A fully immersive airport tower experience

Identify the key multimodal stimuli to enhance the sense of presence and the performance of Air Traffic Controllers in Remote Tower Operations.

PROJECT: MOTO – The embodied reMOte TOwer


DURATION: 2016 – 2018

WEBSITE: www.moto-project.eu/ | https://moto.dblue.it/

CONTACTS: michela.terenzi@dblue.it | simone.pozzi@dblue.it

MOTO applied the perspective of the “Embodied Cognition” (improving the sense of presence and immersion) to explore the opportunity to enhance human performance in Remote Tower Operations. The project identified the key multimodal stimuli that play a role in the current Control Tower and that might enhance the sense of presence experienced by Air Traffic Controllers, and ultimately their performance, in Remote Tower Operations.



To assess the impact of multimodal stimuli in remote tower operations, controllers were immersed in a VR tower environment using the head mounted display technologies and were supported during the operations by the accurate reproduction of auditory and vibro-tactile stimuli. Successively, a  set of prototypes featured by multimodal augmentation have been validated in a realistic remote tower platform, measuring  the impact of these stimuli on controllers’ tasks  in terms of workload, performance, sense of presence and situation awareness. The impact of multimodal feedback in a Multiple Remote Tower environment has been explored at feasibility level only, designing a set of exploratory concepts for multimodal multiple Remote Tower featured by augmented interactions (www.moto.dblue.it).



The main MOTO outcomes suggest that multimodal technologies integrated in remote tower platforms are promising feature to maintain/improve good situation awareness and attention levels, by partially off-loading the visual channel and relying on other sensory channels (i.e. audio or haptic feedback) for monitoring out-of-the-current-view airports.


  1. Multimodal platform for virtual reality (VR) simulation of Tower Operations to validate future augmented remote tower concepts.
  2. Neuro-physiological classifiers to monitor the sense of presence and human performance in remote tower operations
  3. Prototypes of augmented multimodal solutions to supportcontrollers in Remote Tower Operations

Deep Blue is the project coordinator.

We contribute with Human Factors expertise to the development of the concept, providing the links between the current Control Tower Operations, the cognitive framework and neurophysiological indicators.
We are responsible for the organization and conduction of the validation activities assessing the impact of multimodal stimuli on professional air traffic controllers’ performance in both virtual and realistic Remote Tower environment (at ENAC research facilities).
We are in charge of the design of the exploratory concepts for multimodal multiple Remote Tower and the development of the associated website.

We are also responsible for project communication and results dissemination.

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