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Avionic Systems Design (Option of Aerospace Vehicle Design MSc)

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  • Objectives
    With increasing traffic density of civil aircraft, and the need for increased military precision in conflicts around the world, safer aircraft operations require ever more sophisticated avionic systems. Students who want to specialise in avionics can take the Avionic Systems Design option, which aims to provide an understanding of avionic systems design, analysis, development, test and airframe Integration. You may choose this option, the standard MSc in Aerospace Vehicle Design or the option in Structural Design.
  • Course description
    Excellent career prospects

    This course prepares graduates for careers as project design engineers, systems design, structural design or avionic engineers in aerospace or related industries, with the aim of progressing to technical management/chief engineer. Typical student destinations include BAE Systems, Airbus, Dassault, Rolls-Royce.

    Learn from our experience

    This course is founded upon the knowledge and experience gained by the Department of Aerospace Engineering, through its strong industrial links. Knowledge gained from our extensive research and consultancy activity is constantly fed back into the masters programme to ensure that you achieve a qualification that is valued by employers.

    Study in an aerospace environment

    This course is taught within an aerospace environment. Cranfield operates a commercial airport and the course includes flying experience with our bulldog aircraft,  large aircraft flight simulator and Jetstream Flying Laboratory in which onboard monitors give students first-hand experience of the theory

    Benefit from our reputation

    Cranfield University has been at the forefront of postgraduate education in aerospace since 1946. We have a global reputation for our advanced postgraduate education, extensive research and applied continuing professional development. With 95% of Cranfield graduates securing relevant employment within six months of graduation, you can sure that your qualification will be valued and respected by employers around the world.

    With increasing traffic density of civil aircraft, and the need for increased military precision in conflicts around the world, safer aircraft operations require ever more sophisticated avionic systems.

    Students who want to specialise in avionics can take the Avionic Systems Design option, which aims to provide an understanding of avionic systems design, analysis, development, test and airframe integration.

    Students fly in our Bulldog aircraft and large aircraft flight simulator. The School owns a Jetstream Flight Laboratory which gives students the opportunity to experience first-hand the theory through onboard monitors using industry-standard software. We use our rapid prototyping machine manufactures wind tunnel models from CATIA.

    The Avionics option has three components – lecture course, group design project and individual research thesis. Assessment is by examination, group design project thesis, individual research project thesis, and oral presentation.

    Lecture course


    Students follow a lecture module programme in:

        * Navigation Systems
        * Airborne Instrumentation and Systems Integration
        * Software Engineering, Radio Systems
        * The Cockpit Environment, Air Traffic Control
        * Fault Tolerant Avionics Design
        * System Development and Life Cycle Model
        * Reliability, Safety Assessment and Certification.

    Group design project

    The Avionics students also participate in the same Group Design Project, enabling them to benefit from extensive application of Avionic Systems Design theory and integration onto the Project Aircraft. This teamwork exercise, with specific individual tasks, recreates a virtual industrial environment. Recent project aircraft include:

        * U3 unmanned combat aircraft
        * M4 MARS atmospheric flight vehicle
        * E5 Supersonic Business Jet.

    The international student design team is representative of design teams in the aerospace industry today. Students testify that working as an integrated team on real problems is invaluable and prepares them well for careers in a highly competitive industry.

    Individual research project


    Students choose a topic early in the course. This can be selected from a portfolio of subjects proposed by staff, or developed from the student’s own particular interest. Some topics may offer collaboration with industry. Thesis projects include:

        * ATM/CNS considerations for UAV integration in civil airspace
        * Traffic collision avoidance systems and simulation
        * GNSS simulation studies
        * Data fusion methodology for guidance, navigation, control and synthetic vision
        * Low-cost inertial measurement systems
        * Protection of allied aircraft against friendly fire.

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