Media Contact:
Jim Ong



SAN MATEO, CA, July 17, 2003 – The U.S. Navy has awarded Stottler Henke Associates, Inc. (San Mateo, Calif. — a $4 million contract to enhance and extend its PC-based simulation system for training helicopter crew members on cockpit operations.

Stottler Henke’s original “OMIA” operator system interface part-task trainer (PTT), which simulates the operation of the mission display and the center console of the aircraft, is currently used in the Navy’s fleet training program for MH-60S “Sierra” helicopter crews at the Navy’s helicopter training squadron, HC-3, at Naval Air Station North Island near San Diego.

The enhanced PTT will add simulated avionics controls to teach pilots, co-pilots and sensor operators the new common-cockpit MH-60R and MH-60S aircraft in an increasingly broad variety of mission tasks and analyses, using the wide assortment of sensor, navigation, and computational resources available.

“OMIA gives students cockpit ‘button crunching’ training, so that when they get into the helicopter or a glass simulator, they know what’s where,” said Navy LCDR Sal Rafanello, Training Systems Integrated Product Team leader for the MH-60S. “In its current iteration, OMIA has already saved the government millions of dollars, compared to using a fully-featured glass simulator. It’s just what we need to get students familiar with button crunching.”

The enhanced version of OMIA being developed under the new contract will be for “Mission Avionics Subsystem Training” (MAST), incorporating a model cockpit for two students. Students will use actual buttons instead of a computer mouse, to give them a more ergonomically true idea of what a cockpit looks and feels like. Stottler Henke’s simulation software will interact with Microsoft Flight Simulator to provide the flight dynamics and display.

“From day one, OMIA has been designed for flexibility, because the Common Cockpit itself is a moving target,” said Dr. Robert Richards, Stottler Henke’s OMIA project manager. “The flexible design allows OMIA to work with and control Microsoft Flight Simulator if it is installed, to use commercial off-the-shelf technology and/or custom hardware when attached, and to still function as a complete standalone application.”

A valuable byproduct of the project has been development of a tool called KeyBuilder, which facilitates not only modifications to the OMIA trainer, but also enhancements to the Common Cockpit design. KeyBuilder allows the OMIA programmable key set to be updated easily via drag and drop on a PC screen to match upgrades to the Common Cockpit programmable key set. This capability allows developers to easily build and test possible layout improvements.

The $4 million Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (ID/IQ) contract was awarded by the Naval Air Warfare Center, Aircraft Division in Lakehurst, New Jersey.

Founded in 1988, Stottler Henke Associates, Inc. applies artificial intelligence and other advanced software technologies to solve problems that defy solution using traditional approaches. The company delivers intelligent software solutions for education and training, planning and scheduling, knowledge management and discovery, decision support, and software development. Stottler Henke’s clients include manufacturers, retailers, educational media companies and government agencies. Web: