POLI tecnico di
MI lano
Research Labs:
:: POLI-FlightLine 
   - Group
   - Research
   - Education
   - Theses
More Research Labs involved in Flight Mechanics or Aero Mechanics
:: POLI-Rotorcraft
:: POLI-Wind


POLI-FlightLine is a research group of the Dipartimento di Ingegneria Aerospaziale of the Politecnico di Milano (DIA-PoliMI), which specializes in flight operations and procedures, with an emphasis on flight testing, and in the development of flight instrumentation.

POLI-FlightLine is involved in the management of the DIA-PoliMI airplane, a TECNAM P92 Echo owned since 1998. This Very Light Aircraft (VLA, also referred to as ULM or LSA) has been endowed with an experimental instrumentation system and has been constantly used for research and educational activities throughout the years.

Experimental tools
 which enable the research activities, such as Flight Testing Instrumentation (FTI), are typically designed, developed and implemented in-house. In particular, "MNEMOSINE", an integrated FTI system dedicated to ultralight machines and small GA aircraft, represents a major asset of the group. The system has been validated through the past 4 years and over 50 flight missions.

POLI-FlightLine enjoys the support of top-level experts currently engaged in flight testing activities for world-class fixed- and rotary-wing manufacturers Alenia Aermacchi and AgustaWestland. Also, we are engaged in a co-operative effort with a leading italian VLA manufacturer and with a flying school, involving extensive flight testing activities for certification, research and educational purposes.

POLI-FlightLine is currently working on the projects listed below, and is always interested in receiving applications from motivated students and post-docs. Available thesis topics are also listed below.


:: Faculty staff members:
Cesare Cardani
, Associate Professor
Aircraft systems and flight operations
phone +39-02-2399-8341, email cesare.cardani@polimi.it
Alberto Folchini, Assistant Professor
Aircraft design and flight operations
phone +39-02-2399-8354, email alberto.folchini@polimi.it, web page
Lorenzo Trainelli, Assistant Professor
Flight mechanics and flight testing
phone +39-02-2399-8387, email lorenzo.trainelli@polimi.it, web page
Alberto Rolando, Post-Doc Researcher
Flight instrumentation and system optimization
phone +39-02-2399-8043, email alberto.rolando@polimi.it

:: E
xternal contributing experts:
Paolo Chimetto
Flight Test & Experimental Flight Line Manager - Alenia Aermacchi S.p.a.
Giovanni Bonaita
Senior Flight Test Engineer - E-3D Engineering S.r.l. & AgustaWestland S.p.a.

:: Sponsors & co-operating institutions:
A.Stra.L. (Associazione dello Strato Limite)
Association composed of DIA-PoliMI students, alumni and professors, web page
Aviosuperficie Baialupo
Flying school, VLA mainteinance, airstrip management, web page
Club Astra
Flying school, VLA mainteinance, airstrip management, web page
Nando Groppo S.r.l.
VLA manufacturer, web page


This project is concerned with the continuing development and improvement of MNEMOSINE, an integrated FTI system dedicated to ultralight machines and small GA aircraft. MNEMOSINE is a federated architecture data acquisition system, composed of a number of independent nodes sharing information on a dual 1 MBit/s Controller Area Network (CAN) based digital data bus.
Strong points of this system are: low-cost, reliability, simplicity of management and mainteinance, flexibility, and especially being non intrusive with respect to aircraft structures and native systems.
The nodes included in the initial release cover the following functions: air data system, inertial measurement unit (IMU, AHRS), GPS measurement unit, engine parameters, flight control position, recording, power supply. Currently ongoing work involves partial re-engineering of the system to get a new, even more reliable and lighter release, as well as empowering the system with two important additions: flight control forces and telemetry.
MNEMOSINE is permanently installed on board the DIA-PoliMI proprietary Tecnam P92-Echo. Installation on board Nando Groppo's new model "Dui XL" is currently undergoing. In both cases, MNEMOSINE supports both research and educational activities. Furthermore, plans are made to install new instances of MNEMOSINE on GA aircraft, seaplanes and sailplanes in the near future.

Selected references:
:: A. Rolando, "Development of an Integrated Flight Test Instrumentation System for Ultra Light Machines", PhD Thesis, Department of Aerospace Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, 2008.
:: C. Cardani, A. Folchini, A. Rolando, "Mnemosine: a federated flight test instrumentation system for sport aviation aircraft", 19th AIDAA National Congress, Forlì, Italy, September 17-20, 2007. [paper]
:: A. Rolando, "A telemetry node for MNEMOSINE, a Flight Test Instrumentation System for Sport Aviation Aircraft", 28th European Telemetry Conference ETC 2008, Munich, Germany, April 15-17, 2008. [paper]
:: C. Cardani, A. Rolando, "Improving a VLA Dedicated FTI System With Flight Control Force Data Acquisition", 20th AIDAA National Congress, Milano, Italy, June 29-July 3, 2009.

Certification of new VLA
We are engaged in supporting partners Club Astra and Nando Groppo S.r.l. in the flight testing campaign of the ultralight aircraft "Trial". This campaign is intended to demonstrate the "Trial" ability to fulfill the requirements of the german LTF-UL certification standard.
Given the absence of certification requirements in Italy, this activity may represent a groundbreaking experience towards the regulation of the national Ultra Light Machine (ULM) environment. It also constitutes an important and severe test for the DIA-PoliMI MNEMOSINE FTI system installed on board the "Trial".

Seaplane alighting-on-water load acquisition
We are studying the installation of a suitably adapted MNEMOSINE FTI system on a Cessna L-19 seaplane to evaluate the loads during alighting on water. An experimental campaign will be carried out to acquire data to be used in the validation of an innovative numerical model for float design and optimization.

Other projects
A number of smaller, albeit important, research activities are currently carried out or being planned concerning new sensor characterization and integration within the MNEMOSINE FTI system, testing of innovative flight instrumentation for navigation, parameter identification for flight simulation, etc.


"Flight Testing" laboratories
POLI-FlightLine in engaged in supporting the Flight Testing course, a subject offered in the last year of the M.S. curriculum in Aeronautical Engineering. This course represents a unique characteristic of the teaching offered at the Politecnico di Milano. Within this course, the students are led through the whole flight testing process: from requirement analysis, to test planning, flight operation organization and monitoring, data analysis and final reporting. The most peculiar feature of the course concerns the design and carrying out of an array of real flight tests. Each attending student is required to plan, individually perform and report on a flight test experience, acting as a Flight Testing Engineer under all respects. Relevant flight cards involve a number of testing items encompassing flight performances, flying qualities, on-board systems, engine and instrumentation performances. In-flight data acquisition is enabled by the MNEMOSINE FTI system. Final evaluation focuses in an oral presentation and discussion based on the flight test report.

Selected references:
:: L. Trainelli, A. Rolando, C. Cardani, A. Folchini, P. Chimetto, G. Bonaita, "Experiences in Flight Mechanics education: Getting the students hands on the real thing", SIMAI 2008 Congress, Roma, Italy, September 15-19, 2008. [presentation]
:: L. Trainelli, A. Rolando, P. Chimetto, G. Bonaita, "Education in Flight Testing at the Politecnico di Milano", 20th AIDAA National Congress, Milano, Italy, June 29-July 3, 2009.

Other projects
DIA-PoliMI is currently in the process of re-designing the curriculum of the M.S. course in Aeronautical Engineering and further possibilities are envisaged to employ DIA-FlightLine capacities to support subjects such as Flight Dynamics and Control, Flight Safety, Aerospace Systems, etc.


Strumentazione per prove di volo di velivoli ultraleggeri (ULM)
Flight test instrumentation for Ultra Light Machines (ULMs)
Diverse possibilità connesse allo sviluppo della strumentazione di volo (FTI) per velivoli ultraleggeri in corso da tempo: sviluppo telemetria, implementazione nuovi componenti (dati motore, sforzi di barra), etc. Disponibili sia temi che comportano programmazione in c, sia argomenti più pratici ed implementativi. Possibilità di seguire sul campo le campagne di prove sui velivoli.
> contact Cesare Cardani or Alberto Rolando

Evoluzione della normativa internazionale per i velivoli ultraleggeri (ULM)
Evolution of the international regulations for Ultra Light Machines (ULMs)
Esame dello stato e dell’evoluzione delle normative applicabili ai velivoli ultraleggeri in ambito nazionale ed internazionale, analizzando gli effetti di tale evoluzione sui costruttori e sul mercato. [NB - Si tratta di un elaborato di laurea, attività compilativa compresa in 2-3 mesi.]
> contact Cesare Cardani, Alberto Folchini or Lorenzo Trainelli

Thesis projects are continuosly available in the fields covered by POLI-FlightLine, even if not detailed above. Please contact the group members for further specific information.

Other available thesis projects spanning diverse topics (Computational Mechanics, Brake Dynamics, Rotorcraft Technology, Wind Energy, Time Integration Algorithms, and other fields) can be found here.


Politecnico di Milano, Dipartimento di Ingegneria Aerospaziale, Campus Bovisa, Via La Masa 34, I-20156 Milano, Italy. URL: www.polimi.it, www.aero.polimi.it 

Credits: webpage template by C.L. Bottasso

Last modified: October 30 , 2009