MARS defies multitasking, work as many as eight pieces of technology at the same time
During Oct 21-23, Raytheon has demonstrated Multi-platform ATC Re-hosting Solution, MARS for short, to match the demands of as much multitasking as air-traffic controllers where professionals can monitor multiple data streams and work on eight pieces of technology at the same time. It became possible after, Raytheon Company and AirMap, the leading global airspace intelligence platform for drones, integrated AirMap’s unmanned aerial systems (UAS) monitoring capabilities onto the working prototype of Raytheon’s next-generation air traffic controller workstation (MARS). Now when drones fly in controlled airspace, they will share the sky with many other types of aircraft.
To lessen a few professions burden, Raytheon with the MARS system combines the clutter of monitors, trackballs, and keyboards into a much cleaner configuration using tablet and touchpad technology. MARS offers air traffic controllers streamlined access to UAS monitoring designed to improve the safety of drone integration. It has prototyped and aims to offer to air traffic management and military agencies around the world.
Less is more, MARS displays real-time airspace awareness
MARS debut can be daunting to air traffic controllers due to retraining and recertification requirements. Also, they need real-time airspace awareness and alerts to unusual drone activity to fly them safely into the national airspace system. The system can scale high benefits, as follows:
- Controllers through one or two 43-inch touchscreen monitors can see an integrated picture of flight, surveillance, weather, and airport data from multiple air traffic applications.
- MARS can improve the flow and feel of the air traffic control facilities themselves – especially those where monitors are mounted on walls and controllers must walk back and forth to look at them. A single MARS system can replace those unnecessary monitors and individual input devices.
- MARS can be used within 60 miles of an airport.
- According to the virtual demonstration, the AirMap technology alerts the MARS user of a drone or unconfirmed flight behavior within the controlled airspace surrounding a major airport.
“You never have to take your eyes of the screens. And we’ve also made MARS so it can be adaptable to every position. Today, you need different equipment depending on your role. If you have five systems at a workstation, then you’d have five displays, five keyboards, five trackballs. MARS reduces that to two displays, one track pad and one tablet that’s a virtual keyboard,” said Jackie Dent, who leads the project for Raytheon.