Intelligent ATC Agents Augmenting Simulator-Based, Military Flight Training

Customer Military flight simulator programs looking to reduce or eliminate the need for human role-players with an AI-enabled, human-interactive air traffic control (ATC) environment


ASTi’s SERA® product integrates with flight simulators to provide a rich, realistic, and cognitively challenging pilot training experience. Its interactive, intelligent agents reduce or even eliminate the need for human role-players to communicate for ATC and other aircraft. SERA easily integrates with new or existing aviation training systems, ranging from desktop and virtual reality (VR) trainers to full-flight simulators. SERA is a mature product deployed across a wide range of military and commercial training programs.

Challenges & Solutions

Comprehensive Aviation Environment

While modern flight simulators can realistically replicate cockpits, flight dynamics, and scenery, they do not provide a comprehensive aviation environment where pilots must fly in concert with other traffic and coordinate with ATC resources.

That’s where SERA comes in. SERA simulates high-fidelity controllers and radio environments, filling the cockpit’s out-the-window view with other traffic in the airspace. Instructors can adjust the traffic density and ATC speech rate in real time depending on the student’s skill level.

ATC actions exactly match military pilot training. In fact, SERA can model all military airfields, practice areas, and auxiliary fields. It also allows instructors to inject errors and malfunctions to further enhance immersion, increase cognitive load, and train situational awareness. ATC behaviors even correspond with the simulator’s current weather profile.

Automated Entities That Role-Play ATC and Other Traffic

Typically, flight training programs must rely on instructors or contracted human role-players to provide limited communications with ATC and other aircraft in the airspace.

Now, all of that’s changed. SERA generates AI entities that role-play ATC and other pilots, freeing up instructors to focus on training. ATC radio calls use correct phraseology, and students can join an ATC exercise at any flight phase. Instructors can also monitor student-ATC radio communications, using SERA's networked intercom system to communicate with individual students or groups or privately talk or text with other instructors.

Repeatable Scenarios with Automatic Scoring

Flight training applications lack evidence-based training with objective scoring and performance metrics.

SERA’s automated services provide repeatable training scenarios and objective performance scoring. It also supports operations at military airfields and practice areas with ATC actions that exactly match military doctrine. SERA’s automated scoring can also integrate with third-party learning management systems.

Scalable, On-Demand Training

Many flight training programs contract third-party service providers to manually role-play ATC and other aircraft. This setup is manpower-intensive and does not economically scale to meet training pipeline demands. The need for prescheduling does not support on-demand training.

SERA offers 24/7, on-demand availability. In fact, our enterprise solution economically scales to meet any training pipeline requirements. ASTi also offers a variety of deployment options for SERA, including cloud services or local servers to address Information Assurance (IA) concerns.

SERA is also available to students who need extra sets and reps during off hours. SERA’s Pilot Phraseology Trainer (Pilot PT™) is a part-task trainer that’s available through any web-connected device—including smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers. Combined with SERA’s cloud capabilities, customers can easily scale the number of students training at one time, whether they need 40, 60, or even 100 students to train simultaneously.

Easy Integration for Multiple Simulator Types

The Navy uses a wide variety of simulation platforms, including flight-training devices (FTDs), VR and mixed-reality (MR) devices, and desktop trainers. Now they need a way to maintain immersion and cognitive loading across these many training devices.

SERA supports a continually expanding list of simulation platforms right out of the box, including Prepar3D, X-Plane, and Microsoft Flight Simulator (in development). Suitable for new or existing fixed and rotary-wing simulators, SERA integrates with USB, analog, and IP-based DIS audio. ASTi’s enterprise solution also bundles ongoing sustainment services, including training, software/IA maintenance, product enhancements, and help-desk support.

Components Deployed

See SERA in Action!

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