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HEFCE closed at the end of March 2018. The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.

Many of HEFCE's functions will be continued by the Office for Students, the new regulator of higher education in England, and Research England, the new council within UK Research and Innovation.

The HEFCE domain - www.hefce.ac.uk - will continue to function until September 2018. At this point we will close the site entirely and all its information will only be available from the National Web Archive.

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Project summary

The Digital Aviation Research and Technology Centre (DARTeC) will be built at Cranfield University and will spearhead the UK’s research into digital aviation technology.

The Centre will address research challenges facing the aviation industry such as:

  • the integration of drones into civilian airspace
  • increasing the efficiency of airports through technological advances
  • creating safe, secure, shared airspace through secure data communication infrastructures
  • increasing the reliability and availability of aircraft through self-sensing, self-aware technologies.

Game-changing technologies such as a virtual air traffic control tower and next-generation radar technologies on the University’s licensed airport will provide a Civil Aviation Authority approval route that promises increased efficiency, flexibility and capacity.

Funding for DARTeC will be provided from a consortium of leading aerospace and aviation companies including Thales, Raytheon, SAAB,  Monarch Aircraft Engineering Limited, Boeing UK and Aveillant – as well as the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and Cranfield University.

Page last updated 5 July 2017