College of Aeronautics and Engineering purchasing new air traffic control simulator

Ray BukhariReporter

The College of Aeronautics and Engineering at Kent State is procuring a new Air Traffic Control (ATC) simulator for fall 2020 from UFA Inc., a world-leading provider of cloud-based, advanced ATC simulation.

The controller training and research tools are used by air navigation service providers, military organizations and airports. The new simulator will significantly advance simulation capabilities for maintaining a preeminent air traffic control program at Kent State and advance capabilities in conducting meaningful research.

“We will be using our state-of-the-art ATC simulator to test Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) capabilities and interaction of Unmanned Aerial Systems airspace (UAS) Traffic Management with the current ATC infrastructure,” Jenna Merriman, ATC lecturer at Kent State, said. “We are most excited to be a part of a project that could help in the architecture of UAS and the creation of universal testing machine procedures.”

The new simulator will be a centerpiece of Kent State’s research contributing to the Interoperability, Resiliency and Contingency Management for Ohio UAS Operations project funded by the Ohio Federal Research Network (OFRN). This is a multi-organization effort in defining Ohio unmanned traffic management, led by CAL Analytics in Dayton, including CAE faculty: Md Amiruzzaman, Jenna Merriman and Blake Stringer.

“We will be using our new ATC simulator to test our airspace and procedures for UTM,” Merriman said. “Some of the money awarded from OFRN was used to pay for the new simulation equipment.”

The College of Aeronautics and Engineering has selected UFA Inc. as the vendor that offered the best overall value. The proposed purchase agreement will be for an initial term of three years at $770,000 with an option for the university to renew the software licensing and updates for up to seven years at $60,000 each year. 

The college anticipates the ability to increase participation in state or federal research initiatives, increase university relationships with state and federal UAS test centers and participate in Small Business Innovative Research with innovative companies and the FAA Centers of Excellence.

This system will be used by more than 400 students in the aeronautics program and air traffic control major.

 Contact Ray Bukhari at [email protected].