the lab became fully operational well within the required time frame.
Since the initial system installation, Metacraft has delivered several major application upgrades for the TSU lab as the SimSuite software has evolved along with the changing needs of its customers.
Controller Conflict Mitigation Study
When faculty at Purdue University began planning a detailed study on the effect of air traffic controller's use of mitigation techniques to avoid potential traffic conflicts, they contacted Metacraft to provide the necessary tools. The study required the ability to design tightly-controlled air traffic situations, and to execute those scenarios using simulation systems that were familiar to the participating controllers.
SimTarget was ideally suited for designing and operating the precise air traffic scenarios, and SimScope provided the required high-fidelity radar displays and conflict detection systems. Metacraft also delivered custom scenario recording software which provided air traffic movement data in a format suitable for detailed analysis after the laboratory portion of the experiment was concluded.