Department Safety Critical Systems & Systems Engineering

Research Activities


The department Safety Critical Systems & Systems Engineering focuses on design processes and methods, concepts and technologies for a safe control of aircraft. By providing appropriate design and evaluation methods, flight control architectures and technologies including control and monitoring concepts, safe, functional, and, in terms of the overall aircraft, optimal control concepts and systems are provided.

The department focuses on application oriented research with the ambition of validation of the new concepts and procedures after theoretical evaluation under conditions close to reality in test rigs. The department is organized in four groups:

  1. Design and Validation Methods
    Mastering complexity by development of methods for an integrated, multidisciplinary and iterative system design.
  2.  Safety-Critical Architectures
    Fast, system-driven preliminary system design processes, flight control concepts and system architectures and their safety evaluation.
  3. System Control and Monitoring
    Methods of control, monitoring and prognostics.
  4. Avionics
    Safe data transmission with new transmission media. Focuses on wireless technologies and polymer-optical fiber technology for use in safety-critical applications.

For validation of theoretical work and the preparation of systems for flight test, several test rigs are operated:

  • Electronic Flight Control System (EFCS) –Rig
    • Test Stands for electromechanical actuators
    • Test stands for hydraulic actuators
    • Cockpit simulation environment
  • Landing gear test rig for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Project Management / Systems Engineering

Great emphasis is placed on professional project management and systems engineering in the department.

The project management and project documentation are standardized within the department and carried out by the standard of PMI (Project Management Institute). The project management and monitoring is performed by means of a PMO (Project Management Office), which includes a number of certified project managers.

Professional Systems Engineering is ensured by qualified personnel (Certificates as ASEP / CSEP) according to the standard of INCOSE (International Council of Systems Engineering). The Department is an active member of associations like the GfSE (Society for Systems Engineering, Chapter of INCOSE) and the ProSTEP iViP (integrated virtual product creation).

Holger Spangenberg
German Aerospace Center

Institute of Flight Systems
, Safe Systems and Software Engineering
Tel: +49 531 295-2637

Fax: +49 531 295-2845

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