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Content archived on 2024-04-19



The aim of the Multi Aircraft Training Environment (MATE) project is to use advanced software and man-machine interface technology to exploit the hiatus in the market for pilot training equipment.

Current pilot training is based on (a) expensive high fidelity flight simulators, and (b) low-cost low-fidelity CBT (Computer Based Training) systems. The high cost of (a) and the limited training value of (b) means that ownership of training equipment is not cost-effective for the smaller operators.

The objective of the MATE project is to demonstrate a new pilot training system with the following characteristics:

- an artificial cockpit with virtual instrument panels based on computer-generated graphics and touch-sensitivity,
- optimum fidelity simulation of aircraft systems using innovative discrete event simulation software,
- intelligent software-based support for trainees and instructors based on knowledge of trained procedures,
- full end-user reconfigurability for a range of lessons and aircraft types,
- low cost of ownership.

The MATE artificial cockpit will be designed by means of an extensive programme of Human Factors research. The result will be maximum training effectiveness for procedures training obtained at a level of fidelity that avoids the expense of full realism without incurring negative training transfer. The novel interactive display technology required to achieve this has been defined in the project and is currently being developed and demonstrated.

The software basis of MATE will be a form of discrete event simulation with which both aircraft systems and the trained procedures are simulated in advance of real time. An interface to the artificial cockpit will provide the trainee pilot with a realistic real time projection of the aircraft systems behaviour with which he or she is able to interact using the touch-sensitive controls. A further interface will allow the intelligent support software to evaluate the trainee's actual performance against the ideal, and to provide context-sensitive help if required.

For the end-user, MATE will be cheap to purchase, to upgrade, and to adapt to new training requirements. It will also be easy to use both under instructor supervision in formal training programmes, and by pilots working alone to practice and refresh their skills. The first MATE systems will be aimed at small commuter airlines - operating SAAB 340, SAAB 2000, Dornier 328, and who therefore need to purchase training from training schools. These airlines may achieve an immediate and significant reduction in their training costs by purchasing the MATE system. Once successfully launched, MATE will be targeted on the wider pilot training as a cost-effective device for procedures training, supplementing the more expensive simulators currrently used for this purpose

Call for proposal

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Participants (8)