MAE4407 - Instrumentation and avionics - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Dr Stewart Jenvey

Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Day)


This unit introduces avionics instruments used in vehicles ranging from light aircraft, air transport, manned and unmanned space vehicles. Their application, principles of operation, accuracy, advantages, limitations, ground systems and the flight vehicle requirements of avionics equipment. Navigation systems with an emphasis on typical forms of measurements involved, their use to pilots and industry are covered. Steering systems, self contained and radio direction finding systems and components, system interfacing, instrumentation and control are examined. Issues of interference, compatibility, redundancy and operational safety and a brief look at active navigation aids complete the unit.


At the successful completion of this unit you will be able to:

  1. Identify the role of avionics instruments, sensors and flight management systems in aerospace vehicles.
  2. Describe the principles of avionics navigation and steering systems.
  3. Formulate real-time computing algorithms for implementation in avionics navigation systems.
  4. Assess the limitations of current air traffic control systems and the need for the development and introduction of new electronic systems to safely cope with increasing air traffic density.
  5. Use GPS, INS, DOPPLER and AIR DATA sensor components.
  6. Draw on simulation software to gain experience in the use of avionics instrumentation to control and navigate aircraft.


Laboratory exercise: 10% + Assignments: 20% + Examination (3 hours): 70%

Students are required to achieve at least 45% in the total continuous assessment component and at least 45% in the final examination component and an overall mark of 50% to achieve a pass grade in the unit. Students failing to achieve this requirement will be given a maximum of 45% in the unit.

Workload requirements

3 hours lectures, 2 hours practice sessions or laboratories per week and 7 hours of private study per week

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)


Completion of 132 points of engineering units including MAE3408