Real Time Simulations
We use real-time simulations to validate complex airspace organisations, new tools or concepts in a realistic simulated Air Traffic Management environment. Our Experimental Centre (based in Brétigny) provides various real-time simulation platforms and tools dedicated to validation purposes:
- ESCAPE (EUROCONTROL Simulation Capability and Platform for Experimentation) a real-time simulation platform developed by EUROCONTROL supporting small to large scale simulations.
- eDEP (Early Demonstration and Evaluation Platform) a prototyping facility based on a low-cost, lightweight, web-enabled platform.
- MCS (Multi Cockpit Simulator), a sophisticated pilot position composed of a realistic aircraft model covering the aspects of navigation, performance and fuel consumption, and a "semi-realistic" pilot-machine interface (cockpit), allowing professional pilots to evaluate new airborne equipments in a simulated ATC scenario.
Additional tools such as AudioLAN, a voice communication system, and MUDPIE (Multiple User Data Processing Interactive Environment), an analysis tool, are equally provided in order to dispose of a complete simulation environment.
Thanks to their capabilities and flexibility, each of these components can rapidly be configured to mimic real ATM systems allowing controllers to operate during simulations as close as they do in their day-to-day duty and so, minimize the simulation impact on validation results.
ESCAPE is able to emulate single or multi-centres environment, providing real-time simulation capabilities in the following areas:
- Airspace design for en-route and TMA;
- Evaluation of new operational concepts or controller tools;
- Training for controllers.
ESCAPE is provided with a powerful and efficient tool kit allowing the development of specific and elaborated human factor interfaces (HMI). The platform can handle:
- from 1 up to 64 controller positions (CWP)
- up to 600 aircraft flying simultaneously
- up to 1000 flight plans
- from 1 to 70 pseudo-pilot positions (PWP)
The eDEP platform is a simplified ATC system simulator, based on Java and fully web-enabled, that can be run on a single standard PC.
eDEP contains the same functional components and conceptual data flows as the ESCAPE real-time simulator. This allows eDEP functional prototyping to be easily translated into software requirements for future simulations.
The MCS is used to satisfy 3 distinct needs:
The participation of "high fidelity” simulated aircraft in real-time air traffic simulations allowing to:
- include the effects of real-life pilot inputs and reactions in the experiment; or
- let the pilots form an opinion on aspects of the simulation via first-hand experience;
- A test platform to investigate new ATC concepts such as trajectory negotiation via air-ground datalink and free flight concept; and
- A test platform to investigate new airborne philosophies and equipment such as ASAS or airborne HMI.
Currently, the EEC possesses 2 full cockpit simulators (also referred to as 3D-version), and a number of licenses for a simplified version, running on standard PC equipment (also referred to as 2D-version).