You may have heard about our amazing Aerospace Integration Research Centre (AIRC) - one of Cranfield’s newest world-class facilities.

At the AIRC, researchers from both the university and business partners, including our inaugural co-funders, Airbus and Rolls-Royce, will work under one roof. They will investigate ways of integrating advanced technologies from areas such as autonomous systems and intelligent automation, as well as reducing time from academic innovation to industrial application.

Our official opening will take place later in the year. In the meantime, here’s a peek inside the Centre.

A peek inside the AIRC

Facilities will include:

- the IDEAS (Integration, Demonstration, Engineering, Analysis and Simulation) space, designed for collaboration and visualisation of simulations and design activities;
- an air traffic management laboratory for investigating new and novel air traffic management strategies using our airport control tower simulator;
- a flight simulator that enables pilots to gauge the effect of aircraft design modifications on performance, handling and safety;
- an intelligent automation laboratory, home to several of Cranfield’s industrial robot cells, including the FANUC-CR-35iA robot which can operate in an uncaged open space;
- an aerospace autonomy laboratory, focused on developing algorithms, sensors, communications and network systems for aerospace and on researching new technology on board of autonomous flight vehicles;
- and a 1500m² open laboratory – to be used for testing intelligent robots in the structural assembly of aircraft parts.

The £35 million project was realised thanks to the support of Rolls-Royce and Airbus, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and Cranfield itself.

Read more about the AIRC.