Simulator Functions

Screen Functions

Screen Centre Marker

The Screen Centre Marker is displayed at the centre of the radar screen and is independent of any map offset. Used in conjunction with the Compass Rose, this tool is useful in the selection of headings for vectoring. It may be de-selected in the Display Tab of the Setup window.

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Range Rings

Range Ring Selection

A set of range rings may be displayed on the radar screen, by selecting them in the Display Tab of the Setup Window. The above graphic shows the non-metric presentation.

Range Rings may be selectively displayed, and independently centred, on the main and second radar screens.

For metric radar systems, up to 15 Primary (solid) rings at 20-kilometres intervals (i.e. 20, 40, 60 ... 300km), and up to 14 dotted rings offset at 20-kilometre intervals may be selected (i.e. 10, 30, 50 ... 290km).

For non-metric systems, up to 15 Primary (solid) rings at 10-mile intervals (i.e. 10, 20, 30 ... 150nm), and up to 15 dotted rings offset at 10-mile intervals may be selected (i.e. 5, 15, 25 ... 155nm).

The rings are initially centred at a defined point, but may be off-centred by moving the cursor to the new centre, and pressing the F6 key.

The rings may be returned to the default position by pressing Shift-F6. The colour of the range rings may be set in the Setup Window. Range rings, other than shown by default in the DIAMOND exercises, should not be necessary in VV Enroute™ or Compromised Separation training.

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Bearing and Range Lines

BRL (ground to ground)

The Bearing and Range Line (BRL) is a commonly-used tool in the VV Simulator. It provides a means of measuring the bearing (direction) and distance between map locations and aircraft; it also provides a time estimate for an aircraft at a point. There are three types of BRLs:

  1. Ground-to-ground BRLs, which measure the bearing and distance between two points on the radar map
  2. Air-to-ground BRLs, which measure the bearing and distance between an aircraft and a point on the radar map. A time estimate in UTC for the point is also displayed, based on the radar groundspeed of the aircraft.
  3. Air-to-air BRLs, which measure the bearing and distance between two aircraft. The information is dynamically updated as the aircraft move.

To activate a BRL, place the cursor over an aircraft track or the geographical location from which you wish to measure. Press F5. Move the cursor to another point or aircraft and left click. To reactivate an existing BRL, left click on the data label of the BRL. To cancel an activated BRL, press F5 or left-click or centre-click.

The total number of BRLs available at any one time will vary depending on the radar system in use. For the VV system, a total of 15 BRLs are available.

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Scale Marker

Scale Marker: VV Radar System

The Scale Marker (SCM) is a symbol used to provide a distance reference on the radar screen. It is on by default, but may be removed in the Display Tab of the Setup Window. The SCM may be independently displayed on the Main and Second radar windows.

The dimensions of the Scale Marker are 6NM by 10NM, with indicators at either 1NM or 2NM depending on the radar system in use.

Whilst the use of the Scale Marker to monitor distances is no longer a primary tool in modern radar systems, its display is mandated in some jurisdictions.

Techniques for using the SCM to measure distance is detailed in lesson content.

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Text Data Areas

Text Data Area

Text Data Areas (TDAs) are used as a reminder of operational issues that may be of significance, such as airspace activation times, frequencies or transfer levels. A TDA may be created by pressing F4 or Shift-T. Enter the text, and press Enter. TDAs may subsequently be moved (by right-clicking on the TDA), deleted (centre-click) or edited (left-click).

TDAs are attached to a geographical location, so will also appear on the second radar window if the location is visible on that screen.

Shift-F4 will remove all TDAs from the screen.

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Mouse Zoom

This function provides a method by which a smaller area on the screen may be quickly enlarged to full-screen. It is enabled/disabled in the Setup window. Right-click on the screen - a frame will appear at the cursor’s position. Drag the cursor and right-click again to complete the zoom.

If the Zoom Double Click checkbox is selected in the Display Tab of the Setup Window, then a double right-click is required to initiate the function.

Press Home or F9 to return to the default centre and scale, or either End or F10 to revert to the centre and scale previously stored using Shift-End or Shift-F10.

Mouse Zooming is settable in the Display Tab of the Setup Window.

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Compass Rose

The Compass Rose or Azimuth Scale is a display around the screen perimeter of the bearings from the Screen Centre Marker. It can greatly assist the assessment of aircraft headings by eye. The method of doing this is shown in training content.

The rose will always be placed with respect to the alignment chosen. If the map is aligned magnetically, the bearings will be magnetic ones. If it is aligned to True, bearings will be True bearings.

The Compass is selectable in the Display Tab of the Setup Window.

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Map Rotation

For some simulator scenarios, particularly those on generic airspace sectors, a one time rotation of the radar map is available. This enables the scenario to be run under a different orientation. This is especially useful for Approach/Terminal Area sectors to approximate simulation on other runway configurations.

Map Rotation

The map may be rotated by entering an offset bearing into the Rotation field located on the display tab of the Setup Window. The field initially shows the main axis of the sector. The map will be rotated to the newly entered value; so in this case, if a value of 190 was entered the map would rotate clockwise by ten degrees.

Once the clock has been started the Map Rotation facility is no longer available.

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Aspect Ratio

ATC radar screens are usually square or round in shape, to represent displacements in the horizontal and vertical directions in a consistent manner. Computer monitors, on the other hand, vary widely in size, shape and screen resolution. To obviate the difficulty in projecting a consistent image onto differently-shaped screens, the Aspect Ratio (i.e. the ratio between the horizontal and vertical dimensions of the monitor) may be changed.

The best means of determining if your aspect ratio is set correctly is to look at a circular shape on the simulator and check it for correctness. VV Training courses will supply a map for this purpose with details contained in lesson material.

The Aspect Ratio may be changed in the Display Tab of the Setup Window.

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Label Functions

Cleared Level Selection

The Cleared Level (CL or CFL) is a label indication of the level that the aircraft has been assigned. It is used by the system to monitor compliance with level clearances. The level is entered into the label using the Cleared Level Window, which is opened by left-clicking the CL.

Cleared Level Window

Depending on the radar system in use, the Cleared Level window will allow entry of visual and block levels

When a new Cleared Level is entered, it will be highlighted in a different colour. This is the CLH function and is used as an indication as to whether the correct assigned level has been read back.

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Cleared Level Highlight (CLH)

When a new Cleared Level has been entered, or when an aircraft has been accepted on handoff, the Cleared Level will be highlighted in a different colour. The CLH display may be toggled to the aircraft’s track colour by centre-clicking the Cleared Level. This function is commonly used to highlight the level of incoming aircraft, and as a memory prompt for seeking a read-back of a level instruction. When the correct assigned level is read back by the pilot, the CL is returned to track colour. This is demonstrated in the training modules.

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Coordination Prompt

The Coordination Prompt function allows a memory prompt to be added to an aircraft’s label. Centre clicking above the first letter of the aircraft callsign in the label will toggle a highlighted character on and off. This character will be an X or a C depending on the radar system in use. The prompt is commonly used to indicate whether coordination has been completed for an aircraft and/or when an aircraft has been told to transfer to the next frequency. Usage is detailed in the training modules.

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Callsign Text

Callsign Text

The VV Simulator uses International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) codes for aircraft callsigns. To assist learning them, the telephony for a callsign may be displayed in full text by ‘hovering’ the cursor over the callsign in a label. The text wording is what the speech recognition understands as the callsign for a particular aircraft.

The Callsign Text feature may be disabled in the Setup window.

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Operational Data

Operational Data (also called Label Data) is information that may be added to the aircraft tag label to provide a memory prompt of some information about the aircraft. Heading, speed and requested level information is commonly stored in this area.

Left click the Operational Data field (below the level information) to enable data entry.

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Label Popup Window

Popup Window

The Popup Window is a means by which commonly used functions can be easily accessed from the tag label. It is only available for certain radar systems and is disabled in certain scenarios that do not require its use.

The window is opened by left-clicking the radar callsign. Some or all of the following buttons may be present:

  • FPL: Opens the Flight Plan Window
  • RTE: Displays the graphic route
  • ACC: Accepts an aircraft that is handing over in
  • DCT: Allows the Flight Plan to be rerouted direct to a position.
  • RER: Allows a graphic reroute to be commenced.
  • HND: Allows an aircraft to be handed over to another controller
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    J-Rings

    J Ring

    A J-Ring (or Halo) is a circle surrounding a radar return used to monitor a separation standard. The availability of J-Rings is dependent on the radar system in use.

    J Ring Selection

    J-Rings may be enabled in the Setup Window. Once enabled, individual J-Rings may be toggled on/off for a selected aircraft by pressing SHIFT-J. Various distance settings are available in the setup window, and different distance settings are able to be allocated for different aircraft tracks.

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    Individual Quick Look

    The Individual Quick Look (IQL) function enables the controller to change an aircraft label to a highlight color. Depending on the radar system more than one alternative color may be available.

    Centre-click the aircraft track (radar return) to toggle through the available IQL colors.

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    Keyboard Functions

    Letter Keys

    Key

    Action

    Shift-A

    Accept an aircraft hand-off. The ENTER key or the ACC button on the Label Popup Window may also be used to accept aircraft.

    Shift-H

    Handoff the selected aircraft to another controller. For this function, the + (Plus) key on the numeric keypad, or the HND button on the Label Popup Window may alternatively be used. Note that this function may be disabled in some exercises.

    Shift-J

    Add a J-Ring for the selected aircraft

    Shift-K

    Kill an aircraft (remove it from the exercise). Note that this function is disabled in some exercises.

    Shift-P

    Open Cockpit Data Display for selected aircraft.

    Shift-R

    Display Graphic Route for selected aircraft.

    Shift-T

    Create a Text Data Area at current cursor position

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    Function Keys

    Key

    Action

    F2

    Move the Scale Marker to the cursor position.

    F4

    Create a Text Data Area at current cursor position. Shift-T can also be used for this function.

    Shift-F4

    Remove all Text Data Areas.

    F5

    Generate a Bearing and Range Line.

    Shift-F5

    Remove all Bearing and Range Lines.

    F6

    Position Range Rings to be centred at current cursor position.

    Shift-F6

    Reposition Range Rings to be centred at default centre.

    F8

    Display a Graphic Route for the selected aircraft. Shift-R may also be used for this function. .

    Shift-F8

    Remove all displayed Graphic Routes.

    F9

    Return to default centre and range.

    F10

    Restore custom centre and range.

    Shift-F10

    Store current centre and range as a custom setting. This is restored with F10.

    F11

    Return clock speed to normal (1.0).

    F12

    Double clock speed (2.0).

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    Other Keys

    Key

    Action

    Arrow Keys

    Offcentre screen in direction of arrow.

    Home

    Restore default centre and range.

    Page Up

    Decrease Scale.

    Page Down

    Increase Scale.

    End

    Restore custom centre and range. F10 may also be used for this.

    Shift-End

    Store current centre and range as a custom setting. This is restored with F10 or End.

    Insert

    Centre Map at current cursor position.

    Ctrl

    Initiate radio call. This is referred to as the Press-to-talk (PTT) key.

    Enter

    Accept an aircraft Handing Off.

    +

    Open the handoff window for handing an aircraft off to another controller. This function may be disabled in some exercises.

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    Advanced Functions

    Trail Information

    If this function is enabled (default is ON) a trail distance, or aircraft spacing, (in nautical miles) is displayed for a second aircraft that has been sequenced to follow. The trail display will appear for a few seconds when the first aircraft of a pair passes a specific fix (enroute/area) or lands (approach/terminal).

    This provides some feedback on accuracy of the sequencing. Details of what may be considered an ideal trail are covered fully in the supporting modules. This function may be enabled/disabled in the Setup window, and is available only in certain sequencing exercises.

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    Cockpit Data Display

    Cockpit Data

    The Cockpit Data display is used for ATC training purposes, to assist in understanding the navigation information presented to the pilot. Open the Cockpit Data Display by selecting an aircraft and pressing Shift-P.

    Left- and Right-click to change the scale of the display, and Centre-click to restore the default scale.

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    Graphic Route

    The Graphic Route function provides a graphic display of the planned track of a particular aircraft. To display the Graphic Route, select the aircraft by left-clicking on the radar track. Press Shift-R or F8 to toggle the route display on and off. Alternatively, the route may be displayed by clicking RTE in the Label Popup Window. the radar system continually monitors the position of each aircraft and compares it to its Graphic Route. If the aircraft deviates in excess of a pre-selected distance off-track, a RTE alert will be generated.

    To avoid RTE alerts, and to maintain a correct record of where the aircraft is going, it is important to edit the Graphic Route where possible. This is called Rerouting an aircraft.

    To reroute an aircraft, first Select it by left-clicking the radar track. Press Shift-E or click the RER button in the Label Popup Window - this will activate Reroute Mode. Next, the reroute is started by left-clicking either on the aircraft track or on a point in the route. Move the mouse, and left-click on the radar map where the aircraft is cleared to fly. The new route will be indicated with a dotted line. Complete the reroute by either:

  • Left-clicking on another point in the aircraft’s graphic route to complete the reroute at that point; or
  • Right-clicking on the radar map to activate the Reroute Direct Window, which enables a point to be selected for completion of the reroute; or
  • Centre-clicking or pressing Escape to cancel the reroute.
  • A simple method of updating the graphic route is by the use of the DCT button in the Label Popup Window. This has the effect of rerouting the graphic route from the aircraft's current position to the position selected.

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    Mouse Click Control

    The Mouse Click control functionality can be used to issue control instructions to aircraft without the use of Speech Recognition. It is available in some radar systems.

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    Alerts

    Conflict Alerts

    Conflict Alerts are generated when two aircraft are within, or predicted to be within, the defined horizontal and vertical parameters allowed. These parameters will depend on the sector under control.

    Depending on the radar system in use, the Conflict Alert will be presented as either a line drawn between two aircraft tracks, or an indication in the radar tag label.

    Label alerts can be acknowledged by centre-clicking on the alert acronym.

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    Cleared Level Alerts

    Cleared Level Alert

    The Cleared Level alert is triggered when an aircraft is not at, or climbing or descending towards the Cleared Level in the radar label. It will result in an alert acronym (either CL or CLAM depending on the radar system in use) being placed into the label. In some radar systems, the label alert may be acknowledged by centre-clicking.

    The incidence of a Cleared Level alert is an indication that either the cleared level entry in the label is incorrect, or that the aircraft is not complying with its level clearance.

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    Level Alert

    Level Alerts

    Level alerts are triggered when an aircraft is detected outside the range of allowable levels, as in the MAZE and NEXUS exercises. The alert acronym will appear in the label and can be acknowledged with a centre-click.

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    Emergency Alerts

    Alerts for emergency conditions:

  • HIJ - Hijack,
  • EMG – General Emergency, and
  • RAD – Radio Fail
  • are also supported by the VV Simulator. These conditions are not simulated in standard VV Training courses, but may be included in specialist courses.

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    Route Alert

    A Route Alert is an indication that the system has detected a radar or surveillance return that is outside the tolerances of the Graphic Route that has been entered into the system for the aircraft. Typically this will mean that the paint is greater than 7NM (or 15KM) from the entered route.

    This feature may be disabled in the Setup Window.

    On triggering a Route Alert, an acronym will appear in the label. Depending on the radar system in use, this will be either RTE or RAM (for Route Adherence Monitoring).

    The alert can be acknowledged by centre-clicking the label indication. The alert may be cleared by amending the graphic route so that the radar return is now within tolerances. This is typically done with the Reroute Function or the Direct Function from the Label Popup Window.

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    Special Exercise Modes

    Task Trainer

    Task Trainer Display

    A Simulator Task Trainer is a short exercise that provides instruction and practice in common simulator functions (‘which buttons to press’). A panel containing a list of tasks to be completed is displayed as shown above.

    Task Trainer tip

    An explanation of how to perform a particular action may be viewed by left-clicking the function in the pane. An example is shown above for the display of the Graphic Route. When the task has been performed correctly, a tick appears adjacent to the function.

    Ticks may be reset by left-clicking on the Reset Button.

    The Task Trainer panel will contain different tasks depending on the training course being undertaken. Full details are contained in lesson material

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    Exercises with limited functionality

    Some exercises in VV training courses are deliberately constructed with limited functionality. For instance, some exercises may allow only turn instructions, with no level assignment permitted. Others, such as maze exercises may have limited bands of levels that may be assigned.

    Full details are provided in supporting documentation.

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    General Functions

    Variable Clock Speed

    The speed of the simulator clock can be set from half (0.5) to double (2.0) speed. This is done using the slider in the Exercise Tab of the Setup Window, or by using a keyboard shortcut.

    The F12 key will advance the exercise to double (x2.0) speed, and F11 will return it to normal (x1.0) speed. When the simulator is running at other than normal speed, an indication will appear to the left of the clock at the top of screen. Left-clicking on this speed indicator will return the exercise to normal speed.

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    Rewind Function

    For some exercises, when the exercise is paused, a slide-bar appears just below the Start/Stop/Continue button on the simulator screen. This enables the exercise to be rewound to any previous time to allow a particular traffic scenario to be repeated. Click Restore to return to the current time.

    When the exercise is restarted, data after this time is lost and.

    Note that this feature is disabled for some exercises depending on the exercise setting. In particular it is not available in Maze exercises.

    For Compromised Separation exercises and other scenario-based exercises, a scenario may be repeated using the Repeat Button.

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    Repeat Button

    Repeat Button

    The Repeat Button is used to repeat a special scenario such as a Compromised Separation or Spot Vectoring scenario. It will not be visible in other exercises.

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