QUADRANT INTERACT™ is an industry-leading Simulated Air Traffic Control Environment (SATCE) solution for professional Flight Simulation Training Devices (FSTDs).
INTERACT incorporates recent advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and speech recognition (SR) and synthesis, to support fully automated air traffic management (ATM) of synthetic other traffic and the ownship aircraft, and automatically simulate all air traffic control (ATC) communications.
Along with the visual scene and weather simulation, INTERACT provides synthetic ATC and other traffic to ‘complete’ the environment simulation outside the cockpit.
Without INTERACT, the external environment is sterile and crew workloads unrealistically light – flight training scenarios lack realism reproducing external threats and real-world communications workload. Phrases such as “the missing link” and “the last piece in the puzzle” have often been used to describe this deficiency in flight simulation up until now.
In today’s sophisticated, state-of-the-art FSTDs, the ownship aircraft, visual scene, weather, and motion are all arguably high-fidelity systems delivering a realistic representation of the real world. These systems have seen iterative technology improvements over decades, but the simulation of ATC communications and other traffic have lagged behind unchanged and missing.
“SATCE will be one of many AI-based technologies that will substantially change the way we use FSTDs – right across device levels and from ab initio through to advanced pilot training.”
Dr Jeremy Goodman MRAeS, Product Lead (SATCE), Quadrant Group
“Typical flight simulation environments lack the ATC communications complexity of real world flying. Benefit can be gained by exposing students to a representative environment as early as practicable in their flight training.”
ARINC Spec. 439A, 2016
INTERACT incorporates several key technologies including Artificial Intelligence (AI), Speech Recognition (SR) and synthetic speech generated using Text-To-Speech (TTS) technology.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Quadrant INTERACT™ incorporates a multi-agent rules-based artificial intelligence (AI). This manages the air traffic environment, in real-time, including the ownship flight.
The automated ATC services in INTERACT make real time decisions relating to Air Traffic Management (ATM) in the simulated environment, managing dynamic interactions between all traffic using an innovative AI system developed by Quadrant. This approach means that the ownship can be fully embedded with other traffic – traffic ahead, behind and using the same taxiways, runways and airways.
The benefit? Interactive and dynamic ATC clearances and traffic interactions can be experienced by the flight crew. The complexity of real-world ATC communications, such as conditional clearances, or instructions that include give-way can only be simulated when the ownship is fully ‘embedded’ with other traffic.
INTERACT’s AI system has an ‘awareness’ of the ownship, such as its flight phase and intentions, and can objectively measure expected responses and behaviours. Adding an AI system to flight simulators means an objective, data-rich output for instructors and trainees can be available for de-briefing. These data can include, for example, adherence to standard phraseology, communication errors or omissions, and clearance or route deviations.
Speech Recognition (SR)
Accent-tolerant advanced SR technology is used to recognise radio transmissions from the ownship. These transmissions are interpreted by the expert system which triggers appropriate responses and actions. The interpretation process utilises a novel technique that disregards superfluous information and can interpret phrases even if the ownship flight crew have not adhered to the order recommended in published standard phraseology guidance.
INTERACT’s modular software architecture allows for the highest-performing SR applications to be interchanged at the point new solutions become available in the future – delivering a level of flexibility that we believe will become a distinct advantage to our end users.
Text to Speech (TTS)
Audio output from ATC and other traffic is generated using commercially available synthetic voices and TTS applications to simulate a realistic, multi-frequency radio traffic environment. Similar to SR, INTERACT’s modular design also allows for digital voices and TTS applications to be interchanged should more advanced solutions become available that can enhance these functions in the future.
SATCE FEATURES & DATA
INTERACT is a highly capable system with an extensive SATCE feature set, developed to meet or exceed requirements from a number of industry guidance publications on SATCE, see the Regulatory Framework page for more information.
INTERACT is offered with two core components: SATCE Features and SATCE Data. SATCE Features include support for a number of ATC services, ATC procedures and SATCE events useful for training. SATCE Data includes support for different airports, routes and traffic.