Health Monitoring In Aeronautics

Domaine: Aerospace 


Project team : Christophe Ponsard


Health monitoring is a broad, multi-disciplinary domain made up of specialised skills that are already available in the Walloon Region. However, prior to the project, these skills had never been brought together within a coordinated project, and practical experience applying them in the aeronautics market was lacking.

The overall aim of the project is to increase reliability and safety inside aircraft through the use of health monitoring techniques. Three specific applications have been envisioned to achieve this:

  • Actuator systems and damage simulation inside aircraft (this application is managed by Sonaca).
  • Engine and equipment monitoring inside aircraft, a cryogenic actuator (managed by Techspace Aero).
  • Electrical distribution systems and arc fault detection inside aircraft (managed by Thales Alenia Space ETCA).

The research topics are: design, integration and validation of new sensors and actuators, electronics and interfaces inside aircraft, damage assessment,
critical embedded system certification methodologies, algorithms for default detection and error recognition, and signal processing from sensors inside aircraft.

Organigramme général du projet HM+.

Key Results

CETIC is contributing to HM+ by monitoring engine oil system status in terms of temperature, pressure, rejection rate, etc. With its extensive expertise in embedded systems design, CETIC is assisting with the migration of the detection algorithms developed by the Université Libre de Bruxelles onto the platform prototype designed by the industrial partners. This task takes into account the embedded platform’s physical constraints (like processor and memory limitations) at the engines’ working temperatures. More precisely, CETIC developed of platform prototype to monitor engine oil system status and helped port the detection algorithms from Matlab Simulink onto the embedded system designed in the project.

Another important aspect for industrial usage is certification for critical embedded systems, following RTCA DO-178B (software standard) and RTCA DO-254 (hardware standard). CETIC has studied the certification potential of the platform software and hardware related to these certifications.

Added Value for the Enterprises

Health monitoring is important in order to quickly and adequately react to the evolution of a plane condition. Besides the increased reliability and safety, it also through the smarter processing of the gathered data it also enables to improve the energy efficiency and extend the aircraft life.


Techspace Aero
Université catholique de Louvain (UCL)
Université de Mons (UMONS)
University of Liège
Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)