This course provides both fundamental and applied knowledge to understand airflows, vehicle dynamics and control and methods for computational modelling. It will provide you with practical experience in the measurement, analysis, modelling and simulation of airflows and aerial vehicles.

You have the choice of two specialist options which you chose once you commence your studies: Flight Dynamics or Aerodynamics. 

At a glance

  • Start dateOctober
  • DurationMSc: Full-time one year Part-time up to three years; PgCert Full-time up to one year Part-time two years
  • DeliveryTaught modules 40%, Group project 20% (dissertation for part-time students), Individual project 40%
  • QualificationMSc, PgCert
  • Study typeFull-time / Part-time

Who is it for?

Suitable if you have an interest in aerodynamic design, flow control, flow measurement, flight dynamics and flight control. Choose your specialist option once you commence your studies.

  • Flight Dynamics option: if you want to develop a career in flight physics and aircraft stability and control, more specifically in the fields of flight control system design, flight simulation and flight testing.
  • Aerodynamics option: if you want to develop a career in flight physics and specifically in the fields of flow simulation, flow measurement and flow control.

Why this course?

The aerospace industry in the UK is the largest in the world, outside of the USA. Aerodynamics and flight dynamics will remain a key element in the development of future aircraft and in reducing civil transport environmental issues, making significant contributions to the next generation of aircraft configurations. 

In the military arena, aerodynamic modelling and flight dynamics play an important role in the design and development of combat aircraft and unmanned air vehicles (UAVs). The continuing search for aerodynamic refinement and performance optimisation for the next generation of aircraft and surface vehicles creates the need for specialist knowledge of fluid flow behaviour.

Cranfield University has been at the forefront of postgraduate education in aerospace engineering since 1946. The MSc in Aerospace Dynamics stems from the programme in Aerodynamics which was one of the first masters' courses offered by Cranfield and is an important part of our heritage. The integration of aerodynamics with flight dynamics reflects the long-term link with the aircraft flight test activity established by Cranfield. 

Graduates of this course are eligible to join the Cranfield College of Aeronautics Alumni Association (CCAAA), an active community which holds a number of networking and social events throughout the year.

Informed by Industry

The Industrial Advisory Panel, comprising senior industry professionals, provides input into the curriculum in order to improve the employment prospects of our graduates. Panel members include:

  • Adrian Gaylord, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR)
  • Trevor Birch, Defence, Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL)
  • Chris Fielding, BAE Systems
  • Anastassios Kokkalis, Voith
  • Stephen Rolson, European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS)
  • Clyde Warsop, BAE Systems

Your teaching team

You will be taught by Cranfield's leading experts with many years' industrial experience including:

Teaching is supplemented by contributions from industry and other outside organisations which reinforce the applied nature of the modules. Previous contributors have included:

  • Professor Allan Bocci, Aircraft Research Association (ARA)
  • Trevor Birch, Defence Science Technology Laboratory (DSTL).

Accreditation

The MSc in Aerospace Dynamics is accredited by the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) on behalf of the Engineering Council as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for registration as a Chartered Engineer. Candidates must hold a CEng accredited BEng/BSc (Hons) undergraduate first degree to comply with full CEng registration requirements.

Course details

This course consists of optional taught modules, an individual research project and a group flight test project.

The group flight test project consists of two compulsory modules that offer an initial introduction to aerospace dynamics and provide grounding for the group flight test. Choice is a key feature of this course, with specialist options in either aerodynamics or flight dynamics. Choose your option once you have commenced your studies.

Group project

All students undertake the Group Flight Test Report during October to December. This involves a series of flight tests in the The National Flying Laboratory Centre (NFLC) Jetstream which are undertaken, reported and presented as a group exercise. This is an important part of the course as it enables candidates to experience the application of specialist skills within a real plane to a collaborative report/presentation.

Individual project

The individual research project allows you to delve deeper into an area of specific interest. It is very common for industrial partners to put forward real world problems or areas of development as potential research project topics. The project is carried out under the guidance of an academic staff member who acts as your supervisor. The individual research project component takes place between April and August.

If agreed with the course director, part-time students have the opportunity to undertake projects in collaboration with their place of work, which would be supported by academic supervision.

Previous Individual Research Projects covered:

Aerodynamics option

  • Spiked body instabilities at supersonic speeds
  • Aerodynamic loads on a race car wing in a vortex wake
  • Lateral/directional stability of a tailless aircraft.
  • Aerodynamic drag penalties due to runback ice
  • Automotive flow control using fluidic sheets
  • Aerodynamic design and optimisation of a blended wing body aircraft.

Flight Dynamics option

  • Flight dynamic modelling of large amplitude rotorcraft dynamics
  • Decision making for autonomous flight in icing conditions
  • Comparative assessment of trajectory planning methods for UAVs
  • Machine vision and scientific imaging for autonomous rotorcraft
  • Linear parameter varying control of a quadrotor vehicle
  • Gust load alleviation system for large flexible civil transport.

Assessment

Taught modules 40%, Group project 20% (dissertation for part-time students), Individual project 40%

University Disclaimer

Keeping our courses up-to-date and current requires constant innovation and change. The modules we offer reflect the needs of business and industry and the research interests of our staff and, as a result, may change or be withdrawn due to research developments, legislation changes or for a variety of other reasons. Changes may also be designed to improve the student learning experience or to respond to feedback from students, external examiners, accreditation bodies and industrial advisory panels.

To give you a taster, we have listed the core modules and some optional modules affiliated with this programme which ran in the academic year 2016–2017. There is no guarantee that these modules will run for 2017 entry. All modules are subject to change depending on your year of entry.

Core modules

Introduction to Aircraft Aerodynamics

Module Leader
  • Professor Kevin Garry
  • Dr Nicholas Lawson
Aim

    To give non - specialists a basic knowledge of aerodynamic principles and familiarity with the fundamental characteristics of fluid flow.

Syllabus
    • Fluid properties and basic flow equations
    • Dimensional analysis and aerodynamic force
    • Viscosity, the boundary layer and skin friction
    • Vortex flow and aerofoil circulation
    • Finite low speed wings
    • Aerofoil and wing high lift devices
    • Flying controls
    • Supersonic flow characteristics
    • Supersonic aerofoil sections
    • Finite supersonic wings
    • Transonic flow characteristics
    • Theoretical aerodynamics: The Navier Stokes Equations, vector form of Navier Stokes Equations
    • Mathematical properties of PDEs
    • Solution methodology for initial boundary value problems
    • Other Reduced forms of the Navier Stokes Equations
    •  Equation of continuity: Viscous Stresses - shear and normal
    • Navier-Stokes equations
    • The viscous flow energy equation
    • Similarity parameters
    • The 2D boundary layer equations - continuity, x and y momentum and energy
Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this module the student will have:

  • An introductory knowledge of incompressible flows including vortices and viscous effects, boundary layers and basic wing and aerofoil section characteristics
  • An introductory knowledge of compressibility effects; shock waves, supersonic and transonic flow
  • Experience of low speed and high speed wind tunnel experiments.

Aircraft Performance, Stability and Control

Module Leader
  • Dr Alastair Cooke
Aim

    The aim of this module is to provide an introduction to the performance, stability and control characteristics of a conventional aircraft by means of flight test.

Syllabus
    • Air data systems, standard atmosphere and pressure error measurement
    • Cruise, climb and descent and take-off and landing performance
    • Static equilibrium and trim
    • Longitudinal static stability, trim, pitching moment equation, static margins
    • Manoeuvrability: steady pull-up manoeuvre, pitching moment in manoeuvre, longitudinal manoeuvre stability, manoeuvre margins
    • Lateral-directional trim and static stability
    • Introduction to dynamic stability and modes of motion: short period pitch mode, phugoid mode, Dutch-roll, roll mode and spiral mode
Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this module the student will be able to:

  • Describe the performance characteristics of a conventional aircraft
  • Describe the concepts of equilibrium, trim and static stability, manoeuvre stability and dynamic stability
  • Describe the modes of motion of a conventional aircraft
  • Assess the above by applying the principles of flight test.

Optional 

CFD for External Flows in Aerospace Applications and Rotating Wings

Module Leader
Aim
    • To understand the key features of CFD methods used for simulating external flows in aeronautical and aerospace applications.
    • To introduce the numerical approaches required to meet the challenges of flows associated with rotating wings, including rotorcraft, propellers and wind turbines.
Syllabus

    In relation to external flows

    • Overview of external flow problems in aeronautical and aerospace applications
    • CFD methods used in industry
    • Implementation examples

    In relation to rotating wings

    • Introduction to rotary wing aerodynamics
    • Formulation of the governing equations in a rotating inertial frame of reference
    • Numerical approaches to vortex capturing
    • Blade dynamics as an example of fluid-structure interaction
    • Formulation of the governing equations for moving/deforming grids
    • Numerical modelling of dynamic stall
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module the student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a critical awareness of the range of external flow problems in aeronautical and aerospace applications in which CFD and grid generation methods can be used
  • Demonstrate the systematic application of the key characteristics of CFD methods used in these sectors
  • Critically evaluate the limitations of these methods
  • Demonstrate a critical awareness of the current efforts made by industry and academia for improving the state-of-the-art methods in the above applications
  • Demonstrate a critical awareness of the modelling challenges faced in the numerical analysis of rotating wings
  • Demonstrate the systematic application of the Navier-Stokes equations in an appropriate rotating/moving frame of reference
  • Critically evaluate the different modelling approaches that can be taken for vortex dominated flows.

Compressible Flow

Module Leader
Aim

    To provide a knowledge of the physics of compressible flows.

Syllabus
    • Thermodynamics and Equations of Motion: Governing equations, introduction to thermodynamics, temperature, energy, entropy. Concept of adiabatic, reversible and isentropic flows, steady flow equations, nozzle choking and convergent/divergent nozzles
    • Shock waves: Shock tube problems, Normal shock relations, oblique shock relations, Prandtl-Meyer deflection, shock wave interactions and reflections
    • Characteristic relations: Characteristic relations of the governing equations and their physical interpretation, one dimensional results
    • Hypersonic Flow: Introduction to the main features of hypersonic flow
    • CFD for Compressible Flows : One dimensional linear advection equations, Godunov method, higher order methods
Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this module the student will be able to:

  • Understand the fundamental phenomena associated with compressible flows
  • Competently apply analytical theory to compressible flow problems
  • Understand the fundamentals of CFD methods for compressible flows.

Control Systems

Module Leader
  • Dr James Whidborne
Aim

    To provide knowledge of the fundamentals of control engineering for the analysis and design of control systems in aerospace applications.

Syllabus
    • Feedback control system characteristics
    • Control system performance
    • Stability of Linear Feedback Systems
    • Root locus method
    • Frequency response method
    • Nyquist stability
    • Classical controller design
    • State variable controller design
    • Robust control
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module the students will be able to:

  • Understand the stability, characteristics and behaviour of single-input single-output feedback control systems
  • Design compensators for single-input single-output systems
  • Use modern PC-based CAD software as an aid in the solution of control engineering problems and design of control systems using classical methods
  • Recognise the advantages and limitations of feedback and understand the importance of robustness.

Experimental Aerodynamics

Module Leader
  • Professor Kevin Garry
  • Miss Jennifer Holt
  • Dr Mudassir Lone
Aim

    This module aims to give students the skills and understanding to asses commonly encountered wind tunnel test requirements and to design appropriate experiments through knowledge of wind tunnel design, measurement techniques and data analysis.

Syllabus

    Wind tunnel design and layout: subsonic, transonic, supersonic circuit design and test section layouts

    Measurements principles for subsonic and supersonic flows:

    • Force and moment measurements
    • Intrusive Flow Measurements – Pressure based systems, hot wire anemometry, skin friction and transition detection
    • Optical Techniques – Particle Image Velocimetry, Laser Doppler Anemometry, Shadowgraph technique, Schlieren, Interferometry

    Calculation of wind tunnel speed, interference corrections, lift induced errors and blockage corrections

    Data acquisition and sensor selection

    Analysis and post processing of experimental data including considerations and techniques for calculation of experimental errors

    Software tools for data processing and parameter estimation:

    • Matlab
    • XFoil
    • AVL
Intended learning outcomes

At the end of the module, the student will be able to:

  • Safely operate the departments low speed teaching wind tunnels to perform basic wind tunnel testing
  • Analyse and post process recorded wind tunnel data
  • Evaluate and select appropriate instrumentation and hardware for common wind tunnel test types
  • Describe the design principles of wind tunnel layouts and component
  • Propose an experimental design for common test problems.

Flight Dynamics Principles

Module Leader
  • Dr Alastair Cooke
Aim

    To provide a knowledge of the dynamics, stability and control of aircraft and their interpretation in the context of flying qualities.

Syllabus

    The Equations of Motion

    • Development of the equations of motion for a rigid airframe: the linearised equations for longitudinal symmetric motion and lateral-directional asymmetric motion
    • Solution of the equations of motion: the dynamics of a linear second order system, aircraft response transfer functions, state space models
    • Aerodynamics modelling: aerodynamic stability and control derivatives, derivative estimation, modelling limitations
    • Stability: Routh-Hurwitz criterion, interpretation on the s-plane

    Flight Dynamics

    • Aircraft dynamics: stability modes, longitudinal dynamics, lateral-directional dynamics, reduced order models, time response, frequency response
    • Flying and handling qualities: assessment, requirements, aircraft role, pilot opinion rating, control anticipation parameter, flying qualities requirements on the s-plane
    • Flight control: introduction to stability augmentation, closed loop system analysis, the root locus plot, longitudinal stability augmentation, lateral-directional stability augmentation
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this study the student should be able to:

  • Derive and solve the small perturbations equations of motion for an airplane
  • Assess the flying qualities of the airplane
  • Recommend and design simple stability augmentation system strategies to rectify flying qualities deficiencies
  • Plan, manage, execute and report on a stability and control assessment of an airplane.

Flying Qualities and Flight Control

Module Leader
  • Dr Alastair Cooke
  • Dr Mudassir Lone
Aim

    To describe the essential features of typical command and stability augmentation systems. To introduce a number of contemporary handling qualities criteria and to show how they constrain flight control system design. To demonstrate flying and handling qualities design procedures.

Syllabus

    Part 1: Introductory Topics

    • Flight control system architecture 
    • Multiple redundant systems
    • Aircraft models
    • Aircraft state equations
    • Relaxed longitudinal static stability
    • Control system properties
    • Control law design

    Part 2: Command and Stability Augmentation System Design

    • Autostabiliser design using state feedback
    • The properties of a proportional-plus-integral controller
    • Design of a rate command attitude hold command and stability augmentation system
    • Lateral-directional autostabiliser design

    Part 3: Advanced Handling Topics

    • Introduction to aircraft handling qualities
    • Control anticipation parameter
    • High order systems
    • The C criterion
    • The Neal and Smith criterion
    • The Gibson criteria
    • Analysis of the Gibson dropback criterion
    • Low order equivalent systems
    • The bandwidth criterion
Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this module the student will be able to:

  • Use basic computational tools for flight control system analysis and design
  • Describe the conflict between flight control system architecture design for safety and functional design for control
  • Appreciate the design constraints on command and stability augmentation systems for the provision of acceptable flying qualities
  • Design and analyse typical command and stability augmentation systems
  • Interpret flying and handling qualities criteria.

Launch and Re-Entry Aerodynamics

Module Leader
Aim

    To give students with a background in physical science or general engineering an appreciation of the principal aerodynamic factors affecting the design of spacecraft and
    launch vehicles.

Syllabus

    The course describes the thermal and dynamic loads experienced by launch and re-entry vehicles.

    The course will cover:

    • The fundamentals of flight at high Mach number within the earth atmosphere
    • The design and flow characteristics of hypersonic vehicles
    • Boundary layers, heat transfer and thermal protection, real gas effects
    • Equations of motion for planetary re-entry
    • Ballistic entry and high angles of descent
    • Lifting entry
Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this module the student will be able to:

  • apply hypersonic aerodynamics theory to the analysis of characteristic flow features during high Mach number flight
  • identify principal aerodynamic design issues for the launch and descent/re-entry phases of a space mission
  • calculate thermal and dynamic loads experienced by a vehicle during launch and re-entry.

Modelling of Dynamic Systems

Module Leader
  • Dr James Whidborne
Aim

    To provide an understanding of the mathematical techniques that underpin both classical and modern control law design.

Syllabus
    • The Laplace transform
    • Transfer-function approach to modelling dynamic systems
    • State-space approach to modelling dynamic systems
    • Time-domain analysis of simple dynamic systems
    • Frequency response of simple dynamic systems
    • Sampled-data and discrete time systems.


Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
  • Use Laplace transform techniques to derive transfer functions of typical mechanical, electrical and fluid systems
  • Calculate and plot the step and frequency responses of linear systems
  • Derive the state equations for typical systems
  • Obtain discrete time representations of linear systems
  • Use MATLAB for matrix and systems algebra and to plot system responses.

Multivariable Control for Aerospace Applications

Module Leader
  • Dr James Whidborne
Aim

    To provide a knowledge of modern control techniques for the analysis and design of multivariable aerospace control systems.

Syllabus

    Multivariable System Analysis

    • Multivariable linear systems theory
    • System realisations
    • Controllability, observability and canonical forms
    • Size of signals and systems

    Multivariable Control System Design 

    • System interconnection and feedback
    • Optimal linear quadratic control and estimation
    • Uncertainty and conditions for robustness
    • H-infinity optimal control
Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this module the student will be able to:

  • Analyse the stability, robustness and performance of multivariable aerospace control systems
  • Design robust and optimal feedback control systems using state variable techniques, using MATLAB
  • Recognise the advantages and limitations of optimal feedback control.

Supercritical Aerofoil Design

Module Leader
Aim

    The aim of this module is to give the student an appreciation of the factors influencing supercritical flow development and the interaction with other aerofoil design features.

Syllabus

    Aerofoil design aims and methodology, highlighting the influence of such factors as Mach number, lift coefficient, thickness/chord and thickness form, and the limits provided by viscous effects and Reynolds number. Main features of the subcritical and supercritical CFD methods and how they are used as graphical interactive design tools. Particular importance is attached to interpretation of the results of the CFD calculation and how closely these relate to what would occur in the true aerofoil flow.

Intended learning outcomes

At the end of this module the student will be able to:

  • describe the influence of factors affecting super critical aerofoil performance and apply this to knowledge to determine a design methodology
  • use CFD methods to carry out supercritical aerofoil design and evaluate results against performance criteria
  • assess the limitations of CFD methods for prediction of aerofoil flow characteristics.

Technology for Sustainable Aviation

Module Leader
Aim

    The aim of this module is to provide knowledge of the current technology issues in relation to reducing the impact of aviation of the environment.

Syllabus
    • General overview of the impact of aviation on the environment, historical trends, current status, aviation profile and technology metrics. Current research focus and environmental targets
    • Propulsion systems: engine cycles; fuel burn; internal aerodynamics, open rotors; water injection
    • Airframe and aircraft configurations: Range equation; maximising L/D; profile drag; NLFC; HLFC; Engine/Airframe integration
    • Overview of noise related technology drivers
    • Local air quality implications
    • Aircraft operations: multi-stage long-haul, ATC. Contrails
Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this module the student will be able to:

  • Have a basic knowledge of the performance characteristics of commercial aircraft in relation to environmental impact
  • Understand the relative impact of key engineering design and operational aspects of commercial aircraft on the environment
  • Assess the relative importance of technological changes in terms of commercial aircraft design.

Viscous Flow

Module Leader
  • Professor Kevin Garry
  • Miss Jennifer Holt
Aim

    To provide a detailed understanding of basic equations and mathematical modelling techniques used in fluid flows and a knowledge of boundary layer flows including the methods used for their modelling and prediction.

Syllabus

    Basic concepts:

    • The Navier-Stokes Equations
    • Equation of Continuity : Viscous Stresses - shear and normal
    • The viscous flow energy equation
    • Similarity parameters
    • The 2D boundary layer equations - continuity, x and y momentum and energy


    Incompressible laminar flow on a smooth flat plate: 

    • Blasius solution
    • Displacement thickness
    • The effective body concept
    • Influence of displacement thickness on lift
    • Skin friction on a thin flat plate
    • Boundary layer separation

    Characteristics of turbulent flow : 

    • Turbulent kinetic energy
    • Eddy viscosity
    • Mixing length hypothesis
    • Structure of the turbulent boundary layer
    • Law of the wall
    • Approximate formula for zero pressure gradient turbulent boundary layers
    • Separation prediction
    • Profile drag

    The Atmospheric Boundary Layer: 

    • The nature of the wind
    • Mean hourly wind speed profiles
    • Diffusion of pollutants
    • Typical treatment of strong wind profiles
    • Wind tunnel simulation of wind engineering problems
    • The momentum integral equation - application to 2D incompressible flow

    Laminar boundary layer in compressible flow: 

    • Similarity parameters in compressible flow
    • General properties of thermal boundary layers
    • Prandtl number
    • Heat transfer and skin friction
    • Reynolds analogy
    • Compressible laminar flow over a flat plate
    • Effect of freestream pressure gradient
    • Shock boundary layer interaction


    Boundary layer transition:

    • Transition process
    • Factors effecting transition
    • Laminar flow aerofoils
    • Boundary layer control

    Turbulence modelling: 

    • One equation models
    • Two equation models
    • Direct numerical simulation
    • Large eddy simulation
Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this module the student will be able to:

  • Apply knowledge of the structure within a boundary layer to flow related problems
  • Explain current turbulence models and how they may be applied
  • Interpret and calculate characteristics of the atmospheric boundary layer and apply the data to wind engineering problems
  • Identify boundary layer control techniques and assess their use for future aeronautical applications.

Air-Vehicle Modelling and Simulation

Module Leader
  • Dr James Whidborne
Aim

    Mathematical modelling and simulation of modern air-vehicles is a complex activity which requires a wide range of technical skills to be applied using a multi-disciplinary approach. The aims of this course are to provide the student with the skills and knowledge necessary to model, simulate and then critically analyse the resultant non-linear motion of modern airvehicles using advanced design and analysis software tools.

Syllabus
    • Introduction to mathematical modelling & simulation; systems of non-linear ODEs; equilibrium, linearisation and stability; numerical and computational tools
    • Model building; model testing, validation & management; trimming and numerical linearisation.
Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this module the student will be able to:

  • Describe the requirements for large amplitude non-linear mathematical modelling and simulation of aerospace vehicles
  • Describe air-vehicle dynamics as a set of ordinary differential equations
  • Recognise, implement and apply selected numerical integration routines for model simulation using modern software tools
  • Define and implement example air-vehicles in terms of their aerodynamic, control, mass and inertia characteristics. Evaluate and critically compare the resultant motion.
  • Identify the requirements for model testing, verification and validation, and demonstrate their application to an air-vehicle model.
  • Define mathematical trim conditions, how they relate specifically to air-vehicles and validate an air vehicle using trim data generated for a range of flight conditions and vehicle configurations
  • Define mathematical linearisation, how it relates specifically to air-vehicles and validate a non-linear air-vehicle model using the linear model equivalents generated at a range of flight conditions.

Fundamentals of Rotorcraft Performance, Stability and Control

Module Leader
  • Dr Alastair Cooke
Aim

    To provide an elementary insight into rotorcraft performance estimation and provide knowledge of the stability and control characteristics of helicopters.

Syllabus
    • Forces and moments acting on a rotorcraft
    • Performance estimation in the hover and forward flight
    • Flight test methods for performance evaluation
    • Conventional rotorcraft control and stability
Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this module the student will be able to:

  • Describe the forces acting on a helicopter
  • Estimate the power required by a rotorcraft in the hover or forward flight
  • Assess the viability of a typical flight profile
  • Describe the key stability and control attributes of a typical rotorcraft

Introduction to CFD

Module Leader
  • Dr Panagiotis Tsoutsanis
Aim
    • To introduce the foundations of fluid mechanics and the mathematical properties of the governing equations
    • To introduce the basics of numerical analysis and numerical methods for partial differential and algebraic equations
    • To introduce the concepts of grid generation
    • To understand the CFD methods used for computing incompressible and compressible flows
    • To introduce the concepts of High Performance Computing.
Syllabus
    • Introduction to fluid mechanics and turbulence modelling
    • Introduction to numerical analysis
    • Numerical Integration, Numerical derivation, Discretization using finite difference methods and stability, Error Analysis
    • Geometry modelling and surface grids
    • Algebraic mesh generation
    • Overview of various numerical methods for compressible and incompressible flows
    • Validation and Verification for CFD
    • Mathematical properties of hyperbolic systems
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
  • Understand basic physical modelling and numerical methods as typically employed by commercial CFD codes
  • Have an appreciation of the application of CFD to practical engineering problems.

Aerospace Navigation and Sensors

Module Leader
  • Dr Stephen Hobbs
Aim
    The aim of this module is to provide an introduction to the principles of aerospace navigation systems based on inertial sensors and satellite navigation as well as to provide an introduction to the principles of sensor fusion, system integration and error analysis and prediction.
Syllabus
    GNSS and INS

    Introduction (1 hour)
    Overview of navigation principles, typical applications; axis systems and projections (1 hour)
    Inertial Navigation Systems (3 hours)
    Principles of inertial navigation; accelerometers, gyroscopes, specific technologies such as Ring Laser Gyros; Axis transformations and mechanisation of IN equations; Errors in inertial navigation, Schuler loop tuning, INS modelling & aiding
    GNSS (6 hours)
    Development history: GNSS, GPS, GLONASS, EGNOS, Galileo; GPS system architecture (ground, space, user segments); Code (CDMA) and carrier techniques; signal processing (correlation), integer ambiguities; Error sources (natural, other); Augmentation: differential GPS (local, wide area), other sensors (e.g. INS); Applications / issues: user groups (aviation, space), integrity (RAIM), accuracy, reliability

    Sensors and Data Fusion

    • Error Characteristics of Aircraft Sensors, INS, GPS, VOR, DME (2 lectures)
    • Random Signals And Random Processes (1 lecture)
    • Measurement In Noise (1 lecture)
    • Error Analysis (2 lectures)
    • Discrete Kalman Filter (2 lectures)
    • Case Study: Barometric Aiding For INS (1 lecture)
    • Case Study: GPS models (1 lecture)
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

GNSS and INS:
  • Explain and discuss the roles of inertial and satellite navigation in aerospace
  • Explain and discuss inertial navigation principles, error sources, and aerospace applications
  • Explain and discuss satellite navigation principles, error sources, applications and key issues.

Sensors and Data Fusion:
  • Explain the principles of data acquisition systems and design a basic system
  • Design and implement a simple Kalman filter to process measurements and estimate position, velocity, etc
  • Appreciate the design methods using to integrate aerospace navigation systems.

Fees and funding

European Union students applying for university places in the 2017 to 2018 academic year will still have access to student funding support.

Please see the UK Government’s Department of Education press release for more information

Cranfield University welcomes applications from students from all over the world for our postgraduate programmes. The Home/EU student fees listed continue to apply to EU students.

MSc Full-time £9,000
MSc Part-time £9,000 *
PgCert Full-time £4,000
PgCert Part-time £4,000 *
  • * Students will be offered the option of paying the full fee up front, or in a maximum of two payments per year; first instalment on receipt of invoice and the second instalment six months later.  

Fee notes:

  • The fees outlined apply to all students whose initial date of registration falls on or between 1 August 2017 and 31 July 2018.
  • All students pay the tuition fee set by the University for the full duration of their registration period agreed at their initial registration.
  • A deposit may be payable, depending on your course.
  • Additional fees for extensions to the agreed registration period may be charged and can be found below.
  • Fee eligibility at the Home/EU rate is determined with reference to UK Government regulations. As a guiding principle, EU nationals (including UK) who are ordinarily resident in the EU pay Home/EU tuition fees, all other students (including those from the Channel Islands and Isle of Man) pay Overseas fees.

For further information regarding tuition fees, please refer to our fee notes.

MSc Full-time £18,500
MSc Part-time £18,500 *
PgCert Full-time £7,500
PgCert Part-time £7,500 *
  • * Students will be offered the option of paying the full fee up front, or in a maximum of two payments per year; first instalment on receipt of invoice and the second instalment six months later.  

Fee notes:

  • The fees outlined apply to all students whose initial date of registration falls on or between 1 August 2017 and 31 July 2018.
  • All students pay the tuition fee set by the University for the full duration of their registration period agreed at their initial registration.
  • A deposit may be payable, depending on your course.
  • Additional fees for extensions to the agreed registration period may be charged and can be found below.
  • Fee eligibility at the Home/EU rate is determined with reference to UK Government regulations. As a guiding principle, EU nationals (including UK) who are ordinarily resident in the EU pay Home/EU tuition fees, all other students (including those from the Channel Islands and Isle of Man) pay Overseas fees.

For further information regarding tuition fees, please refer to our fee notes.

Funding Opportunities

To help students find and secure appropriate funding, we have created a funding finder where you can search for suitable sources of funding by filtering the results to suit your needs. 

Visit the funding finder.

ISTAT Foundation Scholarships
The ISTAT Foundation is actively engaged in helping young people develop careers in aviation by offering scholarships of up to $US10,000. One student will be nominated for a scholarship each year by Cranfield University.

Conacyt (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia)
Cranfield offers competitive scholarships for Mexican students in conjunction with Conacyt (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia) in science, technology and engineering.

Postgraduate Loan from Student Finance England
A Postgraduate Loan is now available for UK and EU applicants to help you pay for your Master’s course. You can apply for a loan at GOV.UK

Santander MSc Scholarship
The Santander Scholarship at Cranfield University is worth £5,000 towards tuition fees for full-time master's courses. Check the scholarship page to find out if you are from an eligible Santander Universities programme country.

Chevening Scholarships
Chevening Scholarships are awarded to outstanding emerging leaders to pursue a one-year master’s at Cranfield university. The scholarship includes tuition fees, travel and monthly stipend for Master’s study.

Cranfield Postgraduate Loan Scheme (CPLS)
The Cranfield Postgraduate Loan Scheme (CPLS) is a funding programme providing affordable tuition fee and maintenance loans for full-time UK/EU students studying technology-based MSc courses.

Commonwealth Scholarships for Developing Countries
Students from developing countries who would not otherwise be able to study in the UK can apply for a Commonwealth Scholarship which includes tuition fees, travel and monthly stipend for Master’s study.

Future Finance Student Loans
Future Finance offer student loans of up to £40,000 that can cover living costs and tuition fees for all student at Cranfield University.

Erasmus+ Student Loans
This new loan scheme for EU students is offered by Future Finance and European Investment Fund and provides smart, flexible loans of up to £9,300.

Entry requirements

A first or second class UK Honours degree or equivalent in mathematics, physics or an engineering discipline.

Applicants who do not fulfil the standard entry requirements can apply for the Pre-Masters programme, successful completion of which will qualify them for entry to this course for a second year of study.

English Language

If you are an international student you will need to provide evidence that you have achieved a satisfactory test result in an English qualification. Our minimum requirements are as follows:

IELTS Academic – 6.5 overall
TOEFL – 92
Pearson PTE Academic – 65
Cambridge English Scale – 180
Cambridge English: Advanced - C
Cambridge English: Proficiency – C

In addition to these minimum scores you are also expected to achieve a balanced score across all elements of the test. We reserve the right to reject any test score if any one element of the test score is too low.

We can only accept tests taken within two years of your registration date (with the exception of Cambridge English tests which have no expiry date).

Students requiring a Tier 4 (General) visa must ensure they can meet the English language requirements set out by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and we recommend booking a IELTS for UKVI test.

Applicants who do not already meet the English language entry requirement for their chosen Cranfield course can apply to attend one of our Presessional English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses. We offer Winter/Spring and Summer programmes each year to offer holders.


Your career

Industry driven research makes our graduates some of the most desirable in the world for recruitment in a wide range of career paths within the aerospace and military sector. A successful graduate should be able to integrate immediately into an industrial or research environment and make an immediate contribution to the group without further training. Increasingly, these skills are in demand in other areas including automotive, environmental, energy and medicine. Recent graduates have found positions in the aerospace, automotive and related sectors. 

Employers include:

  • Airbus
  • BAE Systems
  • Onera
  • Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)
  • Defence, Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL)
  • QinetiQ
  • Rolls-Royce plc
  • Snecma
  • Thales
  • Selex ES
  • MBDA
  • Jaguar Land Rover
  • Tata
  • Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC)
  • Triumph Motorcycles.

A significant number of graduates go on to do research and higher degrees.

Iain Gray, Director of Aerospace

The AIRC working with other Cranfield facilities, including the runway, is unique. This is the only place where universities and companies can demonstrate, validate and research at the platform level, up to the higher technical readiness levels (6-7) more normally associated with business.

Iain Gray, Director of Aerospace

Applying

Online application form. UK students are normally expected to attend an interview and financial support is best discussed at this time. Overseas and EU students may be interviewed by telephone.

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