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Russ College of Engineering and Technology
Avionics Engineering Center
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The Avionics Engineering Center The Ohio University Avionics Engineering Center, the only facility of its kind in the United States, specializes in the research, development, and evaluation of electronic navigational, communication, and surveillance systems. Established in 1963, the center was created to support a unique combination of theoreticians and technical specialists who could address navigational issues encountered in air transportation and supply immediate, practical solution. The center also provides training for future specialists in the field of aviation electronics.

Unlike most university-affiliated programs, the center, in addition to pursuing theoretical research, also undertakes mathematical modeling and the actual design, development, implementation, testing, and improvement of various electronic systems for aviation. Yet, unlike most government agencies or private-sector contractors, the center has the resources and flexibility of a research institution, including faculty members who serve as consultants, staff engineers and technicians, and undergraduate and graduate engineering interns familiar with the most recent developments in avionics. Because of the unique services it offers and because of its impressive track record, the Avionics Engineering Center has been awarded contracts totaling nearly $85 million from such sponsors as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the U.S. Department of Defense, as well as from state and foreign governments and private industrial organizations.

Projects, ranging over broad areas of interest, have included the following: the investigation and implementation of the Redlich Localizer array, a system designed by former faculty member Robert W. Redlich to improve Instrument Landing System (ILS) signal quality; studying and demonstrating the feasibility of expanding the applications of the Global Positioning System (GPS) and the Loran-C; and developing GPS interferometry for attitude determination and flight reference systems. The center also has been involved in providing results of field and theoretical studies on the Microwave Landing System (MLS) to the International Civil Aviation Organization as part of the U.S. FAA technical team; overseeing ILS installation at Dulles International Airport near Washington, D.C.; predicting and measuring radio-frequency interference with navigational systems; and collaborating with industry in the creation of collision-warning systems.

Along with practical expertise in a number of navigational systems, the center has a reputation for establishing workable schedules to complete contract-sponsored projects within an acceptable time-frame. It also is well known for responding quickly and effectively in critical situations, with three "flying laboratories" equipped for testing and measurement, and staff members on call to handle problems on location.

Sponsoring agencies that award contracts to the Ohio University Avionics Engineering Center have come to depend upon the expert-level knowledge, quick response time, and practical results we offer in the development, implementation, and modification of navigational, communication, and surveillance systems. Our major commitment is to improving the safety and reliability of air travel by discovering applicable solutions to a broad range of aviation-related issues. We accomplish this goal through pursuing avionics-related research and through educating and training future aviation-electronics professionals. Our staff members take pride in their engineering abilities. Their unique ability to combine theoretical studies and practical application allows the center to handle projects from concept to demonstration with a minimum investment of both time and money.

  • Radar Hill pages -- A recollection by Dr. Robert Lilley, Director Emeritus, Avionics Engineering Center
  • Awards -- A list of awards and accolades granted to the Avionics Engineering Center


Avionics Engineering Center
Russ College of Engineering and Technology
131 McFarland Avionics Building
Ohio University
Athens, OH 45701
Tel: (740) 593-1515

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