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Air traffic Cloud-based TrainER (ACTER)

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N68335-23-C-0152
Agency Tracking Number: N211-010-0561
Amount: $789,738.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: N211-010
Solicitation Number: 21.1
Solicitation Year: 2021
Award Year: 2023
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2022-12-06
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2024-12-23
Small Business Information
12803 Belhurst Ln
Bowie, MD 20715-3925
United States
DUNS: 078736487
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Yes
Principal Investigator
 Chris Shannon
 (386) 453-3929
Business Contact
 Alex Nguyen
Phone: (202) 596-1007
Research Institution

We are proposing to design and develop “ACTER” – Air traffic Cloud-based TrainER, in collaboration with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU). Our proposed game will be a tablet-based casual gaming platform with multiple mini games designed to provide Sailors with the means to practice skills they would find in a professional environment, with cloud-integrated features to allow use from anywhere in the world. Our team of researchers will develop the Assisted Guidance Engine, a machine learning-based algorithm used for generating “missions” utilized by ACTER’s various mini games. These missions will be tuned to the Sailor’s individual learning progress in the respective task-based mini game to maximize their education.   Our proposed game will be in the form of a casual gaming platform consisting of multiple mini games. Each mini game is directly tied to an Air Traffic Control (ATC) specific activity to provide targeted practice in both the fundamentals as well as outlier scenarios such as animals on the runway. These will include Flight Data/Clearance Delivery, Ground Control, Local Control, ASR Final Control, PAR Final Control, and Arrival Control. Players will advance in a progression system where they start from a Ground Controller rank with defined rank badge color, operations, growing number of traffic, and event as they progress through the rank. Once the player unlocks all events and capabilities in their rank, they are promoted to the next rank. The events and capability milestones will be built by our ATC instructors based on the Navy’s curriculum and syllabus. Missions will be generated based on historical data of real-life operations or instructor generated, where the Assisted Guidance Engine verifies and adapts the scenario events and player activity requirements to the player’s rank. A feedback loop in the game will suggest missions to the player based on their past performance.   The game platform will be single-player with the ability to compare personal statistics against fellow classmates. Each mini game will provide respective metrics to both the Sailor and instructors. Instructors will be able to review metrics for individual Sailors as well as aggregated metrics for the class and each mini game on a tailored website. Instructors will also have the ability on the website to override the Assisted Guidance Engine and assign manually-defined missions to the Sailors, both on an individual or class scale.   Based on our research and experience, there are a few online ATC related games that are low fidelity games that are not intended for training purposes and are mostly developed for amusement. In contrast, our application will be able to be played on any current Android or iPad tablet. It will aid the Sailors learning progress using generated missions tailored to their strengths and weaknesses. The platform will also provide detailed metrics on global and individual levels to inform the instructors on their class performance.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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