Unmanned Aircraft Systems Test Sites

I-Sim using ATAC tools

Powerful simulation and data analysis tools

Update: ATAC has been awarded the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Technical and Engineering Support contract at the FAA’s William J. Hughes Technical Center in Atlantic City, N.J. ATAC will be providing modeling and simulation support for FAA-hosted testing of developmental UAS at the Technical Center including studies into human factors, sense and avoid, control and communications, and maintenance and repair.

The recent FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 specified certain requirements for unmanned aerial systems within the national airspace. These requirements include the safe designation of airspace for manned and unmanned operations, addressing both civil and public unmanned aircraft needs, and the safe integration of unmanned aircraft into the National Airspace System (NAS).

ATAC can simulate and evaluate the interactions of manned and unmanned systems and demonstrate their integrated operations in any environment.


Today, the combination of simulation and recorded NAS activity is used by the FAA to evaluate airspace changes and traffic procedures on projects requiring realism, and high accuracy. ATAC uses PDARS and other recorded NAS flight operations data to provide very high fidelity Human-in-the-Loop and fast-time simulations of air operations in any environment.

ATAC and Kongsberg-Gallium have tools and services that provide a solution for:

  • Creating models of air traffic in your location
  • Conducting safety analyses and studies, including air and ground based “Sense and Avoid”, and “control and communications”
  • Easily creating any type of UAV to analyze and demonstrate integration of UAS into the NAS in any airspace or airfield environment
  • Conducting Independent Verification/Validation
  • Modeling special classes of airspace for study
  • Evaluating weather patterns and effects

Simulation Tools

ATAC, in partnership with Kongsberg Gallium, have simulation, data recording, and analysis tools currently in use with the FAA which can be employed to enhance the test site capability for meeting critical FAA requirements.

ATAC and Kongsberg Gallium’s low cost tools are currently in use by the FAA to simulate the NAS. The FAA records air traffic data on a daily basis to evaluate ATM and airspace performance, review operations, detect inefficiencies, and analyze the NAS for safety purposes. Radar, weather, flight plan, map, and aircraft data are stored on a daily basis and used to generate reports and/or used for simulation purposes.

This information is a recorded time capsule of airspace activity in a particular state or locality. When imported into I-SIM, an air traffic control simulator, evaluators may quickly combine real air traffic, maps and weather together on a display which replicates the air traffic control displays. Any type of unmanned aircraft may be modeled by entering flight characteristics of the aircraft into the simulator’s modeling engine. Unmanned Aircraft can then be integrated by simulation into the traffic and their interactions evaluated. These Manned/Unmanned interactions may be simulated using real traffic, specific unmanned aircraft and a site’s specific airspace before conducting live exercises.

ATAC's SkyViewâ„¢ provides a comprehensive set of software tools for gathering aviation performance and supporting data, measuring and base-lining operations, and helping to design, implement, and evaluate operational improvements. SkyView can be configured with the FAA’s AEDT for the computation of fuel burn, emissions and noise. In the basic configuration, SkyView provides flight tracks, flight plans and detailed weather data to AEDT, which conducts the fuel burn, emissions and/or noise computations. SkyView can be provided as a component in Kongsberg Gallium’s I-SIM ATC simulator. In this configuration, SkyView provides the capability for quick scenario generation from processed live data.

RF Spectrum Management

ATAC’s NASMOD simulation modeling is capable of modeling military and civilian UAS operations and is particularly suited for modeling resource requirements such as frequency spectrum. Used as a forecasting tool for capacity analysis, NASMOD can help ensure that operations planning will make effective use of limited spectrum resources.

Data provide the key

Reliable data are needed by the FAA to support informed decision-making on UAS integration into the NAS. ATAC is uniquely positioned to provide data and system performance evaluation to the FAA. For over a decade, ATAC has developed and managed PDARS which enables processing of complex and extremely large data sets as well as reliable extraction of relevant information, allowing FAA users to quickly focus on operationally significant problems. ATAC also employs Simmod PRO!, providing the capability to conduct complex simulation analyses not achievable by other modeling tools currently on the market.

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