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Two people seated in the cockpit of a simulated airplane with opaque front windows and one side of the fuselage cut away

Unlike many university-affiliated programs that pursue mainly theoretical research, the Avionics Engineering Center supports the entire life cycle of avionics engineering, from identifying needs to conceptualization and actual design, development, implementation, testing, and improvement of various electronic systems for aviation.

And, unlike many government agencies or private-sector contractors, we have the resources and flexibility of a research institution, including world-class facilities, simulation tools and field testing capabilities.

We benefit from our access to faculty members who serve as consultants, staff engineers, and technicians, and undergraduate and graduate student-interns familiar with the most recent developments in avionics.

Our research projects cover a range of avionics topics, including advanced flight controls, GPS and Local Area Augmentation Systems, Joint Precision Approach and Landing Systems, Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast, Dual Airborne Laser Scanner, Distance Measuring Equipment, high fidelity signal quality monitoring, as well as field and flight inspections, evaluations, and testing.

Because of our unique services and impressive track record, the Avionics Engineering Center has been awarded contracts totaling more than $135 million from sponsors like 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 industry.


Ongoing research at the Avionics Engineering Center includes projects in a range of technical specialties. From our Joint University Program partnership with the FAA, Princeton University and MIT, to revolutionary vehicles, our experts are constantly defining state-of-the-art in the avionics field.

Learn more about our projects:


Researchers at the Avionics Engineering Center regularly publish their findings in major peer-reviewed journals. Please click on individual faculty member's profiles for a list of publications.


Innovation is second nature to the expert engineers and technologists at the Avionics Engineering Center. Please click on individual faculty member's profiles for a list of patents and pending patents.

Conferences + Workshops

Our avionics experts attend conferences throughout the year to present research findings and foster professional development. Prominent gatherings include the International Flight Inspection SymposiumInstitute of Navigation events, and the Digital Avionics Systems conference. For a complete list of research papers, visit our faculty research page and select individual profiles.


At the Avionics Engineering Center, our cradle-to-grave expertise in developing solutions for aviation communications, controls, navigation and landing systems is unparalleled. Find our primary research topics below, and visit our projects pages to see the next-generation technology being developed by our world-renowned experts.

Student Research Opportunities

Through our affiliation with the Russ College School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, we offer both undergraduate and graduate students the chance to get into the lab and experience engineering in a real-world applications.

Undergraduate students at the Russ College can choose electives in avionics subjects, including electronic navigation systems or communications, controls and electromagnetics. Through senior design projects and internship experiences at the Avionics Engineering Center, undergraduates can study avionics beyond the classroom.

At the graduate level, a concentration in electronic navigation systems is available to Russ College students in the Ph.D. and thesis-option M.S. programs in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, including research opportunities at our center.

For more information about current research opportunities, contact Director Jay Wilhelm at