ASTi’s Simulated Environment for Realistic ATC (SERA) creates a dynamic, artificially intelligent environment filled with other aircraft and air traffic controllers. Not only does it increase flight training’s realism, but it also provides an immersive air traffic control (ATC) and traffic experience in the air and on the ground. SERA eliminates the need for instructor role-play, introducing real-world communication demands, increasing training value, and decreasing training costs.
During Line Oriented Flight Training (LOFT) scenarios, crews receive and read back customized ATC instructions. This feedback occurs from pushback to taxi, amid other traffic present in the real world. The proper airlines at the right gates request clearances to typical destinations for your simulation’s airport, date, and time. State-of-the-art speech technology teaches and reinforces radio phraseology to new pilots, including non-native English speakers.
Automatic features reduce instructor workload:
- ATC gives directions to ownship and simulated traffic.
- Automated ATC responds to pilot voice transmissions.
- ATC issues realistic SID and STAR clearances for any airport in the world.
- SERA routes high and low altitude airways for ownship and simulated traffic.
- Integration with the simulator’s image generator (IG) enables the IG to recognize external aircraft.
- Automated ground controllers issue taxi instructions to and from active runways.
- Each controller has a unique voice, just like real life.
- ASTi keeps all navigational data up to date.
Simulated traffic realistically aviates, navigates, and communicates in shared airport and airspace environments. Pilots in a SERA environment can correlate audible radio traffic with visual ground, landing, and departing traffic. This activity provides important cues that are absent in many simulations. As in the real world, radio messages are appropriate to the currently tuned frequency and geographical location.
SERA automatically adds simulated traffic to training missions based on current worldwide flight timetables. However, instructors can still tune traffic density to a desired level. To expedite training, the system grants priority to the ownship, balancing simulation fidelity and timeliness. Instructors can also force simulated ATCs to simulate runway incursions or other emergency situations (e.g., “go around” on short final).
Robust Speech Generation & Understanding
SERA speaks both FAA and ICAO standard phraseology, adjusting automatically based on the ownship’s location. SERA also adjusts over 20 high-quality, text-to-speech voices in a variety of English accents by pitch and delivery speed. As a result, each controller and simulated pilot has a unique voice. Noise and distortion background effects (e.g., jet versus prop cockpit) make radio transmissions sound more realistic.
Automated ATC responses rely on SERA’s speech recognition engine. This world-class technology recognizes a variety of accents, translating speech to text in noisy simulator environments. The system automatically adapts to new voices and environments and has been tested with hundreds of speakers worldwide.
SERA integrates with almost any flight training device. It is also compatible with a wide variety of host, visual, and Instructor Operation Station (IOS) software in the commercial flight training industry. Through its API, SERA synchronizes with external flight plans and the IOS, driving simulated traffic on the host’s visual system.
Cloud-based SERA deployments are available when the simulators host has a reliable Internet connection. ASTi currently hosts SERA Servers in the U.S. and U.K. but offers other data center locations around the world.
Radio Skills Training
The pilot and first officer learn valuable radio skills while immersed in the SERA environment:
- Listening for the ownship call sign in ATC radio calls
- Identifying and understanding traffic cues from interactions between ATC and other aircraft
- Communicating assertively and correctly timing press-to-talk transmissions
- Interpreting ATC instructions and responding with required read backs
- Analyzing real-time speech transcription and captured audio recordings, which helps instructors diagnose communication deficiencies