Università degli Studi di Napoli "Parthenope"

Teaching schedule

Academic year: 
Belonging course: 
Course of Bachelor's Degree Programme on NAUTICAL AND AERONAUTICAL SCIENCES
Disciplinary sector: 
Year of study: 
PONTE Salvatore
Second semester
Hours of front activity: 



Course description

The course is designed to provide the student with the theoretical and practical foundations of avionics systems for CNS applications.

Knowledge and understanding: The student must demonstrate knowledge and know how to understand the issues related to communication systems and the main aeronautic navigation systems.

Ability to apply knowledge and understanding: The student must demonstrate that he is able to use the acquired concepts and the tools necessary to analyze an avionics system.

Making judgments: Students must be able to autonomously evaluate situations different from the standard ones presented by the teacher during the course and to adopt the best solution methods.

Communication skills: The student must have the ability to present a paper related to avionics systems using correctly the scientific language.

Learning skills: The student must be able to update himself continuously, through the consultation of texts and publications (also in English) in order to acquire the ability to deepen the topics of the Avionics systems field.


Basics on calculus and physics.


INTRODUCTORY CONCEPTS (6 hours): Definitions and basic terminology. Historical perspective on avionics systems. Typical architectures and elements of an avionics system.

AVIONICS SYSTEMS FOR AERONAUTICAL COMMUNICATIONS (14 hours): elements of electrodynamics, fields, antennas and modulation techniques, architectures of avionics communication systems (ACARS, Satcom).

AVIONICS BUSES: ARINC-429 (6 hours): definitions, interfaces, architectures, line coding. MIL-STD-1553B and STANAG-3910. Fiber-optic buses.


IDENTIFICATION AND SURVEILLANCE (4 hours): Basic ATC concepts. PSR, SSR. Interrogation coding (Modes A, C), reply coding. Mode S and applications (ADS-B). Analysis of avionics transponders.

HUMAN-MACHINE INTERFACE (HMI) (4 hours): Avionics displays (HUD, HMD), integrated instrumentation.

FBW AND FBL (2 hours): Historical perspective. Servomechanisms and electronically controlled actuators. FBW sensors, FBL technologies.

FLIGHT MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS (FMS) (4 hours): Instrumentation and functionalities. EFIS, ECAM, flight decks.

Aviation Electronics (or Avionics) and avionics systems, i.e. the subsystems of an aerospace platform depending on electronic components, play a fundamental role in modern civilian and military aircrafts, representing 30% (or, in some military aircrafts, up to 75%) of the overall vehicle cost. Color displays, GPS/GNSS systems, equipment for radio communications, flight control systems, radionavigation and flight management systems are only some examples of onboard avionics systems. Their study requires obviously an interdisciplinary approach.

The course aims to build up the necessary knowledge base on avionics civilian and military systems, presenting the main design issues and the basic functionalities of such systems (CNS, Communications, Navigation, Surveillance), describing the principal characteristics, the hardware architectures, the data exchange techniques, and the engineering mathematical principles underlying each avionics system.
Therefore, some basic concepts of radio communication systems, signal theory, electromagnetism and antennas are dealt with in the course.

An overview of some typical functions developed by avionics systems will be presented as well, analyzing practical realizations of avionics systems onboard modern aircrafts (A320, B787):

- Communication procedures and adopted standards;

- Data buses;

- Identification and surveillance systems;

- Navigation and flight control;

- Aircraft management;

- Human-machine interface and displays, data handling.

Teaching Methods

Front lectures


The teaching material consists of lecture notes in pdf format, sent via email to the students.

Learning assessment

The objective of the exam is to check the level of achievement of the training goals previously indicated.
The exam consists of an oral examination during which students shall discuss several aspects of Avionics.
The exam is passed if the candidate reaches the minimum score of 18/30.

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