VAST – Virtual Airspace and Tower

VAST aims at improving situation awareness of Air Traffic Control Officers and makes way for new technologies in European aviation.

The high demands of air-traffic control 

Air Traffic Control is a complex, safety-critical field of expertise. Currently the market allows for little innovation:
Air Traffic Control Officers (ATCOs) have been working with the same technology for decades – it is based on an abstract, two-dimensional visualization of airspace (Graphical User Interfaces of the RADAR). 
ATCOs are therefore confronted with a highly demanding task - flight levels are only indicated by text and the third dimension has to be mentally reproduced and indicated. At the same time, the interpolation of aircraft positions are being updated only every 1-4 seconds. Air Traffic control is therefore considered one of the most challenging professions.

Situation awareness through new technology

The project VAST – Virtual Airspace and Tower aims at  improving the  projecting of air traffic into a virtual space with new, state-of-the-art visual computing technologies and visualization concepts.  Vast wants to improve situation awareness of ATCOs and provide them with an equipment of higher quality than present technology can offer.

Furthermore, it wants to increase efficiency (faster decision-making) and safety (conflict detection).

LoFi Prototype VAST2&3D

LoFi Prototype VastAbstract



About the project & Low-Fidelity Prototypes
About the project & High-Fidelity Prototype

Press articles

Der volle Überblick über den Flugverkehr

Author:  Alois Pumhösel

Gernot Rottermanner arbeitet an künftigen Visualisierungen mit 3D-Ansichten für Fluglotsen, um die Übersicht zu verbessern.

Wie man mehr Flugzeuge im Luftraum "stapeln" kann

Publication date : 23.01.2017
Medium: Der Standard
Author: Norbert Regitnig-Tillian

Heimische Forscher versuchen mittels neuer Navigationslösungen, dem steigenden Verkehrsaufkommen am Himmel Herr zu werden.


Rottermanner, G., Oliveira, V. A. D. J., Kreiger, M., Graf, P., Rokitansky, C.-H., Eschbacher, K., Settgast, V., Grantz, V., Iber, M., Lechner, P., Judmaier, P., & Wagner, M. (2020). Design and Evaluation of a Tool to Support Air Traffic Control with 2D and 3D Visualizations. 2020 IEEE Conference on Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces (VR), Atlanta, USA.
Rottermanner, G., Settgast, V., Judmaier, P., Eschbacher, K., & Rokitansky, C.-H. (2019). VAST: A High-Fidelity Prototype for Future Air Traffic Control Scenarios. Proceedings of the 17th European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work - Demos and Posters, Reports of the European Society for Socially Embedded Technologies: vol. 3, no. 2.
Aigner, W. (2018, May 6). Visual Analytics as a Design Science Discipline [Inivited talk]. ICG Lab Talk, Johannes-Kepler University Linz (Austria).
Aigner, W. (2018, April 26). Visual Analytics as a Design Science Discipline [Invited talk].
Rind, A., Iber, M., & Aigner, W. (2018). Bridging the Gap Between Sonification and Visualization. Proc. AVI Workshop on Multimodal Interaction for Data Visualization (MultimodalVis).
Rottermanner, G., Wagner, M., Kalteis, M., Iber, M., Judmaier, P., Aigner, W., Settgast, V., & Eggeling, E. (2018). Low-Fidelity Prototyping for the Air Traffic Control Domain. Mensch Und Computer 2018 - Workshopband, 605–614.
Rottermanner, G., Judmaier, P., Eggeling, E., Grantz, V., & Kriegshaber, U. (2018). Virtual Airspace and Tower (VAST). Open Access Tagungsband 12. Forschungsforum Der Österreichischen Fachhochschulen. 12. Forschungsforum der Österreichischen Fachhochschulen, FH Salzburg.
Rottermanner, G., Wagner, M., Settgast, V., Grantz, V., Iber, M., Kriegshaber, U., Aigner, W., Judmaier, P., & Eggeling, E. (2017). Requirements Analysis & Concepts for Future European Air Traffic Control Systems. Workshop Vis in Practice - Visualization Solutions in the Wild, IEEE VIS 2017.

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Media Computing Research Group
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Involved Institutes, Groups and Centers
Carl Ritter von Ghega Institute for Integrated Mobility Research
Institute of Creative\Media/Technologies
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