AwSim Frequently Asked Questions


What is AwSim?

AwSim is a suite of trajectory simulation, conflict prediction, and metrics tools that have been developed to perform a variety of air traffic simulation and evaluation tasks. It has been developed as a tool to quantify, (through simulation and data analysis), the response to a given air traffic situation within a predefined airspace structure, resulting from controlled changes to the input parameters for the trajectories or the airspace configuration. AwSim offers the capability to simulate flights and produce metrics. Flights are simulated as a population of 4-dimensional trajectories. These trajectories include latitude, longitudinal, altitude, and time to describe the aircraft movement. They also include other information such as aircraft type, equipment, departure weights, and fuel burn parameters for example. AwSim produces output metrics that allow users to closely analyze such things as flights-to-airspace loading, airspace ‘busyness’ and efficiency, conflict statistics, and traffic patterns, along with many other flight related statistics.


Who can use AwSim?

AwSim can be used by anyone that is interested in observing and measuring the effect of changes in the airspace. These changes can include such things as air traffic policy, procedures, fleet mix, equipage, demographic effects, or anything that changes air travel. AwSim is primarily used in the civilian aviation sector. It is currently in use at several locations within the FAA headquarters, William J. Hughes Technical Center, NASA Langley, and ATH Group.


What do you get with an AwSim suite?

The AwSim Suite consists of the following pieces:

  • The AwSim Simulation and playback capability.
  • The AwSim Metrics capability, which can be used for analysis of simulated data or actual recorded traffic data.
  • Avid - a flight display and visual analysis program.
  • Flightscope - a visual and statistical correlation tool for air traffic over a multi-day horizon.

Companion products sold separately are:

  • AwTrak - a light data processing tool that processes flight planning data, wind data, and surveillance information into 4d trajectories.
  • AERALIB® - an object oriented software library for rapid prototyping and development of aviation prototypes and systems.

What type of model best describes AwSim simulation?

AwSim is an agent-based model employing Monte-Carlo algorithms to model chance or random events. The agents in AwSim are aviation specific, such as flight trajectories and airspaces. It can also be used with captured traffic as a starting point using the data in a bootstrap mode or as a source of connection pairs to be used in simulation.


What can Flightscope be used for?

Flightscope operates on groups of trajectories or groups of days of trajectories. It does both a statistical analysis and a visual analysis of the data. In this way we can, for example, look at all of the instances of a particular flight number over several months. We can examine the data statistically, to identify any trends or outliers. Once we find a flight that is interesting, we can then locate that flight automatically on the visual display.

Flightscope has proven useful for analysis of city pairs and for block times for specific flights. In particular in examining the efficiency of various routing options.


What operating system(s) does AwSim run on?

AwSim can run on any ANSI standard operating system with the exception of the graphics display. The display currently runs under windows.