Innovative air data system for civil aviation

Title of the research project

MIDAS – Modular and Integrated Digital Probe for SAT Aircraft Air Data System

Scientific area 

Flight mechanics, Aeronautic Systems and Plants


MIDAS project,  funded under the SAT program of Clean Sky 2 by the European Union and Piaggio Areospace,  has the objective to verify and assess an innovative flight parameters measurement and calculation system, modular and fully integrated, suitable for  use in small (4-19 seats)  fixed wing general aviation aircrafts.

Description of the research project 

In the last 10 years digital systems and intensive use of electronic systems have completely changed on board aircraft flight systems. Today, completely digital systems (Fly by Wire) are used just in civil aviation because of high cost and necessity to integrate with other airplane equipment. Air data system is used to get a set of flight parameters related to the external environment (such as pressure, wind angle and temperature) necessary to airplane piloting, control and navigation. MIDAS project builds on competences developed at Politecnico di Torino in the last 10 years and protected by an European patent (EP3022565 "System and process for measuring and evaluating air and inertial data”, M. Battipede, P. Gili, A. Lerro).

The use of advanced technologies has made available an innovative solution accessible also to the different aircrafts in the Small Air Transport system. Virtual probes are proposed instead of traditional ones, thus allowing a substantial on-board architecture simplifying while guaranteeing the same level of accuracy and reliability and offering to final customers the possibility to personalize the system.

The system will be designed, realized and tested to be compliant with current aviation regulation standards in order to obtain a final prototype suitable for experimental flight.

Impact on society

The air data system MIDAS will contribute to reach the objectives set by Europe for 2035, regarding the use of “Fly by wire” systems for small aircrafts in the general aviation fixed wing:

  • 30% reduction of CO2 emissions and fuel consumption
  • 40% reduction of NOx  (nitrogen oxide) emissions
  • 70% reduction of noise

(compared to the best performing aircrafts in the same category in 2014)

Technologically, the new air data system and the presence in the consortium of an industrial partner will allow the creation of a new line of products, bringing innovation to the market. Scientific partners (Politecnico di Torino and INRiM) will strengthen their collaboration exploring new technologies in the same field.

Working group @Polito 

At the Department of Mechanical Aerospace and Engineering

Manuela Battipede, Associate Professor, Project coordinator

Piero Gili, Associate Professor

Michele Ferlauto, Researcher

Angelo Lerro, Researcher

Alberto Brandl, PhD student

National and International partners 

SELT SRL – Aerospace and Defence

INRiM - Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca Metrologica

MIDAS project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement No 821140

  • Budget: 1.154.375 euro
  • Start date: 1/11/2018
  • End date: 31/10/2021