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Our History

Building our foundation with deep technical roots

The setting for ATAC’s startup in 1979 was a neighbor’s backyard in Sunnyvale, California over a casual conversation about the ideal work environment – one that truly encouraged great work. With roots in Stanford Research Institute (SRI) and Ford Aerospace and a location in the heart of Silicon Valley, the company was started with a bank loan and a good idea. The three founders, Al Bien, Banle Maletis, and Bob Ringo, were passionate about creating a company that encouraged great work and professional freedom. They fostered an atmosphere of minimal structure and bureaucracy, and the company grew very quickly.

Their first customer was the Office of Naval Research, developing computer tools and models for data analysis and modeling. All three founders had extensive experience in government-sponsored research and engineering work, and ATAC provided management and technical support services and software engineering for NASA and the Marine Corps.

ATAC experienced rapid growth over the next few years. By 1983, ATAC had 95 employees and offices in Washington, DC and San Diego, as well as onsite technical representatives at NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, California; Jacksonville Naval Air Station, Florida; and the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany, Georgia. ATAC provided services to the Department of Defense and other Federal, State and Local government agencies, as well as commercial and industrial clients.

From our beginning, ATAC has specialized in creating models, tools, and decision aids inspired by customers’ projects. ATAC strategizes to develop technology and software products providing value-added resources which complement the technical services offered to customers. In the 1980s, ATAC developed the Airport and Airspace Delay and Fuel Consumption Simulation Model (Simmod), under contract to the FAA. This tool is still used today to simulate and model aircraft flying through air-traffic-controlled en route and terminal airspace.

In the 1990s, ATAC developed Performance Data Analysis and Reporting System (PDARS) under joint sponsorship of the FAA and NASA to monitor, measure, analyze, and graphically display air traffic operations performance, based on radar flight track data from air traffic control facilities. The goal was to create a system-wide capability to monitor day-to-day operations of the National Airspace System (NAS) and to measure delivery of ATC and ATM services, to ensure that they are safe, efficient, and meet the needs of the mission.

ATAC takes pride in developing long-term contracts with our customers such as the FAA, NASA, and DoD agencies. This has been the key to ATAC’s strength and stability. Today, ATAC’s continuing success reflects the original goals of the three founders. The ATAC team is highly motivated, independent-minded, and oriented toward the success of ATAC and their clients.