You are building up your ATC training center. A Radar and Tower simulator is important. But often budget is limited. Here is a way to build it in a modular way in function of your available budget. Making sure that the training center can generate revenues to subsidize the subsequent investments.

Especially after the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been receiving lots of requests for economical entrance sets for Radar and Tower Simulators. At the same time, no one wants to go for a cheap and technically or pedagogically insufficient solution. And nobody should, as this could risk lifes. Therefore we describe in the following an approach which does not make compromises on quality, but stretches the investment in a modular way over a specific time - always providing a fully operational solution in each stage and avoiding time pressure.

Starting with a full fledged simulator

Our advise is unmistakable: start with a full feature set, but drip-feed the investments for the costlier 3D visualization equipment.

Modular-SkyRadar-Product-Package: 2D-Tower, expandable

We suggest a basic package including all major software features of a tower and radar simulator. The system is built on a fully operational ATC system with simulated inputs.

2D Tower Simulator, Radar Simulator and Voice Communication System

Our suggestion for the basic package set includes:

Working positions

The basic package shall include three to five working positions, flexibly configurable as either

  • CWP allowing for the modes:
    • TWR+GND or
    • CLD+GND or
    • TWR+APP or
    • APP+ACC 
  • Pseudo-Pilot.

Each working position consists of a single seat + single display.

Voice Communication System

The working positions shall be equipped with a professional voice communication system. Per working position, the set includes a voice communication unit with COTS headsets on-screen PTT and 1 speaker.

Professional ATC-grade IT Hardware and Network

The system will be installed on a rack server in ATC quality. In addition there will be a Technical Workstation for system configuration, admin, exercise preparation etc. The system comes with a preinstalled data network with remote service access.

ATC / ATM / CNS System

Our promise: we will deliver a full (real-life) ATC / ATM / CNS System and a concatenated simulator. This means that the students will learn on a real ATC system. Simply the inputs are replaced by simulated inputs and instead of pilots, the ATSEPs and ATCOs communicate with Pseudo-Pilots which are sitting in the next room.

The solution includes

  • Safety Nets
  • FPDS,
  • VCS server software,
  • recording and replay system,
  • time Reference System
  • surveillance Data Display including electronic flight strips
  • one airport of choice for TWR
  • suite of editors
  • full data that is required for 2D Tower and Radar simulation, including
    • 1 FIR database,
    • 1 aerodrome database,
    • 1 aircraft performance database,
    • electronic strips configuration,
    • VCS configuration
  • documentation

Variety of included training schemes

The solution allows for a variety of training schemes:

  • ADV/ADI executive controller, planning controller, flight data, operational supervisor (GMC, GMS, AIR, TWR, RAD)
  • Positions APP/APS executive controller, planning controller, flight data, operational supervisor (RAD, ADS, TC, PAR, SRA)
  • Positions ACP/ACS executive controller, planning controller, GND controller, operational supervisor (RAD, ADS, TC)

Tasks and usage scenarios

Tasks and usage scenarios possible on this simulator include:

  • airspace procedures,
  • airspace operations,
  • traffic and incidents modelling,
  • test, validation and measurements
  • 2D aerodrome visualization at the conceptual phase
  • flow modelling in the airspace as well as for aerodrome capacity
  • procedures design and evaluation
  • traffic safety checks and measurements
  • military ATC modelling and check

(The video also includes 3D modeling and consoles which are not part of the basic edition.)

Expanding the system

The basic edition can be continuously updated.

Full 3D Tower Simulator and Expert System

When you look at the overview infographic on the top of the article, you see the possibility to vertically expand along the 2nd column and step by step complete the simulator into a full 3D simulator with included expert system.

Training Radars

Without the requirement of big budget, the simulator can be expanded by real training radars. Those radars can be connected to the simulator as real inputs or be used in a disconnected way for technical training of ATCOs and ATSEPs.

The first column in the infographic describes SkyRadar's modular set of 8 GHz training radars. These pulse and Doppler radars allow for a profound training of radar technology for ATCO and ATSEP. Get the overview of available modules.

Navigation Aids

An expansion into ILS, DME and VOR will allow ATSEP and ATCO students to get exposure to technical features of this important support of safe landing. 

Academies can start with the ILS module and add DME and VOR in a second step.

Technical radar simulation and ADS-B Radars

Continuing on the technical training side for ATCO and ATSEP, we suggest to continue in the expansion via column 4. SkyRadar's CloudServer builds the bridge. 

The first expanding module is the PSR & SSR simulator. In contrast to the Radar and Tower Simulator, it is fully technically oriented, explaining the radar features.

The 2nd module connects directly to the ADS-B live communication of passing aircraft in proximity of the training center.

Airport Rescue and Firefighting Simulator and Real Infrastructure

The first and economical module of expansion is the firefighting simulator, consisting of a distributed control system and a 3D visualization of the environment (e.g., kerosene tanks, infrastructure, aircraft) and many emergency scenarios.

The simulator can be complemented by any kind of real-life hardware, equipped with training oriented pyrotechnical enhancements, complying at the same time with safety requirements in training as well as with qualification needs of the rescue workers.

Expanding it step by step

Eventually, it will all grow together to an exhaustive training and qualification infrastructure including live radars, Radar and Tower simulators, SSR & PSR simulators, ADS-B radars as well as Airport rescue and firefighting systems.

Let us talk, and see how qualification needs and available budget can be brought together. 

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