AV501E - Avionics systems

AV501E - Avionics systems


General objective:

At the end of this course the student will be able to:
- Identify the main avionics systems in a modern airliner
- Describe their architecture and explain their functionalities, working principle and operational use
- Describe cockpit arrangement

Detailed objectives:

1/ Generalities:
- Explain what is meant by “avionics system” and “cockpit”,
- Explain the meaning of “system”, “function”, “component”, “interface”, “HMI” and apply them to the systems addressed in this course
- Explain the role of avionics systems in Civil Air Transport
- Classify avionics systems according to their function
- Describe cockpit arrangement

2/ Basic Navigation Principles:
- Use geographic coordinates, distance measurement units, directions (heading, track) and true / magnetic referencespas
- Triangle of velocities: Describe the different speeds used for navigation
- Describe the different types of trajectories : rhumb line, great circle
- Explain dead reackoning principles
- Describe the different time references
- Explain the differences between altitude, height and flight level

3/Navigation Systems:
- Identify the airborne systems that compute aircraft position and state:
- Ground Based Radio Navigation Systems
- Satellite Based Navigation Systems
- Self-Contained Navigation Systems
- Explain the working principle of each navigation system
- Describe systems’ architecture and identify the associated main sensors
- Identify the parameters computed by each system and explain their importance

4/ Flight Management System (FMS), Flight Guidance System (FGS) and Flight Control System (FCS):
- Describe systems’ architecture and the interactions between these three systems
- Explain the differences between Electrical Flight Controls (i.e. Fly By Wire) and Mechanical Flight Controls
- Describe the main functions of the FMS: flight planning, navigations, predictions, performance optimization, trajectory computation…
- Describe the main functions of the FGS: autopilot (AP), flight director (FD) and auto-thrust (A/THR)
- Explain the principles of the flight envelope protections mechanisms
- Explain the fault tolerant design principles
- Explain the operational use of the FGS and the FMS

6/ Communications Systems:
- Explain the different communication needs and identify the communications domains in an aircraft
- Identify the different communications means in an aircraft: VHF, HF, SATCOM… and their operational use
- FANS concept:
- Explain the specificities of FANS 1/A and FANS B (ATN B1): operational context, communication networks, applications…
- Explain the working principle of CPDLC and ADS-C applications

7/ Surveillance Systems:
- Identify the main surveillance systems/functions: GPWS, TCAS, weather radar, transponder and ADS-B
- Describe systems’ architecture
- Explain the working principle of each system

8/ System’s management function: Flight Warning System and ECAM/EICAS
- Describe system’s architecture
- Explain operational principles, notably alerting rules


  • Cours Magistraux : 33h
  • Travaux Dirigés : 3h

Form of assessment

Total assessment hours: 2

In brief

ECTS credits 3

Number of hours 38



  • Toulouse