Corporate E-Learning Portal Development for Satellite Behavior Simulation

  • Full-cycle training support and administration
  • Authentic satellite behavior simulation at all operational stages
  • Real-time and on-demand user activity monitoring
  • Secure data and content management
Expertise
Web & Enterprise Portals
Content & Document Management
Business Intelligence
Business Process Automation
eLearning & Online Training
Verticals
Public Sector
Education

The delivered solution is a comprehensive eLearning platform automating the entire education process of satellite operators. 

  • HTML5
  • .Net
Calendar
12
Duration
Months
Gears
5
Team
Software Engineers

Context

Satellite operation requires precise and immediate control of many demanding actions. There is no doubt that proper training is of the utmost importance to ensuring that the staff responsible for this task obtains the necessary skills and knowledge for smooth and reliable operation. However, traditionally, such training poses a dilemma in balancing its necessity with the immense expenses and risks entailed in live satellite manipulation.

Our client is a government aerospace organization that requested e-learning portal development for an interactive platform that would enable their trainees to acquire the essential operational skills. By building a simulator accessible via a web-based education portal, the client hoped to achieve their goal of eliminating the many risks and overheads that manifest when manipulating a live satellite. Trainees would be provided with a platform that would simulate real spacecraft behavior throughout all the stages of the satellite lifecycle. The customer selected Iflexion because of our strong background in eLearning solutions and web portal development.

Solution

The prototype platform which was developed is an E-Learning software tool that interactively provides both trainees and supervisors with all the tools needed for comprehensive content and data management, tracking, evaluation and administration of activity and progress, behavioral visualization and other features. E-learning portal development featured delivery of a web frontend for operational training, which takes trainees through the complete satellite life-cycle from satellite launching and controlling flight dynamics to splashdown. Administrators can oversee the educational process using a desktop-based backend.

Development Process

Functionality

This solution is fully integrated with the operators’ automated worksites, so that there is a seamless simulation of real-life events, providing an authentic experience in satellite control. The solution is geared to provide different functionality for trainers, trainees and administrators:

  • Trainees are able to access the specific courses that have been assigned to them and tasks that are pending. Any relevant course materials can be viewed and downloaded. After submitting their assignments, they can study the satellite’s behavior in response to their instructions. After evaluation of their work, they receive certification stating that they have completed their training successfully
  • Administrators are able to make the necessary changes and refinements to the database and the system and perform other housekeeping tasks in preparation for a subsequent training cycle
  • The trainers have both a creative and a supervisory capability. They can create new courses and the assignments to evaluate them, in addition to managing the supporting course material via new uploads, changes and deletions. While the course is in progress, they can monitor each trainee's activity in real-time. This gives the trainer the ability to manage the trainee's progress and help with additional coaching and reviews of assignments. 

Training Web Portal

This is an on-demand training model, where the trainee can connect from anywhere where there is online connectivity, which provides convenience and an engaging study experience. This flexible web-based platform encourages a decrease in training time while providing more freedom to both trainers and trainees to choose the optimum time to engage with the learning application. Aspiring satellite operators are able to acquire the requisite knowledge and skills leading to certification via this engaging and accurate simulator, at a pace suited to their own abilities.

Front-end

The administrators grant trainees both on-site and remote secure portal access. This is where trainees will locate all their training materials, information about their training status, any pending assignments, together with evaluation and their progress. Notifications of tasks and new materials are given to trainees when the trainers upload them and keep them informed of their progress. The trainee's screen is shared remotely with trainers when working on assignments, so that the trainer has real-time vigilance over a student's performance and can respond immediately where required.

Trainers, in turn, keep track of trainees’ advancement and administer it remotely. The solution is designed to provide them with a comprehensive set of tools necessary for ensuring the smooth workflow of study. The solution is collaborative; it provides trainers with the ability to view trainees’ screens and monitor their performance in real-time so as to introduce timely adjustments, where needed.

System Administration

From an administration perspective, all of the main operating systems needed to be supported, which required the development of several variants of the desktop client. This ensures that there is a coherent and satisfying cross-platform experience for the user and ensures flexibility in the back-end processes The desktop clients allow administrators to manage the system and the database securely, tweak the web-portal when necessary as well as to assign user roles and manage the user database. These options shall ensure seamless control over the training process and user activities and shall provide for an enhanced flexibility and scalability of the solution. 

Simulating Satellite Behavior

Behavioral simulation is extremely crucial to secure proper understanding of satellites’ response to specific user actions and, respectively, to ensure a smooth transition to live operation upon the completion of training. With this in mind, the Iflexion team utilized innovative technology for object modeling as well as data visualization to reproduce authentic spacecraft behavior and reactions during each and every operational phase. Thus, when performing certain types of tasks trainees carry out necessary calculations and build behavioral models which get reflected in their assignments. During this costless and risk-free simulation, the platform obtains and processes all the parameters submitted by the student and responds exactly as a live satellite would respond in a real-world situation. 

Technologies

In this e-learning portal development project, .NET was used as the primary development framework for building the desktop-based backend clients in order to ensure that the application is coherent over cross-platforms. The use of .Net ensures that application is compatible with the major operating systems, including Windows 7 and upwards, UNIX, iOS and Android. The solution's database layer runs on SQL Server to ensure a reliable and powerful system and extensive and secure information management. HTML5, EXT.Net and JavaScript were used for the portal to the web with the objective of developing a GUI that is both user-friendly and cross-browser.

Results

The solution is designed to be a highly successful tool for reducing training costs while also improving its efficiency. Training quality is elevated because of the enhancement of training oversight and improved administration abilities. The platform supports a seamless and intuitive workflow for studying for the trainee and is a unique educational product that produces knowledgeable and skilled satellite operators via the delivery of an authentic experience in controlling a satellite, while at the same time eliminating all risks and costs related to satellite manipulation in real life.

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