Research Foundation News

May 25, 2021

PlaneEnglish launches web version of ARSim, its popular aviation communication simulator, to train civilian pilots

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Pilots worldwide have for two years been learning aviation radio communication using the app-based Aviation Radio Simulator, or ARSim, outside of the cockpit. Now they will be able to do so on the web with the launch of ARSim-web, developed by PlaneEnglish.

ARSim is a simulator and training curriculum that trains aviators in the language of flying. Created by three Purdue University alumni, ARSim trains pilots in radiotelephony and exchanges with simulated air traffic control using a variety of scenarios a pilot might encounter through every phase of flight. Pilots receive instant feedback on their performance, explanations of the communication procedures and progress tracking as they develop their skills. The result is radio-proficient pilots who are skilled and confident when communicating with air traffic control.

In 2020, PlaneEnglish received a one-year, Phase II SBIR grant worth $1 million from the U.S. Air Force and AFWERX, its technology and innovation hub, to adapt the app-based technology for the web and expand its capabilities over a period of 15 months. The Air Force began evaluating the incorporation of ARSim into its pilot training curriculum in August. This latest web release creates a more accessible platform for classroom demonstrations at flight schools across the country and an additional means of access.

"Mastering aviation communication is essential to safely executing any flight," said Muharrem Mane, CEO of PlaneEnglish and a graduate of Purdue's School of Aeronautics and Astronautics. "With the PlaneEnglish ARSim, pilots in training receive the real-world practice and feedback necessary to hone their skills and build their confidence in radio communication. ARSim is an essential tool in any flight training program."

The new web interface enables both flight schools and individual users to complete 200-plus lessons covering both visual flight rules and instrument flight rules. The modules simulate a range of simple and complex interactions with air traffic control pertaining to taxi out, takeoff, airspace entrance, approaches and taxi in. In total, ARSim offers more than 65 hours of radio communications training that would be impossible to experience during flight training.

"Pilots receive roughly six hours of radio communications practice while flying during their entire training," Mane said. "Many of those interactions with Air Traffic Control (ATC) will be routine and repetitive. But what happens when a pilot flies into a different airspace, talks to a different ATC facility, or encounters unusual circumstances and needs to quickly and effectively communicate? ARSim provides hours of unique radio communications training to ensure pilots are prepared for any situation they may encounter and have the skills and confidence to communicate with air traffic control."

ARSim is synced across mobile and desktop devices, so users retain all their progress and experience a seamless transition switching between platforms. Since its release in 2019, ARSim has been downloaded by more than 150,000 users. 

Headquartered at the Purdue Research Park, PlaneEnglish also offers a companion communications manual, "The Easy Route to Aviation Radio Proficiency: Training Manual with Activities Using ARSim Aviation Radio Simulator," and ATSim, an app-based simulation communications trainer for air traffic controllers.

Purdue Research Park contact: Steve Martin, sgmartin@prf.org 

Source: Muharrem Mane


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