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Flight Systems
April 5, 2012

F-18 being prepared for avionics check F-15 being prepared for avionics check. NASA photo. The Flight Systems Branch is part of the Research and Engineering Directorate at the NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center. The branch consists of two groups: avionics engineering and systems integration and test. The branch performs a variety of development activities and supports the NASA Mission Directorates through projects like the Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy ((SOFIA), Science Mission Directorate); commercial crew development program (Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate); and supersonic, subsonic, aviation safety, and integrated systems research programs (Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate).

The employees in this group develop and engineer avionics and control systems for flight platforms, including specifying, designing, developing, verifying, validating, implementing, and supporting avionics systems (hardware and software) for flight. They have expertise in defining, classifying, and programming software for critical aircraft systems: selecting, designing, fabricating, qualifying, integrating, installing, and testing flight-worthy hardware. In addition, this group assists in defining systems requirements based on end-user needs and safety.

Point of Contact

C.J. Bixby
Chief, Flight Systems


  • Flight Systems Development (single and multi-channel)
    • Small flight-rated embedded computers
    • Flight control systems
    • Small prototype hardware development (I/O)
    • Cockpit display development
  • Flight Software Management/Development
    • Manage the development of flight/mission-critical software
    • Develop small to medium flight/mission-critical software
  • Design/Development/Test Review and Analysis
  • UAV systems design and development
    • Systems integration and test
  • Intelligent Systems Verification and Validation


Development, integration and test of mission-critical and flight-critical systems including: mission management, avionics, flight control, power, actuator, embedded and thermal management systems as well as related software.


  • Requirements development
  • Architecture development
  • System design, development, fabrication
  • Software development and management
  • Environmental testing
  • System integration
  • Failure modes and effects analysis (FMET)
  • Verification and Validation testing
  • Participation in flight planning
  • Flight test and operational support
  • Real-time and post-flight engineering data analysis
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Page Last Updated: March 3rd, 2014
Page Editor: NASA Administrator