College of Aviation

Synthetic Speech and Visual Data Communications

Contact Information

Dr. Nickolas Macchiarella

Chair, Aeronautical Science

Aeronautical Science

Work: 386-226-6850


Dr. Macchiarella is conducting research, in coordination with the FAA, to determine the parameters for the implementation of a synthetic speech system on the flight deck as a means of optimizing communications between air traffic control (ATC) and pilots. The project is titled Synthetic Speech and Visual Data Communications for Flight Deck Use.  This is a $829K project focuses on how a synthetic speech system can reduce pilot's need to focus attention heads down on the flight deck, reduce workload, and enhance situation awareness.   The researcher also examines levels of conformity with a synthetic speech system compared to Controller-Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC) text-only messages and traditional ATC-Pilot voice communications. The research uses Advanced Aviation Training Devices (AATD) and Flight Training Devices (FTD) that incorporate a visual data communication interface that is oriented on the CPDLC message set for communications with ATC.  The desired goal of applying these systems into the NextGen environment is to reduce the time pilots have their attention focused inside of the flight deck and reduce workload.  The research team with its large pool of experienced professional pilots, advance aircraft simulations equipped with glass flight decks, and most uniquely a virtual air traffic simulation for pilot training (i.e., Simulated Automated Flight Training Environment with Virtual Air Traffic [SAFTE-VATTM]) that can create a flight training environment that truly mirrors reality and can be adapted to deliver NextGen type synthetic speech communications.


Nickolas Macchiarella Dr. Nickolas Macchiarella

Chair, Aeronautical Science

Aeronautical Science

Dr. Nickolas Macchiarella is a Chair of Aeronautical Science as Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.