+44 (0)24 7671 8970
More publications     •     Advertise with us     •     Contact us
News Article

Aviation depends on sensors and big data


Commercial aviation has long depended on sensors to keep its planes flying safely, but new generations of high-end sensors (HES) are taking Big Data and analytics to new heights

Sitting inside an Airbus A350, it is easy to think about everything else that might affect one's inflight experience, and easy to overlook the myriad sensor systems that make commercial air travel safer and more efficient. And while they can't improve airline food or quiet quarrelsome teenagers, the 6,000 sensors inside an A350 are hard at work, ensuring safety and smooth travel.

In discussing its forthcoming Airbus A380-1000 "“ capable of holding up to 1,000 passengers "“ officials at the company recently revealed that their newest aircraft are "˜all-in' when it comes to high-end sensor (HES) technology. New Airbus airliners will have up to 10,000 sensors along its wings alone, plus a to-be-determined quantity in many other flight systems.

Advanced sensor technology is so common in Airbus and Boeing aircraft that from an engineering perspective, airliners are becoming as much data capture platforms as they are modes of transportation. There are 5,000 commercial aircraft in the sky at any one time over the US alone; 35 million departures each year. Daily flights globally soar to 93,000 from about 9,000. Sensors are found across wings, in engines, in passenger and cargo compartments; practically every square centimeter of an airliner is brimming with sensors that monitor everything from engine performance to how often reading lights are activated.

While the need for ever-increasing sensor data is to be expected in such a time sensitive and safety conscious industry as air travel, it may be surprising to realize that each and every Airbus A350 generates 2.5 Tb of data each day it operates. When the new A380-1000 debuts, that data cache will more than triple. Aircraft operational data is also complex: imagine the data from 10,000 wing sensors entwined with data streams from literally thousands of other sensors.

Data analytics has already proved a sound investment for airlines that have discovered that with the right analytical approach, data can be used to eliminate redundancies, predict routes passengers may favor and improve safety. Engine data is amongst the most complex, but by monitoring every operational aspect, managers have already saved millions in fuel costs, improved routes and safety, and learned to reallocate ground resources so when flights are delayed, backup plans can be automatically triggered to improve passenger satisfaction (and reduce revenue loss for the airlines.)

High-end sensors (HES) are key to commercial aviation's use of data analytics to improve safety, reduce costs, and improve inflight experiences. Sensors are increasingly critical in both commercial and defence aviation platforms"”part of a growing global sensor ecosystem that IHS Markit predicts will reach (USD) $20 billion within the next three years.

Purdue, imec, Indiana announce partnership
Resilinc partners with SEMI on supply chain resilience
NIO and NXP collaborate on 4D imaging radar deployment
Panasonic Industry digitally transforms with Blue Yonder
Global semiconductor sales decrease 8.7%
MIT engineers “grow” atomically thin transistors on top of computer chips
Keysight joins TSMC Open Innovation Platform 3DFabric Alliance
Leti Innovation Days to explore microelectronics’ transformational role
Quantum expansion
indie launches 'breakthrough' 120 GHz radar transceiver
Wafer fab equipment - facing uncertain times?
Renesas expands focus on India
Neuralink selects Takano Wafer Particle Measurement System
Micron reveals committee members
Avoiding unscheduled downtime in with Preventive Vacuum Service
NFC chip market size to surpass US$ 7.6 billion
Fujifilm breaks ground on new €30 million European expansion
Fraunhofer IIS/EAS selects Achronix embedded FPGAs
Siemens announces certifications for TSMC’s latest processes
EU Chips Act triggers further €7.4bn investment
ASE recognised for excellence by Texas Instruments
Atomera signs license agreement with STMicroelectronics
Gartner forecasts worldwide semiconductor revenue to decline 11% in 2023
CHIPS for America outlines vision for the National Semiconductor Technology Center
TSMC showcases new technology developments
Alphawave Semi showcases 3nm connectivity solutions
Greene Tweed to open new facility in Korea
Infineon enables next-generation automotive E/E architectures
Global AFM market to reach $861.5 million
Cepton expands proprietary chipset
Semtech adds two industry veterans to board of directors
Specialty gas expansion
Search the news archive

To close this popup you can press escape or click the close icon.
Register - Step 1

You may choose to subscribe to the Silicon Semiconductor Magazine, the Silicon Semiconductor Newsletter, or both. You may also request additional information if required, before submitting your application.

Please subscribe me to:


You chose the industry type of "Other"

Please enter the industry that you work in:
Please enter the industry that you work in: