Evolution of the STR-SpeechTech StarCasterⓇ Aviation Broadcasting System
Released in 2016, StarCasterⓇ (Version 6) is an industry leading aviation broadcasting platform that enables D-ATIS (Automatic Terminal Information Service) and DVOLMET (meteorological information for aircraft in flight) solutions to be deployed as a standalone tower system, a hosted service for multiple towers, or a cloud-based subscription service. STR-SpeechTech Ltd. (STR) is pleased to provide the following update on the continued evolution of the StarCaster system.
“We continue to find that our ATC customers are looking for technology that has the flexibility to fit many different operational solutions,” said Craig Dickson, President and CEO of STR. “Whether it’s the desire to consolidate AT systems, the move to a service-oriented environment, or the advent of remote towers, StarCaster v6 offers our customers a premier, highly efficient broadcasting solution with a flexible and configurable design.”
StarCaster’s capabilities include the ability to be deployed in a SWIM environment: standardized and open interfaces for weather data exchange (WXXM), web-based user interfaces that can be accessed securely from anywhere using common web-browser, broadcast of voice messages in compliance to ATM VoIP interoperability standards, and transmission of D-ATIS messages directly to ACARS equipped aircraft.
In addition, the StarCaster system continues to evolve to meet new industry requirements and regulation. In 2021, StarCaster v6 is poised to meet upcoming industry priorities, including:
- Global Reporting Format (GRF): With the applicability of the new ICAO GRF methodology beginning on November 4, 2021, the D-ATIS will be the primary source for conveying the Runway Condition Report (RCR) to pilots via VOICE and/or D-ATIS. StarCaster D-ATIS is designed to interface with multiple AIS protocols to process the RCR via VOICE and D-ATIS for both “Snow and Ice” and “Wet Only” conditions.
- Remote and Digital Towers: StarCaster meets the CANSO Guidance Material for Remote and Digital Towers requirements to provide an effective and cost-efficient ATIS provision for “Single” and “Multiple” modes of operational deployment. Its flexible design can be deployed at both low and high traffic airports or as a remote service. StarCaster can also be configured as a hosted D-ATIS system that can aid with the centralization of digital tower services for airports of various sizes in one facility, referred to as a Remote Tower Centre (RTC).
Since its inception, Pilots and ATC staff familiar with the StarCaster line of products have recognized the unparalleled voice quality and deployment flexibility that STR offers:
- Voice Quality: The quality of STR’s patented Text-to-Speech voice technology is derived from our industry leading rules-based speech engine that utilizes our extensive database of industry vocabulary, developed and maintained specifically by our team of linguists and acoustics experts.
- Deployment Flexibility: StarCaster continues to be a chosen solution by ATC because of its flexible and configurable design. Deployment and configuration options include: Centralized as a hosted D-ATIS/D-VOLMET system to centrally manage multiple airports, D-ATIS cloud-based service to manage multiple remote and digital towers, Standalone tower system for smaller, low traffic airports, Combined VOICE ATIS and Datalink (D-ATIS) broadcast, Multiple runways and broadcasts configurations, Scalable hardware platforms, from single workstation to fully-redundant enterprise configurations that support both virtualized and bare metal deployments.
Most recently in Hong Kong, StarCaster will be deployed as an enterprise solution to satisfy HKIA’s current and future ATC operations. The StarCaster system consolidates both ATIS and En-route ATIS (also known as VOLMET) into a single modern and maintainable platform. The system will automatically produce and broadcast separate Arrival and Departure ATIS messages on discrete VHF frequencies, each containing critical information for pilots.
This will include the latest weather observations and airport operational information, as well as ICAO’s new Global Reporting Format (GRF) for runway conditions.
STR is thankful for the strong relationships with our trusted customers and industry partners. Given the current global challenges with COVID-19 and an uncertain future, STR is determined to remain focused on ensuring our StarCaster technology offering continues to exceed today’s ATIS and VOLMET best practices while anticipating future industry needs for mission-critical broadcasting solutions.