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Air Traffic Management

Advanced traffic simulation and visualization technologies to help design and build the next generation of air traffic management (ATM) systems. Save time, effort, cost, and risk by applying our distributed simulation expertise and suite of tools to your ATM simulation. We provide cost effective, open solutions to visualize and simulate your scenario.

Air Traffic Management Solutions

Check out some of the ways people are using MAK's products for managing air traffic today:

Advanced Traffic Simulation

Bringing Advanced Traffic Simulation and Visualization Technologies to Help Design and Build the Next-Generation ATM System

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is embarking on an ambitious project to upgrade the nation’s air traffic management (ATM) systems. Each team under the FAA Systems Engineering 2020 (SE2020) IDIQ will need an integrated, distributed modeling and synthetic simulation environment to try out their new systems and concepts. Aircraft manufacturers will need to upgrade their aircraft engineering simulators to model the new ATM environment in order to test their equipment in realistic synthetic environments.

MAK saves our customers time, effort, cost, and risk by applying our distributed simulation expertise and suite of tools to ATM simulation. We provide cost effective, open solutions to meet ATM visualization and simulation requirements, in the breadth of application areas:

  • Concept Exploration and Validation
  • Control Tower Training
  • Man-Machine Interface Research
  • System Design (by simulating detailed operation)
  • Technology Performance Assessment

VT MAK is in a unique position to help your company in this process. Many players in the aviation space already use MAK products for simulation, visualization, and interoperability. For the ATM community we can offer:

  • Simulation Integration and Interoperability. The US has standardized on the High Level Architecture (HLA) protocol for interoperability and the MAK RTI is already in use as part of the AviationSimNet. We can provide general distributed  simulation interoperability services, including streaming terrain (VR-TheWorld, GIS Enabled Modeling & Simulation), gateways to operational systems (VR-Exchange), simulation debugging and monitoring (HLA Traffic Analyzer).
  • Visualization. MAK’s visual simulation solution, VR-Vantage, can be used to create 3D representations of the airspace from the big picture to an individual airport. VR-TheWorld can provide the central terrain storage.
  • Simulation. VR-Forces is an easy to use CGF used to develop specific models for non-commercial aviation entities such as UAVs, fighter aircraft, rogue aircraft, people on the ground, ground vehicles, etc. In addition, as an open toolkit, VR-Forces may well be preferred in many labs over the closed ATC simulators.

Airspace Management


NASA Project Wins, Grows with the MAK RTI


As aviation technology has improved, commercial air traffic has increased significantly, requiring better airspace management techniques. In an attempt to develop better air capacity, safety, and flexibility, NASA’s Air Traffic Operations Laboratory (ATOL) used a massive simulation environment called Air and Traffic Operations Simulation (ATOS) to explore better techniques. As the project’s success lead to its growth, NASA required a licensing option that would be easily scalable in a simulation that is ever-expanding.

The Challenge:

NASA originally needed a tool that could effectively communicate and maintain all the entities involved in its complex, multi-laboratory, simulation that includes 400+ workstation-based high-fidelity aircraft simulators networked together. The simulation would eventually demand a creative, flexible solution so that licensing restrictions would not hinder its development.

The MAK Solution:

VT MAK offers commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) technology to facilitate Air Traffic Management simulations, backed by a company with an “engineer down the hall” philosophy to help organizations creatively solve their implementation issues. The MAK RTI has been used by ATOL for over a decade to enable their High Level Architecture (HLA) federations to rapidly and efficiently communicate the positioning and actions of entities in the ATOS simulation. It was also used to communicate with external laboratories at NASA LaRC, NASA Ames Research Center, FAA and other compliant facilities. As the simulation’s success led to the growth in the number of federates and labs involved in the simulation, NASA’s needs changed. The ATOL required a way to use unlimited instances of the MAK RTI, and needed to do it in a way that would be cost-efficient. MAK’s “engineer own the hall” philosophy played a big role in ensuring success, as we worked out a custom licensing model to meet their needs and ensure that MAK would continue to play a role in the success of the ATOL.

We were able to reach Glover Barker of NASA Langley Research Center for comment: “At NASA Langley Research Center, we have used the MAK RTI libraries since 2005. Our Airspace and Traffic Operations Simulation (ATOS) uses High Level Architecture (HLA), so we initially tried an open source HLA solution. But the quality and reliability were not adequate, so we purchased RTI from MAK. MAK's RTI implementation conforms well to HLA standards, so we could easily substitute MAK RTI for the open source solution. We have been satisfied customers ever since.”

“MAK has steadily improved their product in every new release. MAK's technical support always responds quickly and helpfully when we have questions or problems. When needed, they have sent staff to our site to inspect our environment, and made recommendations to change our configuration. In the cases when we experienced a bug because of the unique way we used their software, MAK has diligently provided fixes for our problems. When we needed a new licensing scheme to fit our usage model, MAK delivered.”

Want to learn more? Have a look at the MAK RTI page for more information. Interested in seeing a demonstration?