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
- 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.
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Figure 2: eCoach ATC Simulator Overview
How it Works
Based on this input, the student ATCO will do his work and issue commands via the VCS to the simulated aircraft. The person hearing these commands is the simulator pilot, who sits at a pilot working position connected to the DG. To respond to the ATCO’s command, the simulator pilot will make inputs to his working position and also read back to the ATCO via VCS. The DG will now adjust its data production according to directions given by the simulator pilot.
As a net result, the student ATCO can observe that the commands issued are being followed.
There is no limit to the number of ATCOs or sim pilots. The eCoach ATC Simulator supports training from gate to gate, where all personnel work in concert – Tower controllers, Approach/Departure controllers, and area controllers (ACC).
The eCoach ATC System
- Radar Data Processing System – handling surveillance data.
- Flight Plan Data Processing System – handling flight plan data.
- Surface Movement Guidance and Control – airport surveillance of aircraft and vehicles.
- Airport Lighting System – allows ATCO control of airport lights like stop bars.
- Parking System – presents aircraft parking situation.
- Electronic Flight Strips – optional, if paper strips are not used in the position.
- Real-time Flight Progress Strips – printed at responsible position in due time.
- Information System – presenting METAR, TAF, navaids status, wind roses, ATIS, and more.
The eCoach ATC Simulator Voice Communication System
After a training session has been run, recorded data can be played back in synch with the simulated traffic. Recorded data can be archived for later playbacks, e.g. for teaching, demonstration, or discussion purposes.
The eCoach 3D Tower System
- At a working position with several computer displays.
- With one or more working positions and TV screens.
- With several working positions and projectors.
Figure 3: eCoach ATC Simulator with TV Screens for 3D Tower
The eCoach Air Traffic Data Generator
- Regular air traffic with all major aircraft types, from turboprops and business jets to heavy aircraft.
- Helicopters for off-shore traffic or other purposes.
- Military operations like AWACS, transport aircraft, and fighter formations.
- VFR traffic with ultra-light aircraft, pilot school aircraft, small helicopters, and more.
- Vehicles like fire trucks, fuel trucks, plow trains, and other ANSP vehicles for bird scaring, follow me etc.
Figure 4: Realistic Presentation of any Aircraft Maneuver