Simulate to Innovate

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By Peter Weeks, Think Research.

Whilst many think of simulation mainly as a means to train controllers, Human In The Loop (HITL) simulation in ATC plays multiple roles. In fact, each year hundreds of simulations are conducted across the world which are not for training purposes, but in order to develop and validate new systems, concepts, airspace and procedures.

Deploying any new concept into an air traffic operation comes with considerable cost due to the necessary level of adaptation, integrity and assurance. An Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP) or airport needs to have a high degree of confidence that their investment will be a success and deliver the planned benefits. Although multiple development methods can be employed, there is often a need to use HITL simulation at various stages to understand if the new concept is compatible with – and acceptable to - the people who will use it.

One of the challenges of running these types of simulation is that there is no one-size-fits-all. It’s true that they are usually run in “real time”, giving rise to the more commonly used phrase of Real Time Simulation or RTS but the technique can be applied throughout the concept life cycle and can involve a full spectrum of size, complexity and cost to meet the specific objectives.

To give an idea of the range of applications, here we explore two parts of a concept life cycle that can benefit from HITL simulation but which should be handled in very different ways
to ensure appropriate use of resources.

Read the complete article here: Training & Simulation Special Bulletin 2020 pages 18-19