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Air Traffic Control (ATC) Lab

Three people at workstations in ATC simulation lab

The Air Traffic Control (ATC) Simulation Laboratory contains several air traffic control and pseudo-pilot workstations to provide NASA with an integrated environment for operating and testing new air traffic management concepts that will be safer, greener, and more efficient.

One half of the ATC Simulation Lab consists of simulation workstations that can be used to create any combination of tower, terminal, and en route controller positions. These stations provide air traffic controllers with the look and feel of an actual air traffic control facility. This half of the lab also contains several researcher workstations for managing the simulation environment and analyzing data. The other half of the lab consists of pseudo-pilot workstations that are used to create and “fly” the aircraft in the simulated airspace.

The ATC Simulation Lab enables NASA researchers to perform complex human-in-the-loop simulations to evaluate the performance of new concepts, procedures, and technologies and determine how well such technologies perform with the addition of humans in the decision-making loop. The lab has been used for a number of critical demonstrations and simulations.