Airport Facilities Terminal Integration Laboratory (AFTIL)
ATEC, SST and VMC, who created an alliance under the governance of eFAST’s Contractor Team Arrangement (CTA) parameters, were awarded the AFTIL support contract in March of 2023. We are excited about our new partners and the opportunity to further serve the FAA in fulfilling modeling and simulation requirements. AFTIL is FAA Laboratory Services Division’s Airport Modeling and Simulation Branch (ANG-E18). AFTIL provides realistic modeling, simulations, and air traffic scenarios to support the visual validation of planned modifications to airports (e.g., Airport Traffic Control Towers (ATCT), buildings, runways, etc.) and the associated impacts and changes to current Air Traffic (AT) operational procedures. The AFTILs primary purpose is to develop highly accurate and detailed airport model databases and air traffic simulations as well as full-scale ATCT mockups to support various simulation studies. AFTIL simulation studies include, but are not limited to, ATCT Siting Studies, Operational Assessments, Airport Infrastructure Studies (both current and future), and various human-in-the-loop simulations.
The AFTIL capability compliments ATEC’s existing modeling and simulation development performed for both the Target Generation and Cockpit Simulation Facilities (TGF, CSF).
Target Generation Facility (TGF)
ATEC is the prime contractor supporting the FAA's Target Generation Facility (TGF) at the FAA's William J. Hughes Technical Center. The TGF is a Dynamic Real-Time Air Traffic Simulation capability designed to generate realistic Aircraft trajectories and associated digital radar messages for aircraft in a simulated airspace environment. Up to 600 targets can be generated in one or more concurrent simulation environments. Multiple Terminal, En-Route, and Oceanic airspaces may be simulated individually or simultaneously. The TGF capability is fully integrated. Simultaneous simulations in different environments and in different laboratories at the William J. Hughes Technical Center can be supported and can run concurrently. Primarily, TGF is used to generate real time, interactive traffic in support of human in the loop simulations (HITL). Realistic traffic flows and voice communications are created in real time by pilots operating the simulated TGF 'aircraft' in response to air traffic control instructions. TGF simulations may be executed in Real-Time, Fast- Time or a combination of both. All major Air Traffic laboratories of the WJHTC are supported including the En-Route DSR/ERAM Laboratories, the Stars Terminal Laboratories, En-Route Integration and Interoperability Facility (IIF), NextGen Integration & Evaluation Capability (NIEC), Time Based Flow Management (TBFM), Traffic Flow Management System (TFMS), Airway Facilities Tower Integration Laboratory (AFTIL), Advanced Technologies & Oceanic Procedures (ATOP) labs and the Research Development and Human Factors Laboratory (RDHFL). The Simulation facility can be adapted to mimic existing facilities as ZDC, ZOB, ZID, DCA PHL, NY TRACON etc., generic facilities such as GENERA and future concepts such as DRVSM (now implemented), NY Redesign, East Coast. TGF also has its own display capability including high fidelity emulation of DSR displays for scenario shakedown, or independent studies on a smaller scale basis.
Cockpit Simulation Facility (CSF)
ATEC is the prime contractor supporting the Cockpit Simulation Facility (CSF) at the FAA's William J. Hughes Technical Center. The Flight Deck Simulation Sub Group develops and tests new technologies, which enhance ATC Ground and Airborne flight information transfer and management. This work includes the development and validation of domestic and international standards to ensure proper and expeditious deployment of these new technologies. The work efforts of this group focus on communication protocols, standards, interoperability of systems, and human factors issues pertaining to the flight deck.The flight simulators are linked via a network (TCP/IP) to the Target Generation Facility (TGF). For simulations conducted independently of the ATC Simulation Laboratory it is still possible to emulate ATC communications. ATC audio from a geographically appropriate FAA ARTCC is digitally copied into a PC from the Center's backup voice tape. The audio is edited to create control audio for the players and is mixed with background audio to create a highly realistic flight audio experience.A high-speed network has been installed from the TechnicalCenter to various points in the USA and Europe to provide connections to remote flight simulators. A total of 24 connections are possible with enough channel capacity on each channel to remotely connect a flight simulator with position, voice, and data link data to the TGF and thus to any of the Technical Center's ATC laboratories. The ATC Laboratory can filter all traffic and transmit positional data on proximate aircraft back to the flight simulator for Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) display.
Integration & Interoperability Facility (IIF)
ATEC is a subcontractor to DIGITALiBiz inc. supporting the Integration & Interoperability Facility (IIF) at the FAA's William J. Hughes Technical Center. The IIF provides laboratory and engineering services supporting En Route and Oceanic infrastructure modernization and integration of new systems or capabilities into the National Airspace System (NAS). ATEC's support to the IIF includes development of new En Route innovations, Simulation/Scenario Development, proof-of-concept prototypes, hardware installation, network engineering, early engineering assessments for new systems, operational evaluations, risk reduction demonstrations, training, and operational procedure development for both Air Traffic and Airway Facilities personnel.