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Desk-top UseiTThe ATC User Input Translator (ATC UseiT), formerly called the SUN Keyboard System Translator (SunKeyST), is an essential capability used in support of real-time Air Traffic Control (ATC) simulations and/or training conducted at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) William J. Hughes Technical Center and at NASA - Ames Research Center. It has also been used by Raytheon and MITRE laboratories. The ATC UseiT translates simultaneous inputs from multiple ATC sources (i.e., STARS keyboard, STARS trackball, STARS knobs, DSR keyboard, DSR data entry keypad, and DSR trackball) into commands recognized by the host simulation or training system. This is accomplished without the need for additional hardware support from the vendors of input devices, or the need to continuously update software drivers each time the simulation operating system or software is upgraded. More benefits are listed below.

* Each unit handles 2 DSR keyboards/trackballs + 2 STARS keyboards/trackballs + 2 DACs

Physical Description

ATC UseiT with ATC devicesRack-mounted version of ATC UseiTATC Useit is available in a rack-mounted version and a desktop version. The standalone desktop unit is 10” wide x 8” deep x 4” high. It includes a small LCD display and keypad entry device. Device setup is done through the keypad on the front of the ATC UseiT box. Devices are plugged into the eight input ports on the back of the ATC UseiT and the keypad allows the user to associate the device plugged in with the input port in to which it is plugged. It allows the user to enable all input devices or to selectively designate the subset of devices that should be active. When a device is triggered (a key is depressed or trackball is moved) the data passes to the ATC UseiT and is decoded. The ATC UseiT then outputs the data in a format compatible with the host machine or machines attached to the ATC UseiT box or the network.


  • Being able to use actual ATC input devices offers the highest fidelity simulation/training
  • Flexibility offers the ability to easily integrate developmental input devices for research or testing
  • No software drivers means no dependence on input-device vendors
  • No software drivers means no impact from upgrading the operating system or simulation/training system software
  • Operating system-independent
  • Each unit is able to multiplex multiple ATC devices out through a single port
  • Simultaneous use of standard computer keyboard and ATC devices allows simulation engineers to effectively and efficiently perform system tasks on native keyboards at simulation/training time
  • Each unit handles both En Route and Terminal devices, making all translator units seamlessly compatible, interchangeable and cost effective
  • Available in Desk-Top version or Rack-Mounted version

Development for Other Uses

Diakon Solutions can effectively adapt this capability, applying the same principals, techniques and technologies to solve similar problems for the user input devices of any industry, or for any other ATC input devices,  offering all of the same benefits and possibly more.


Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)


FAA Technical Center