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Avionics Project Design (Problem-Based Learning)

The Avionics Project Design module is offered by Electronic and Computer Engineering Division for final-year students taking the Electronic Telecommunication Engineering (Avionics) option. The module is designed to engage students through various problem-based projects.

The APD module spans over one semester. Students spend close to 140 hours working on three different projects related to:

  • aircraft avionics,

  • electrical instruments, and

  • mechanical and control systems.

The module commences one week before the start of the semester, so as to provide students more time to plan and develop their solutions.

The three problem-based projects are provided to the students in the form of problem statements which depict the real-world situations.

Problem #1: Familiarization of Airplane Electrical Instruments, Radio Navigation and Communication Systems through Flight Simulation

The first assignment requires the students to configure the Microsoft Flight Simulator software to fly a Cessna airplane from Singapore Paya Lebar Airport, en-route Johor Bahru and turn back to land at Singapore Changi Airport. Throughout the flight, students are expected to familiarise themselves with the cockpit instruments onboard the Cessna so as to fly the airplane properly, monitor the airplane performance and at the same time, utilize the navigation systems to guide the airplane along an assigned flight path. Finally, they are also expected to land the airplane safely without crashing it.


A student practices using the Cessna Flight Simulator

The problem description is given as follows:
"The Youth Flying Club operates a fleet of Cessna airplanes for instruction and rental. As a senior flight instructor with the club, you are about to take a trainee pilot on his maiden flight over a charted course in the Cessna 182S airplane.

During the flight, you will demonstrate to the trainee how to take-off, climb, bank and descent. You will also execute VFR (Visual Flight Rule) and IFR (Instrument Flight Rule) flying using the cockpit gauges to control the airplane."


A scene from Microsoft Flight Simulator

Learning outcomes: Through the flight simulation, students learn:

  1. The fundamental operations of aircraft flight control mechanisms such as aileron, elevators and rudders;

  2. The operations of various types of electrical flight instruments such as Altimeter, Air Speed Indicator, and Vertical Climb Indicator; and

  3. The operations of various types of navigation systems such as Automatic Direction Finder (ADF), VHF Omni-range (VOR), Global Positioning System (GPS) and Instrument Landing Systems.

Students are also expected to carry out a detailed analysis of their flight profiles and explain in their formal reports the workings of various onboard systems at different phases of their flights.

Problem #2: Design a virtual cockpit instrument panel comprising an Altimeter, Attitude indicator, Turn Coordinator and Heading Indicator

The second challenge requires the students to design and develop a virtual cockpit instrument panel consisting of electrical instruments such as Altimeter, Attitude indicator, Turn Coordinator and Heading Indicator to respond correctly to real-time, varying input signals injected from the 89C52 Microcontroller card.

Instrument panel

Flight Instruments (clockwise from top: Air Speed Indicator, Attitude Indicator, Altimeter, Vertical Speed Indicator, Compass, Turn Coordinator)

The problem description is given as follows:

"You are a Software Engineer with L3 Aircraft Simulation & Training Corp. based in Singapore. You are currently assigned as the program engineer to develop a partial virtual Cessna 182s instrument panel."

The simulated instruments consisting of Attitude indicator, Altimeter, Turn Coordinator and Heading indicator are used to demonstrate to aerospace technology students how airplane can be flown remarkably accurately with these 4 basic flight instruments.

To carry out the task effectively, students need to learn Visual Basic 6 & Keil C programming with the 89C52 Microcontroller card. They are expected to explore beyond the hardware and software basics provided in the guided workshop and use their creativity and resourcefulness to implement their own solutions.

Problem #3: Design a mock-up airplane with 4 axes of motion, i.e. Roll, Pitch, Yaw and Heave. Integrate the virtual instrument panel to display the airplane position as it maneuvers.

The third and possibly the most challenging task for the students is to design a mock-up airplane with four axes of motion, i.e. Roll, Pitch, Yaw and Heave. The airplane is required to be mounted on a mechanical structure and the movement about each axis is moved by servo-motors which are controlled by Proportional-Integral-Derivative (PID) Controllers. To top it all, the mock-up airplane is to be integrated with the virtual instrument panel designed in Problem 2 such that when the airplane maneuvers, the virtual instrument panel displays the airplane roll, pitch and yaw movements correctly.


Students working on mock-up airplane

The problem description is given as follows:
“Design a model airplane with 4 axes of motions (i.e. roll, pitch, yaw and heave). The modeled airplane is to be integrated with the virtual instrument panel, allowing the instructor to demonstrate and display airplane motions using the Attitude indicator, Altimeter, Turn Coordinator and Heading indicator mentioned."

Students at work

Students At Work

The students are expected to work in groups of four to design and develop their solution. They are technically challenged in the fields of mechanics, electronic and control. During the final phase of the module, they learn to work together to plan, delegate responsibilities, design hardware, procure mechanical and electronic components, fabricate mounting structure in the mechanical workshop, software programming and system integration.


Avionics Project Design team members:

Teck Soon

Ong Teck Soon
(module leader)

Kim Seng

Tang Kim Seng

Chor Lee

Yeo Chor Lee

Yee Kan Leong

Yee Kan Leong

Reader Comments (24)

dear sir,

we would like to get in contact with you regarding licensing one of your virtual cockpit gauges.

November 22, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterKhalid AlShengiti

Cool! Avtech... I am an AVIONICS student and I really admire this site.. coz i've learn something from this! thanks yo yo guys!!

January 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJoel C. Ala, Jr.

i want to participate in this project and a lot of new things about avionics
right now i am persuing my bachelor of technology in electronics and instrumentation

January 19, 2008 | Unregistered Commenteravishek sarkar

i'm interested in this project can u give me more details about... i'm a final year electronics & instrumentation student... thanks

February 7, 2008 | Unregistered Commenteranikesh monot

sir, i am glad to see this website. i m doing BE avionics from College of Aeronautical Engineering. My project is related to ur interest. i am designing glass cockpit for mashshak aircraft MFI-17. i am looking for an economical solution to my problem. Can u guide me a bit. i can send you all the needed information about my project. thank you very much.

May 26, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterbasit

dear sir,
i would like to have a detailed report of this project. i am from india and i would like to do this project. i request you to help me with this. i am an electronics and communication engg student.

May 30, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjisho thomas

what i liked about the project was its gradual shift of difficulty level...guys who are actually working on these project will definitely have a strong platform to deal with hi-end avionics at workplace.
I myself doing my Masters in Avionics from MIT,India and will be doing my project for my theses this currnt semester.
I would love to interact with this group and also take some inputs and give inputs to my capability.

June 8, 2008 | Unregistered Commentershiladitya bhowmick

Hi Shiladitya and thanks for your comment.

June 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterEditor

plz give me more information about avionics as a subject

Hello Madhurendra.

Click to find out more about" rel="nofollow">Ngee Ann Polytechnic's Aerospace Diploma.

I hope that helps!

July 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterEditor

Dear sir

I'm a final year BE(Bachelor of Endineering) student from the branch of Electrical & Electronics Engineering(EEE). I'd like to do my further studies in avionics. Tell me about the courses available(both short term & long term) which specializes in applications of electronics in Aircrafts. Also I need some ideas for my project to do in my final year. I'd like to do it in the field of avionics applying electronics in aircraft. Please give me details for the above mentioned.

August 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJoe Maria Vincent

Hi to everyone who has asked...

The above report gives all current information about this project.

For further details on what is happening in this, see" rel="nofollow">Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s Aerospace Diploma.

Thank you for your interest!

August 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterEditor

Dear Sir,
I am the student of BS Electronic Engineering at BUITEMS Quetta Pakistan. I am in Final year now and I want to start my work on my Final year project. As I am attracted toward the field of Avionic in my Future so I want to make something related to Avionics. But there is lack of ideas in my mind as everyone mentioned on the site. Can you please give me some simple ideas to work and implement on my final year project. Hope you will better guide me in this regard and hope to listen more from you.
Aakash Khan

August 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMuhammad Aakash Khan

Dear sir

I’m a third year BE(Bachelor of Engineering) student from the branch of electronics & communication Engineering(E&cE). I’d like to do my further studies in avionics. Tell me about the courses available(both short term & long term)in india,usa or australia, which specializes in applications of electronics in Aircrafts. Also I need some ideas for my project to do in my final year. I’d like to do it in the field of avionics applying electronics in aircraft

September 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRAHUL

Hello Rahul.

Ngee Ann Polytechnic is in Singapore. We do not have details on courses in India, USA or Australia.

Good luck with your studies.

September 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterEditor

To bring more details about problem and design.Its really superb.

October 3, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdinesh


November 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterUTTAM SINGH

hey,uere site is amazing!im in my final year doing a diploma in aeronautical engineering majoring in avionics. id like suggestions for a simple but very applicable project for my!!!!

November 11, 2008 | Unregistered Commentersusan

Please note: We are not in a position to support readers with suggestions for similar projects. Please contact your own institutions.

We wish you well with your project.

January 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEditor

You can get great opensource flight sim called flightgear ( and more great add ons for the sim from . Put together, you have just got a great realistic sim with real weather and plane characters. Enjoy! a great sim for student and real aspiring pilots

March 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commentervidex

Thank u for ur amazing information reg., avionics based project,if possible give me a detail abt it.

June 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNisha.M.S

I am very interest in Avionic projects .. Now I attend Aerospace at Myanmar Country .. But there is no practical equipments. So ,I find projects on line and I wish You .." very OK" yeah Bye Bye

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterThet Naing Soe

hai...i am an air traffic controller.. me complted.. btech in electronic and communications.. u r projects are very much intresting.. i am doing mtech if u hav.. provision i can take part in your projects...

June 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRavi Prasad

Hello Ravi. These projects are intended for our own students only. All the best with your MTech.

June 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEditor
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