PhD Studentship Study on performance-based navigation, 4D flight management and guidance, and air traffic flow management

Application deadline: 30 November 2013 


Dr Huamin Jia
School of Engineering, Cranfield University

Award type: PhD

An opportunity to join our vibrant, multidisciplinary team to develop innovative technologies for future generations of airborne avionics and CNS/ATM systems.

“The PBN concept specifies that aircraft RNAV and RNP system performance requirements be defined in terms of the accuracy, integrity, continuity and functionality, which are needed for the proposed operations in the context of a particular airspace concept”. PBN has a high priority in ICAO and forms the cornerstone for air traffic management (ATM) optimisation, resulting in increased flight safety, improved airspace availability, air transport efficiency and economy, as well as environmental benefits.  The extensive introduction of advanced Communication, Navigation and Surveillance (CNS) technologies in the Civil/Military ATM field is reshaping the global air traffic network. However, the international aviation community is now facing important integration and harmonization challenges for the European SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research) and the US NextGen (Next Generation Air Transportation System) initiatives.

Important research efforts at Cranfield University have been on-going to demonstrate the feasibility of future airborne avionics and CNS/ATM technologies capable of contributing to enhancing efficiency and safety. In the European Clean Sky programme, we have been working on the areas of green  4D trajectory operation, navigation/guidance technology, air traffic flow management and control, airport operations and capacity analysis, as well as aircraft systems integration and performance enhancement. Understanding the concepts of operation as well as the coordination roadmap between SESAR/NextGen and the Clean Sky technology developments are also fundamental for the full exploitation of the outcomes of these initiatives.  

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Research will focus on:

  • Gate-to-Gate Optimisation Problems for SESAR/NextGen taking into consideration Clean Sky environmental objectives
  • Air Traffic Flow Management, Decentralization and Collaborative Decision Making
  • Communications, Navigation and Surveillance Systems Technology for SESAR/NextGen
  • Performance-Based Navigation and Enabling Technologies for “Free Flight” under the concepts of Trajectory-based and performance-based Operations
  • Mathematical Modelling and simulation for aircraft trajectory optimisation in the presence of ATM constraints,  including Clean Sky criteria
  • Enhanced function  and performance requirements for next negation of airborne avionics and systems
  • Advanced RNP systems, RNP VNAV systems, integrated airborne separation and traffic avoidance systems, 4D trajectory flight management systems

1  Entry Requirements

Applicants must have a first-class or upper second-class degree in electrical/electronic engineering, communications engineering, aeronautical engineering or related discipline with aptitudes for experimentation. Good understanding of Avionics and CNS/ATM systems is essential. Knowledge in flight dynamics, performance and control as well as some practical experience in avionics and CNS/ATM systems design would be a distinctive advantage.

2 Funding

Applications are sought from qualified candidates, preferably sponsored by industrial or government (civil/military) organisations. The studentships are open to UK, EU and International applicants. Students or their sponsors will be responsible for the tuition fees. Suitably qualified candidates can be considered for a maintenance allowance of £1,000/month in the first year and then based on their annual review results.  

3 How to apply

Applicants should send CV, transcripts and a cover letter with contact details of at least two referees to:

Dr Huamin Jia
Lecturer in Avionics
Department of Aerospace Engineering
School of Engineering
Cranfield University
Cranfield, Bedfordshire MK43 OAL

T: 01234 750111 Ext. 5115

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