This article shows how online training of system monitoring and control can be brought to the cognitive level of "application" and beyond, with SkyRadar's SkySMC suite.

In times of complex ATM infrastructures, interoperability and automation, System Monitoring and Control is becoming a core feature in the ATC infrastructure. And a key qualification for ATSEP. As Henry Mintzberg, the pioneer for organization theory once said: increased sophistication of automated processes leads to increased flexibility and effectiveness. But increased sophistication also leads to more complexity and creates more possibilities for errors along the digital supply and communication chain.

The requirement of SMC-qualification of ATSEP is prescribed by the regulators. ICAO demands it in the document 10057, the EU commission regulates it in the EU Regulation 2017/373.

To be able to properly train a sufficient amount of ATSEP in short periods of time and for an affordable price, many ANSPs look for online training.

The challenge with e-learning is that it is traditionally pretty theoretical. However ICAO and EU expect the competence "to apply" - this is a cognitive capability which goes beyond simple comprehension. Simple behaviouristic stimulus-response schemes as in animations or multiple-choice tests do not meet the requirements.

Application Environment

SkyRadar's SkySMC provides an environment to apply the learned theory. The solution builds on a fully operational SMC tool. In addition it makes use of

  • virtualized IT infrastructure - we also call this emulated infrastructure; it is a fully working set of servers, databases, networks and applications. 
  • simulated applications, like USPs or thermometers

Four views - SMC, DCS, Sites and Teacher Panel

To provide a close to reality setting, SkySim offers the following three views:

  • SMC - the environment to configure and use system monitoring and control. Here we can monitor the system status. But we can also actively control - e.g., do a switch over from an erratic transmitter to the fall-back transmitter.
  • DCS - the perspective of the distributed control system.
  • Sites - not all errors can be fixed remotely. In real life, the ATSEP still has manual tasks (although they are expected to become less). When for instance a thermometer is broken, or a fan in the server room, it needs to be fixed. For this SkySMC offers the sites-view, which is a virtual representation of the real world. For learning on site, SkyRadar provides hardware infrastructure from servers and networks to complete ATM systems.
  • Admin - here the teacher can create faults and system degratations, challenging the trainee to find them in the shortest period of time.

Watch the video introducing the three views:

Let's talk

Contact us to discuss possible solutions for your ATC training center. Calls are non binding and will definitely help shaping your vision for your ATSEP training infrastructure.

Talk to you soon and stay tuned!

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