Anda di halaman 1dari 9

Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics School of Engineering Massachusetts Institute of Technology Graduate Program (S.M., Ph.D., Sc.D.

) Field: Aircraft Systems Engineering Date: September 4, 2007 1. Introduction and Purpose The graduate program in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at M.I.T. provides educational opportunities in a wide variety of aerospace-related topics through academic subjects and research. The purpose of this document is to provide incoming masters and doctoral level students guidance in planning the subjects they will take during their graduate program. The suggestions outlined here are to be understood as guidance and not as a mandatory, rigid framework. The final decision as to which subjects are taken and in what sequence is to be decided between each student and their academic advisor and/or doctoral committee. In addition to these recommendations, the official S.M. and doctoral degree completion requirements must be taken into account during the design of a graduate program1. 2. Motivation for studying Aircraft Systems Engineering Aircraft, both manned and unmanned, have become an indispensable part of the fabric of our lives. Aircraft fulfill a number of roles from transporting passengers and/or cargo, to surveillance, fire fighting and a number of military and other roles. The main challenges in present and future aircraft design are, among others: Dramatic reduction of fuel consumption, noise emissions and emissions of NOx, particles and other chemical species from the exhaust stream Unmanned area vehicle design and operations, with focus on coordination of large numbers of UAVs, operation in open as well as in crowded or hostile environments Design of low cost, safe and increasingly capable aircraft such as small business and leisure jets, roadable aircraft etc. Designing military aircraft (transport, tankers, fighters,) for increasingly uncertain future operations

Refer to the S.M., Ph.D. and Sc.D. degree requirements in Aeronautics and Astronautics section of the MIT Bulletin, or to http://web.mit.edu/aeroastro/academics/grad/index.html

Figure 1: (left): Blended-Wing-Body (BWB) design, (right): Multiple unmanned areal vehicles (UAV) for coordinated flight. 3. What is Aircraft Systems Engineering? Aircraft are extremely complex products comprised of many subsystems, components and parts. They are but one system operating within global air transportation or defense system of systems. The conception, design, production, operation and maintenance of aircraft are influenced by many factors including technical, economic, political, organizational, financial, and regulatory. The engineering of aircraft as a system requires methods, tools, and processes which can successfully address these many complexities. Systems Engineering and Systems Architecting are the fundamental disciplines embodying these methods, tools, and processes. Systems Architecture addresses the overall strategy for developing system level requirements which meet users needs, meet investors expectations, incorporate knowledge from past experience, and satisfies regulatory and other constraints. Systems Engineering on the other hand is the process used to develop integrated physical or software components such that the resulting system or product meets the system level requirements. The word system is contextual in nature. For example, an avionics product can be considered as a system, or as a subsystem of the aircraft system, or as comprised of a number of other subsystems. To apply Systems Engineering and Architecting techniques, one must decide what constitutes the system. To provide a framework, consider the following levels Level 1 The air transportation system (aircraft, airports, air traffic management ...) or the air defense system (aircraft, satellites, missiles, ground stations....)2 Level 2 The aircraft and/or related systems (trainers, manufacturing systems, maintenance systems...)

For more information consult the document dedicated to Air Transportation Systems.

Level 3 Major aircraft subsystems or subassemblies (flight control, propulsion hydraulic, power, flap, landing gear....) Level 4 Components (radar, pumps, nacelles, control surfaces.....) Level 5 Parts (fittings, fasteners, blades.....) Figure 2 shows the complexity of a typical military aircraft, depicting primarily levels 2, 3 and 4 of the F/A-18C, which is currently in operation with the U.S. Navy, USMC and international customers.

Figure 2: Cross-sectional view of the F/A-18C aircraft. The focus of Aircraft Systems Engineering is primarily on Level 2 - the entire aircraft. Level 1 is addressed in our departments Air Transportation Systems program, while Level 3 is the focus of many of our other programs. Although presented as a clean hierarchy herein for the sake of brevity and clarity, it is often the interactions of the various (sub)-systems and/or levels that introduces complexity and a set of key issues that the systems engineer must examine. The systems engineer must, at least, be aware of the levels immediately above and below the levels in which they work and consider the interactions caused by their work within their specific level of consideration. From a historical perspective, the field of systems engineering developed well after aircraft were invented. This has led to an evolutionary lexicon in the aircraft industry. In some aircraft companies, the words systems engineering is applied to Level 3 subsystems such as flight control, hydraulic, etc. However, the entire aircraft should be viewed as a system, and systems architecting and engineering methods applied to its definition, design, production, operation and maintenance. This tends to be the case more for military than commercial aircraft. It is emphasized that within the MIT program, systems engineering is applied to Level 2 for the entire product life-cycle from conceptual design to operation and maintenance, as well as with interactions with Levels 1 and 3. 4. Educational Goals in Aircraft Systems Engineering With this in mind, we state the educational goal of the program as follows:

The overall educational goal of the MIT Program in Aircraft Systems Engineering is to provide students with a foundational understanding of the systems engineering/architecture process and methodologies required to transform fundamental technical, economic and societal requirements into an integrated product solution. Successful graduates of the program will have achieved the following specific objectives. They will have gained a fundamental understanding of systems engineering and architecture. They will have developed a working knowledge base of internal and external factors related to integrating an aircraft as a system. They will have acquired relevant experience applying systems engineering concepts, processes and methodologies in an aircraft context. They will have generated research contributions to the current aircraft systems engineering body of knowledge.

To achieve this goal, each student should develop an educational plan with their academic advisor and/or doctoral committee following the guidelines outlined below. 5. Educational Plan in Aircraft Systems Engineering The following plan is focused on the S.M. program, but also serves as a starting point for the doctoral program. Upon matriculation in the program, each student should develop an educational plan which meets their individual learning objectives, expectations of their advisor, financial aid requirements, schedule and, of course, the department requirements. The plan should integrate subjects, practical experience, thesis research, and seminars to gain the maximum educational benefit in the time available. The guidelines given below should be used to develop the students educational plan. Learning Objectives: A starting point is for the student to develop learning objectives for their graduate studies. The objectives should address what the student expects to learn from subjects, research, exposure to engineering practice, as well as what the student expects to do upon completion of their graduate degree. Consideration should be given to measures which will determine if the learning objectives have been accomplished. It is expected that the learning objectives might evolve as the student becomes aware of new opportunities.

Exposure to Engineering Practice: Systems engineering and architecting is best studied in the context of real applications. For this reason, the faculty expects that students will gain an exposure to the practice of systems engineering before completing a graduate degree, and that this will be integral with research and course work. Given the varied background of each student and their studies, this exposure can take one of several forms. Students coming from industry or government employment may have already received such exposure. Another possibility strongly recommended by the faculty is a summer internship in industry or government labs during which substantial progress can be made on thesis research. While there is no guarantee that internships will be available, the faculty will work with students to develop such possibilities. It can easily take six months to identify and develop a suitable topic, internship sponsor, and internship objectives. Another possibility is substantial site visits for case study based research. Whatever form of exposure to engineering practice is suitable, students should discuss this with their advisors as part of the initial planning for their educational plan. Research: The S.M. degree requires submission of a thesis which presents original findings for some topic. The doctoral degree requires defense of a thesis with an original and substantial contribution to the field. Ideally, the thesis project should incorporate knowledge from course work, exposure to practice, independent research, and interaction with an advisor(s) to provide an integrated educational experience. The faculty expects that S.M. and doctoral research in aircraft systems engineering will contribute to the body of knowledge of the field. The thesis project should be initiated during the first semester by identifying a thesis advisor and topic, as well as familiarization with background literature or previous studies. For students supported by research assistantships, this often happens naturally. Fellowship or self-funded students should also begin the thesis process their first semester. Students who are uncertain how to proceed should meet with the Sector head soon after registration day. Whether students start in September or February, they should be well prepared for full time research during their first summer. Research in Aircraft Systems Engineering frequently involves working with real aircraft systems or data from such systems. Such research may be time consuming and involve travel to industry or government sites during IAP and summer. Adequate plans should be made in the educational plan for such activities. Most students give at least one professional level presentation of their thesis research at MIT seminars or external conferences. A significant number of thesis projects are reported in a professional conference paper or journal article. These activities contribute to the overall educational experience of the student.

Seminars: An additional opportunity for achieving the educational goals of the program is to attend one or more weekly seminars run by various labs and programs. Students are expected to participate in such opportunities. 6. Courses related to Aircraft Systems Engineering For students focusing on Aircraft Systems Engineering, the faculty recommend that the required 66 units of graduate subjects be allocated as follows: Two header (core) subjects in Aircraft Systems Engineering and Architecting 16.885J 16.886J Aircraft Systems Engineering Air Transportation System Architecting

Alternates if needed for schedule or other reasons: 16.880/ESD.33J 16.882/ESD.34J System Engineering System Architecture

Follow-on (elective) subjects aligned with students learning objectives and research interests. Some examples of possible combinations for representative learning objectives: A focus on system design: two subjects from 16.888J Multidisciplinary Systems Design Optimization 16.863J System Safety 15.783J Product Design and Development 16.862 Engineering Risk-Benefit Analysis 16.882 System Architecture A focus on lean enterprise value processes 16.852J Integrating the Lean Enterprise 16.451J Seminar in Social Science Research Methods One from 15.874 Systems Dynamics for Business Policy 16.861 Engineering System Analysis for Design A focus on airframe technologies, two subjects from 16.110 Flight Vehicle Aerodynamics 16.221 Advanced Structural Dynamics 16.31 Feedback Control System 16.511 Aircraft Engines and Gas Turbines A focus on aircraft information systems, two subjects from 16.31 Feedback Control System 16.355 Concepts in Engineering of Software

16.410 16.453J

Principles of Autonomy and Decision-Making Human Factors Engineering

Two mathematics subjects, one in Probability and Statistics and one in Optimization Probability and Statistics - one from 1.151 6.262 6.431 18.443 Optimization - one from 16.888J 6.251J 6.252J 15.093J Multidisciplinary System Design Optimization Introduction to Mathematical Programming Nonlinear Programming Optimization Methods Probability and Statistics in Engineering Discrete Stochastic Processes Applied Probability Statistics for Applications

Sample schedules: With the above in mind, a few representative schedules for a typical SM program for a student matriculating in September or February are shown below. These schedules indicate the minimum number of subjects. Others can be added. Doctoral students can use this sample schedules as a starting point for their own plan. Each student should map out their own plan and refer to it and/or update it each semester. A typical baseline schedule Fall Core Subj Math Subj Seminar Initiate Thesis IAP Spring Core Subj Elec Subj Seminar Research Summer Internship Fall Elec Subj Math Subj Seminar Research IAP Spring

Research

Research

Research

Seminar Write Thesis

An alternate schedule with the core subjects in second year Fall Math Subj Elec Subj Seminar Initiate Thesis IAP Spring Elec Subj Math Subj Seminar Research Summer Internship Fall Core Subj Seminar Research IAP Spring Core Subj Seminar Write Thesis

Research

Research

Research

A possible schedule for a student involved in the Lean Aerospace Initiative3 Fall 16.852J 16.451J Math Subj Seminar Initiate Thesis IAP Spring Elec Subj Math Subj Seminar Research Summer Fall Core Subj IAP Spring Core Subj

Research

Research

Seminar Research

Research

Seminar Write Thesis

A schedule for a student entering in February Spring Elec Subj Math Subj Seminar Initiate Thesis Summer Internship Fall Core Subj Elec Subj Seminar Research IAP Spring Core Subj Elec Subj Seminar Research Summer Fall

Research

Research

Research

Seminar Write Thesis

7. Faculty and Staff with Interests in Aircraft Systems Engineering

Prof. Mark Drela drela@mit.edu Interests: Aerodynamics, aircraft design Prof. John Hansman rjhans@mit.edu Interests: Aircraft safety, pilot-aircraft interfaces, aircraft systems Prof. Wesley Harris weslhar@mit.edu Interests: Aircraft sustainment, aerodynamics Prof. Paul Lagace pal@mit.edu Interests: Aircraft structures, manufacturing Prof. Nancy Leveson leveson@mit.edu Interests: Safety, software, and systems engineering Prof. Robert Liebeck The Boeing Co. 562-593-6138 Interests: Aircraft design Prof. Deborah Nightingale dnight@mit.edu
3

robert.h.liebeck@boeing.com

Research Assistants in Aero-Astro are limited to 27 units per semester. However, it is permissible to take 30 units one semester if the adjoining semester has 24 units. This is represented in the first year of this plan.

Interests: Lean enterprise design and transformation, including the integration of processes, information, technology and organizations Prof. Ian Waitz Room 33-408 617-253-0218 iaw@mit.edu Interests: Environmental impact of aviation, thermodynamics, aircraft propulsion Prof. Karen Willcox Room 37-447 617-253-3503 kwillcox@mit.edu Interests: Cost modeling, multidisciplinary system design & optimization, aerodynamics

Please consult the MIT Aero & Astro web-page for detailed faculty and staff interests: http://web.mit.edu/aeroastro/faculty/faculty.html