Department of Aerospace Vehicles Design and Control - DCAS

The ISAE-SUPAERO Department of Aerospace Vehicles Design and Control (DCAS) supports activities related to design and control during development of aeronautics and space vehicles.
In 2017, the DCAS included 35 permanent staff members (faculty, researchers, and engineers, technical and administrative staff) and 50 non-permanent members including engineers on a contract basis, doctoral and post-doctoral students.
In particular, the DCAS manages a fleet of nine aircraft (1 Socata TB-20, 3 Robin DR- 400, 4 Aquila, 1 twin- engine Vulcan Air P68 Observer) at the Lasbordes Operational Center.

Educational missions

The DCAS offers courses in the following areas :

  • Flight mechanics, Aircraft design, Drones
  • Orbital mechanics, Space
  • Human factors, Neuroergonomics
  • Control, decision, navigation and mission planning
  • Operation, maintenance and certification

These courses are delivered within the scope of the ISAE-SUPAERO engineer program and within Masters and Advanced Masters programs. They provide scientific and conceptual skills through coursework. Technical skills are taught through the use of a flight simulator and aeronautics and space simulation software packages developed within the Department.

Research groups

The DCAS conducts its own research and is involved in national, European and international research projects. DCAS researchers work in three research groups:

  • Aerospace vehicle design,
  • Decision and Control,
  • Neuro-ergonomics and human factors .

The 3 reserach groups collaborate in the following areas :

  • Safer navigation and control of aerospace sysrtems ;
  • Integrated multi-disciplinary aircraft design ;
  • Advanced space concepts.

Scientific topics

Designing and operating safer aircrafts

The goal of this topic are to carry out research for identifying and controlling critical flight conditions :

  • Aircraft/drone : critical flights (ex: leaving the flight envelope, incoherence of parameters/complex failures, sub-system failures),
  • Air-crew/operator: inadequate cognitive states (ex: attentional tunneling, perseverance, fatigue, distraction),
  • Guaranteeing control performances independent of uncertainties and parametric variations,
  • Defining intelligent supervision control processes to optimize flight safety under operational constraints,
  • Developing an adaptive, failure-tolerant robust decision and control systems.

The DCAS resources include flight and space simulators, flying platforms (TB-20, P68), various neuro- and psycho-physiological measurement devices (fNIRS, EEG, ECG, eye tracking), motion platform, virtual reality simulator. These facilities allow the DCAS researchers to innovate in the fields of human factors (with the development of adaptive cockpits) and automated decisional systems implementing fail-safe laws, and auto-reconfigurable driving systems with respect to sub-system failures.

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Integrated multi-disciplinary design of aircraft

Through different areas such as flight mechanics, aircraft design (multi-physical and multi-domain modelling) and control, the goal of this topic is to define optimal integrated design methods and algorithms, to develop aerodynamic, structural, propulsive and environmental models, etc. and to study strong and weak coupling between models.

The resources under development such as the Multidisciplinary Design Analysis and Optimization (MDAO) platform developed within the framework of OpenMDAO and the flight demonstrator are driving innovation : design of high aspect ratio aircraft, design of sub-systems (electrical deicing systems, demonstrators).

Aile volante 2

Advanced space concepts

This research topic focuses on various challenges within the framework of future concepts (within 15 years) including space debris management, autonomous navigation-based missions towards asteroids, in-orbit servicing for telecommunication satellites, space traffic management, and architecture of inhabited space stations on the surface of the Moon or Mars , among others.

Through system engineering and control , using space system design software packages which integrate already existing tools at the DCAS, this topic addresses the adaptation and/or development of design methods with a specific focus on interface management, architecture of large structures for inhabited exploration missions, formalization of trajectories and attitude control from launch phase to rendez vous phase on LEO, GEO, and LP orbits.

spatial
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More informations about the department’s activities

Emmanuel Bénard Aerospace vehicle design
Bénédicte Escudier Aerospace vehicle design
Thibault Gateau Aerospace vehicle design
Joel Jezegou Aerospace vehicle design
Stéphanie Lizy-Destrez Aerospace vehicle design
Philippe Pastor Aerospace vehicle design
Eric Poquillon Aerospace vehicle design
Daniel Alazard Decision and control
Caroline Berard Decision and control
Joel Bordeneuve Decision and control
Yves Briere Decision and control
Caroline Chanel Decision and control
François Defay Decision and control
Valerie Pommier-Budinger Decision and control
Mickaël Causse Neuro-ergonomics and human factors
Frédéric Dehais Neuro-ergonomics and human factors
Vsevolod Peysakhovich Neuro-ergonomics and human factors
Raphaëlle Roy Neuro-ergonomics and human factors
Sébastien Scannella Neuro-ergonomics and human factors

Nos partenaires

Flux de publications scientifiques du DCAS

Gontar Patrick, Homans Hendrik, Rostalski Michelle, Behrend Julia, Dehais Frédéric, Bengler Klaus

Are pilots prepared for a cyber-attack? A human factors approach to the experimental evaluation of pilots' behavior

(2018) Journal of Air Transport Management, vol. 69 pp. 26-37 ISSN 0969-6997

Peysakhovich Vsevolod, Lefrancois Olivier, Dehais Frédéric, Causse Mickaël

The Neuroergonomics of Aircraft Cockpits: The Four Stages of Eye-Tracking Integration to Enhance Flight Safety

(2018) Safety, vol. 4 (n° 1). pp. 1-15 ISSN 2313-576X

Sanfedino Francesco, Alazard Daniel, Pommier-Budinger Valérie, Falcoz Alexandre, Boquet Fabrice

Finite element based N-Port model for preliminary design of multibody systems

(2017) Journal of Sound and Vibration, vol. 415 pp. 128-146 ISSN 0022-460X

Verdière Kevin J., Roy Raphaëlle N., Dehais Frédéric

Detecting Pilot's Engagement Using fNIRS Connectivity Features in an Automated vs. Manual Landing Scenario

(2018) Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, vol. 12 pp. 1-14 ISSN 1662-5161

Peysakhovich Vsevolod, Hurter Christophe

Scanpath visualization and comparison using visual aggregation techniques

(2018) Journal of Eye Movement Research, vol. 10 (n° 5). pp. 1-14 ISSN 1995-8692

Ponzoni Carvalho Chanel Caroline, Albore Alexandre, T'Hooft Jorrit, Lesire Charles, Teichteil-Königsbuch Florent

AMPLE: an anytime planning and execution framework for dynamic and uncertain problems in robotics

(2018) Autonomous Robots pp. 1-26 ISSN 0929-5593

All scientific publications

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DCAS resources and equipment

The DCAS has advanced scientific facilities and resources to meet the Department’s teaching and research needs. Most resources are managed by the technical group (DCAS-GT). Other resources, are developed by the scientific group of the DCAS within the framework of research programs. Some resources have come out of collaborative research works with other departments of the Institute (DAEP, DISC, DEOS).

The technical group

The technical group of six people develops and implements platforms and software :

  • Flight simulators (for human factor research, flight mechanics teaching, piloting)
  • Aeronauticals software package (for flight mechanics, aircraft design, flight tests)
  • Space software package (for orbitography, subsystem simulation satellites, launchers, ground stations)
  • Drone and design of drone systems (flying platforms)
  • Satellite ground segment (ground stations for satellite projects).

Some platforms are used/developed in collaboration with other technical teams :

  • software for the TB 20 system (flight tests) developed in collaboration with the Flight Operations Center of Lasbordes
  • software for Lasbordes flight management developed with the Floght Operations Center of Lasbordes
  • Autonomous systems room shared with the DISC technical group.

Staff / Patrice Labedan (In charge)

Aeronautics

Software
The DCAS technical group is developing a software package for teaching and research in the aeronautics field. These tools simulate the aircraft’s movements (Longisim and Transsim), calculate performances or assist the design (Alcazar) and help flight teaching with the TB20 instrumented aircraft (TB20 systems). The Activol software allows the flight management of Lasbordes Operational Center aircraft.

Other tools are being developed by the scientific group through specific research programs.

Flight mechanics : "LONGISIM/TRANSIM" Software
The LONGISIM and TRANSIM software are dedicated to studying the longitudinal and lateral movements of aircraft . They make it possible to do simulations depending on the type of aircraft and the flight characteristics.

Aircraft design : "ALCAZAR" Software
ALCAZAR software is used for the study and complete design of a passenger aircraft.

Weight report, fuselage sizing (number of seatsper class...), geometry of wings, empennage, thrust parameters... The many displays allow the user to visualize design results throughout the process.

Test flights / flight dynamics : "the TB20 System"
The software of the «TB20 System », based on an instrumented TB20 aircraft (25 remote measurement parameters), displays flight parameters in real or delayed time: teaching flight dynamics (in flight or on the ground), flight testing.

Flight management : the « ACTIVOL » software
ACTIVOL software is for daily flight management of Lasbordes aircraft. Statistics are extracted for annual assessments of the activity.

Aircraft design : FAST (Fixed-wing Aircraft Sizing Tool)
FAST is a teaching and research software platform which has been developed internally by ISAE-SUPAERO and ONERA since 2015. It is a modular platform for aircraft design allowing analyses of aerodynamics, weight/structure, propulsion, and performances. FAST is coded in Python and is combined with 3D visualization software (Open VSP) and with Open/MDAO.

Equipment platforms
In the aeronautics field, extensive resources are available at the DCAS (not including Lasbordes). There are many flight simulators (PEGASE, 6MOUV), a workshop for drone design, and drone flying platforms.

« PEGASE » flight simulator
(PEGASE : Platform for Experiments on Generic Aircraft Simulation Environment)
This simulation platform, halfway between high-end simulation (6 axis training simulators) and individual flight simulators for PCs, is the ideal support for teaching flight mechanics and Human Factors research.

This generic simulator is used to simulate any type of aircraft. The Airbus A300 is the fundamental model for our courses.

Developments are totally managed by the DCAS technical group, which makes it possible to adapt the platform to different needs (research, experimentation, demonstrations, teaching).

Characteristics
• Control system : High end equipment with mini pilot/co-pilot control columns, rudder pedals, A320 thrust levers+trim wheel, FCU, MCDU.
• EFIS/ECAM A320 cockpit displays : Primary Flight Display, Navigation Display, Engine Warning Display, Flight Control. They are multiplatform and can be reused for other projects (contact : Patrice.Labedan at isae.fr).
• 3D display: panoramic 3D display reproduces the outside world. It comes from the FlightGear open-source simulator but has been adapted to answer needs (in particular for HUD, or Head Up Display aspects.
• Movement : A 3 axis hydraulic system reproduces movement (Pitch, Roll, Height).
• Audio server : Alarms, engines, animations (retraction/extension of flats and slats, landing gear, rain…).

« 6MOUV » flight simulator
6MOUV is a single-seat light aircraft simulator (DR400), with a 3 axis platform, based on the Flight Simulator software.

Drones

WORKSHOP
The DCAS manages a workshop dedicated to the final design phase of the drone.
Supervised by : Dominique Bernard.

Drones
Many types of stationary drones developed at the DCAS (VisionAir, ScolAir, ScanAir) have been produced in the workshop. A fixed wing platform is currently under development (ExpAir, for the ExpeDrone project).

Picture caption :
ScanAir(winner IMAV 2017 : « Treasure Hunt Challenge »)

SPACE
Software
The DCAS technical group is also developing a software package for research and teaching in the space field. These include design and simulation tools for space systems: SatOrb, SimuSat, and SimuLaunch.

« SATORB »
SATORB is a complex software for orbitography and analysis of multi-satellite, multi-station, missions. Satorb allows 2D and 3D display of all types of satellites and constellations as well as multiple analyses of accesses, visibilities, coverage and link budget.

The « SIMUSAT » software
SIMUSAT is a satellite subsystems simulation software. The available modules allow accurate simulation of attitude control, power management as well as simplified thermal simulations. This software, constantly evolving, and combined with Satorb is a powerful complete space system simulation tool.

SIMULAUNCH
Simulaunch is a simulator dedicated to designing launchers as well as studying their trajectory during firing.

Equipment platforms
The DCAS also has extensive space resources including: a ground station in Toulouse (UHF/VHF), a ground station in Cayenne (S Band), as well as a control center for its nano-satellite projects intended to be simple and generic.

UHF/VHF –T Ground station
ISAE-SUPAERO teams have a ground station to exchange numerical data with the satellite of their choice, in UHF/VHF, whether in uplink (remote controlled) or downlink (remote measurement). The station can operate autonomously and collects satellite data automatically. A room is dedicated to this ground station in Toulouse.

Ground Station (S Band)
Since 2000, ISAE-SUPAERO has had an S-band ground station in Cayenne. In cooperation with MIT and RIKEN, it will provide a network of ground stations located on the equator to meet challenges related to on-board-ground links in particular due to the platform’s equatorial orbit.

SCC : Simple Control Center
Simple Control Center (SCC) manages all data exchanges between the satellite and ground segment thanks to a light, and high performance, software. Specific focus has been lead about data processing and GUI ergonomics. This is a robust, stable, reusable tool which fully complies with existing European (ECSS) and international standards.

The Flight Operations Center of Lasbordes
The DCAS includes the Flight Operations Center of Lasbordes (COAL) located on an airport a few kilometers from the Rangueil campus. Within the scope of its teaching and research activities, COAL operates a fleet of nine light aircraft.

The fleet includes :
-  4 two seat single- engine Aquila aircraft used for initial flight training
-  3 single-engine four seat DR400 used for the training of initial pilots, ISAE-SUPAERO students and for research activities.
-  The instrumented single-engine TB20 used for training students and for research purposes. This aircraft has a telemetry system which enables to track a flight in real time from the Institute’s classrooms.
-  1 single-engine P68 Observer 2 Vulcanair, which has been instrumented for training students and for research purposes.

The COAL maintenance unit, handles daily implementation of aircraft, fleet maintenance and regulatory monitoring of navigability. In addition, it prepares and processes aircraft modification files required for carrying out research or training flights.

The activities are divided into 3 areas :
-  pilot training of Pilots and students in the engineering and masters programs on light aircraft ;
-  flight mechanics training and initiation to flight testing techniques for students ;
-  Research flights in the field of human factors.

The twin engine aircraft which has recently joined the fleet shall expand the offering of practical training and will be equipped with sensors for monitoring the pilot (eye trackers). Polyvalent and equipped with an important payload, optical sensors can be embedded in a hatch under the fuselage.

Flow of scientific publications of the DCAS

Gontar Patrick, Homans Hendrik, Rostalski Michelle, Behrend Julia, Dehais Frédéric, Bengler Klaus

Are pilots prepared for a cyber-attack? A human factors approach to the experimental evaluation of pilots' behavior

(2018) Journal of Air Transport Management, vol. 69 pp. 26-37 ISSN 0969-6997

Peysakhovich Vsevolod, Lefrancois Olivier, Dehais Frédéric, Causse Mickaël

The Neuroergonomics of Aircraft Cockpits: The Four Stages of Eye-Tracking Integration to Enhance Flight Safety

(2018) Safety, vol. 4 (n° 1). pp. 1-15 ISSN 2313-576X

Sanfedino Francesco, Alazard Daniel, Pommier-Budinger Valérie, Falcoz Alexandre, Boquet Fabrice

Finite element based N-Port model for preliminary design of multibody systems

(2017) Journal of Sound and Vibration, vol. 415 pp. 128-146 ISSN 0022-460X

Verdière Kevin J., Roy Raphaëlle N., Dehais Frédéric

Detecting Pilot's Engagement Using fNIRS Connectivity Features in an Automated vs. Manual Landing Scenario

(2018) Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, vol. 12 pp. 1-14 ISSN 1662-5161

Peysakhovich Vsevolod, Hurter Christophe

Scanpath visualization and comparison using visual aggregation techniques

(2018) Journal of Eye Movement Research, vol. 10 (n° 5). pp. 1-14 ISSN 1995-8692

Ponzoni Carvalho Chanel Caroline, Albore Alexandre, T'Hooft Jorrit, Lesire Charles, Teichteil-Königsbuch Florent

AMPLE: an anytime planning and execution framework for dynamic and uncertain problems in robotics

(2018) Autonomous Robots pp. 1-26 ISSN 0929-5593

All scientific publications

A question?

Please fill in the form below. We will reply as soon as possible.

* Required fields

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