By absiaero

ABSI's Flight Training is Innovative Unique Powered by Machine Learning Experiential

ABSI Aerospace & Defense is building on the idea of
virtual flight training, helping to make flight training more repeatable and

It’s called SecondSky, and one part of the SecondSky solution is a mixed-reality flight simulator that uses machine learning to build scenarios that student pilots can fly repeatedly to build skills before entering the actual cockpit. 

“Simulators have been around for a long time,” Allee, Chief Technology Officer for ABSI said. “But SecondSky is different. A simulator measures student performance based on the inputs entered by an instructor pilot. There is still the binary boundary of pass or fail, and the instructor can input events or decision points along the way, which the computer will then take the student through. With SecondSky, a programmer or instructor will input the start and end points of the mission, and the computer will run through millions of scenarios to determine the most efficient and safest way to conduct the flight. Students will fly the mission, getting immediate feedback when their actions deviate from the most efficient or optimal scenario selected by the computer.”

The ideal application for a computer-based training solution like SecondSky is before students ever enter the cockpit. The repetition and feedback it enables allows students to enter subsequent flight training programs already having been guided toward the development of good habits on a specific platform. Add to that the immersive augmented reality environment SecondSky incorporates through the use of VR goggles and live air traffic controllers, and students are well prepared for live flights.

“Many of our advanced platforms today are largely computer-flown,” Allee pointed out in closing. “Military and civilian pilots are increasingly flying with various types of auto-pilot engaged, so it makes sense to build training programs that instill trust in that construct. The next generation of pilots will understand how best to capitalize on the things computers do well and where human pilots fit.”

And while that reasoning may not be compelling to everyone, the simple economics of this training alternative certainly are. Without strapping into a one-hundred-million-dollar airplane at a fuel cost of thirty thousand dollars an hour, students can get valuable feedback and possibly avoid developing bad habits that are inefficient at best and dangerous at worst.

The SecondSky solution is several steps beyond a flight simulator. It includes a full-circle training platform that takes student pilots from introductory computer-based training, through instructor-led training and peer interaction via a learning management system like no other, and finally into the SecondSky flight environment where students interact with live air traffic controllers in realistic cockpits with constant instructor coaching and interaction. To learn more about SecondSky and how it can be tailored for you, click here.