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Air Navigation Service Provider LPS SR - Integrated Radar Simulation for ATCO Training

LPS SRLPS SR, š. p. a state enterprise, is the provider of air navigation services in airspace and on assigned aerodromes of the Slovak Republic. LPS SR provides a range of ATC/ATM competencies including Air Traffic Services, Aeronautical Telecommunication Services, an Aeronautical information service, a Rescue Coordination Centre, a Flight Calibration Service, and a dedicated Training facility.

The LPS Training Centre was established in 2008 and is approved by the Transport Authority (former Civil Aviation Authority of Slovak Republic) and accepted by all EU member countries. All ATM training is carried out in accordance with the applicable EU legislation. The LPS Training Centre prides itself on its ability to fulfill customers’ specific requirements and courses are organized in small groups with an individual approach. A highly qualified team and advanced equipment and facilities ensure that they provide the highest degree of training services.

The LPS Training Centre

Radar Simulation System for Training Scenarios
The Radar Simulator in the LPS Training Center in Bratislava consists of 5 instructor positions, 5 fully equipped student positions in various configurations, and 10 simulator pilot positions. The simulator runs TOPSKY and LETVIS ATM systems with software that is continuously modified and follows the latest standards in ATM. Any environment can be simulated with individual system functions and maps based on the client’s requirements. The positions can be configured for multi-sector exercises of up to 5 sectors, if needed.

In 2019, LPS embarked on a project to renew its Radar Simulator software and associated recording systems and after extensive research, chose a combined integrated solution from ALES and EIZO. The project called for state-of-the-art simulation software and a flexible simultaneous audio-video recording system to suit the varying configurations of the LPS training scenarios and trainees. They required control over recording of specific working positions and audio frequencies that could be carried out automatically through a simple simulation HMI. ALES and EIZO worked together to supply a combination of the ICZ LETVIS SIM product together with EIZO’s SafeGuard data capture and content management solution and Re/Vue lossless video encoders.

High-Accuracy Simulation of Airspace Situations
The ICZ LETVIS SIM by ALES is a system for air traffic control simulation of comprehensive airspace situations for training purposes. The system is designed for the training of air traffic control officer (ATCO) as well as technical staff. It enables air navigation service providers (ANSP) to train controllers in air traffic control tasks in a simulated environment over several levels including tower (TWR), approach (APP), and area control (ACC), as well as the training of AGDL/CPDLC (air ground data link/controller pilot data link communications) operation. The system includes high-accuracy simulation of real aircraft maneuvers in the airspace based on the real aerodynamic and performance characteristics of pre-defined aircraft types, as well as interfaces to other external simulators for integrated solutions. ALES and EIZO cooperated to integrate their technologies into a system that answered LPS SR’s needs for an effective ATCO training environment.

High-Accuracy Simulation of Airspace Situations

Audio and Video Captured “At-the-Glass” and Synchronous Replay
The EIZO solution integrated into the simulation system is comprised of the SafeGuard data content and capture management solution as well as Re/Vue video encoding & streaming devices. SafeGuard is designed to receive multiple feeds from communication interfaces to provide a highly secure archive of data to facilitate analysis, training & performance, and data management. A SafeGuard server deployed at LPS SR was designed with the end user’s needs in mind to capture and record the audio and video data from the simulation system during a training event.

Audio and Video Captured

SafeGuard initiates recording of a simulation event from the system by way of a dedicated interface, which automatically stops upon completion. The sim system video data is captured, “at-the-glass” using EIZO’s industry-leading Re/Vue video encoding device, which provides 100% lossless video, while audio is captured through a Voice Over IP (VoIP) interface. Recorded data can be accessed and synchronously replayed through one of two supplied workstations, equipped with HP Z Display Z30i monitors, by users with sufficient privileges. By integrating EIZO’s solutions into the operational ATC training simulator system, LPS SR are able to independently record screen and voice information during the training of ATCOs. The system helps instructors to analyze and evaluate individual operator’s skills.

Custom Solutions to Meet Specific Needs
Although the base requirements were met with EIZO’s off-the-shelf SafeGuard solution, there were two key areas which were modified to meet further requirements set forth by LPS SR. First, the VoIP interface, although standard, the RTP required some modifications to allow for on-the-fly variations in the source IP. The second, and major development effort, was the synchronous interface between the ALES and EIZO systems. EIZO developed an API which allowed for the ALES system to initiate recording synchronously with a training session start on pre-configured groups on the SafeGuard server. This allowed the aforementioned start and stopping of the simulation event recording. Furthermore, ALES and EIZO jointly developed a method to send student session data for storage in the SafeGuard database at the point of session initiation. This feature enables trainers to quickly identify specific recordings based on student name for efficient search and playback.

SafeGuard Re/Vue Pro

With this integrated system, LPS SR now has the ability to recall any trainee interaction based on a specific time, date, and individual performance. Furthermore, the ability to live view trainees during simulation events from the remote positions allows instructors to monitor performance without disturbing the trainee. Audio and video data can be exported from the system for playback in a standard media player or using EIZO’s dedicated offline playback software for inclusion in reports and/or further training reviews.

The Factory Acceptance Test milestone was performed on site at LPS SR due to the need to blend the three systems together for formal testing. At the time of installation, growing concerns of the COVID pandemic forced international travel to be suspended so the Site Acceptance Test was performed remotely.

Leonard Glaser-Opitz, ATC Simulation Specialist said, “Thanks to great cooperation and easy communication between LPS SR, ALES and EIZO we managed to shift our training to another level. Easy to create, store, and replay of recordings gives us new opportunities in the ways of teaching. Thanks to video and audio format provided by EIZO, hours of recordings can be stored for long period of time without affecting computer space and can be easily moved around on any USB key. Thanks to ongoing cooperation, we are constantly improving the recording system, benefiting all parties.”

Ivan Kasanicky, Sales Manager at ALES said, “Even though the project was affected by travel and staff availability limitations due to COVID we successfully delivered the project on time. This project has been a great success and our collaboration with EIZO has resulted in adding important capabilities to the ATC training simulator, increased our know-how in this area and strengthened our ability to provide the solution for more customers.”

Brian Barrelle, ATC Product Manager at EIZO said, “It’s been a real team effort between EIZO and ALES to develop a bespoke interface with features that LPS required for effective day-to-day use of the Radar Simulator and associated trainee recordings. We look forward to working with both ALES and LPS on future programs where the benefits of an integrated simulation software suite and Audio Video Recording system can be realized.”

Deployed Products
SafeGuard Data Capture & Content Management Solution
Re/Vue Encoding & Streaming Solutions

Case Studies
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