An ATC simulator can be many different things. This blog is limited to the eCoach Air Traffic Control Simulator, for which the main purpose is to enable education of professional air traffic controllers. Education can be to train a person to become a certified air traffic controller (ATCO = Air Traffic Control Officer), or provide continuation training in order to maintain authorization.
Figure 1: An eCoach ATC Simulator Installation
An ATCO at work will get informed about the traffic situation based on several sources:
- Various computer displays presenting radar data, flight plan data, parking situation, and more. Altogether, this is referred to as an ATC System, or Air Traffic Control System.
- If the ATCO works in a tower, he will also look out the window and observe the airport directly. This is reproduced by the 3D Tower part of the simulator.
- The ATCO also needs to talk with other people. This is achieved via a Voice Communication System – VCS. It serves both telephone and radio communication.
In order to train the ATCO in a realistic manner, all the above need to be present in the simulator. However, it is not enough. An ATC system will get its data from live operational radar sensors and other sources. In the simulator, there is a separate part – the Air Traffic Data Generator – handling this aspect.
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