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KU Aerospace Short Course Program

Fundamental Avionics

Instructor: Albert Helfrick

Course Schedule

April 24-28, 2017, Seattle, Washington

Seattle Lodging and Travel Information

You can also bring this course to your workplace. Learn more about our on-site program.

November 13-17, 2017, Orlando, Florida

Early registration course fee: $2,495 if you register and pay by September 29, 2017

Regular registration course fee: $2,695 if you register and pay after September 29, 2017

Orlando Lodging and Travel Information

You can also bring this course to your workplace. Learn more about our on-site program.


This course provides a very broad overview of avionics. It covers the evolution of the avionics industry and usage to the present to give the student an understanding of WHY avionics is what it is today, in addition to understanding how it works. The course covers legacy systems still in use and the latest state-of-the-art systems currently being installed. The avionics environment is an important part of this course. In the context of this course “environment” refers not only to the physical environment of pressure, temperature, vibration, etc. but the regulatory environment. Systems are an important part of this course, and system communications and assessment are covered. This course introduces the student to the unique language of avionics (abbreviations, terms and acronyms) and connects these terms to the systems they represent.

Course includes instruction, course materials, refreshments and lunches. The course notes are for participants only and are not for sale.

**U.S. Federal Employee Discount: This course is available to federal employees at a 10% off the registration fee. To receive the federal employee discount, enter the code fgvt116 when registering. Please note that you must validate your eligibility to receive this discount by entering your U.S. government email address ending with .gov or .mil.


  • A very comprehensive overview of avionics from the early years to the present
  • Covers the fundamentals of navigation, communications and surveillance
  • Explains the roles of world-wide regulatory and advisory groups
  • Introduces future systems currently under development and equipage
  • Special emphasis on satellite-based navigation; the backbone of future navigation and surveillance
  • Covers safety assessment and human factors as associated with avionics systems

Who Should Attend?

This course is for engineers and technicians who are involved with avionics but may not have attended formal courses in avionics. It would also suit those who work in a specific area of avionics and who would benefit from learning the latest developments in areas outside of their discipline or a brush-up on basics.

Times / CEUs

33.75 classroom hours
3.375 CEUs

Certificate Track

Avionics and Avionic Components

Learning Objectives

  • The evolution of the industry and the need for regulation, standards, certification, etc. for safe and effective avionics
  • The basic foundation of navigation and the need for navigation aids that allow safe flight in reduced visibility conditions
  • The science of radio signals, generation and transmission to provide signals-in-space for navigation
  • The need for airborne communications and the necessary systems
  • Understand space-based navigation and its role in present and future navigation

Course Outline

Day One

  • Early history of aviation and wireless
  • History of regulatory and advisory bodies
  • Establishment of the World-wide Airspace System
  • Federal Aviation Regulations, FAR
  • European regulatory and advisory agencies
  • Introduction to radio navigation
  • Antennas and radio beams
  • Non-directional beacon
  • VHF Omni range, VOR
  • Distance measuring, DME

Day Two

  • Hyperbolic Navigation, LORAN, multi-lateration
  • Landing Systems, ILS
  • Radar altimeter
  • Ground proximity warning systems
  • Terrain Awareness and Warning System, TAWS
  • Satellite navigation
  • Global positioning system, GPS

Day Three

  • Secondary radar, Mode A/C, Mode S
  • Collision avoidance, TCAS
  • Automatic Dependent Surveillance, Broadcast, ADS-B
  • Weather radar
  • Lightning detection
  • Airborne communication
  • Aeronautical telecommunications network, ATN
  • Data buses/networking, ARINC 429, Mil 1553, AFDX
  • Compass/gyros
  • Air data systems

Day Four

  • Inertial navigation
  • Laser gyros
  • Random Navigation, RNAV
  • Required Navigation Performance, RNP Displays
  • Human factors
  • Electromagnetic compatibility
  • High intensity radiated fields, HIRF
  • Lightning effects

Day Five

  • Airborne environment, DO-160
  • Failure analysis
  • Safety assessment
  • Design assurance levels
  • Reliability prediction, MIL-HDBK 217
  • Software considerations, DO-178
  • Hardware considerations, DO-254
  • Flight data recorder
  • Cockpit voice recorder
  • Reliability and safety analysis

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On-site Contact Information

To learn about bringing a course to your workplace, contact Sarah Williams, on-site program manager, for a no-cost, no-obligation proposal.
Email ProfessionalPrograms@ku.edu
Phone 913-897-8782

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