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One DIsplay for a Cockpit Interactive Solution

Tags: Air

State of the Art - Background

After the advent of cockpits during World War I, World War II brought the second quantum leap in technology and complexity. This involved the development of more and more complex cockpits where multi-person crews were required to operate large aircraft.

In the early 1980s, digital computer technology supported the introduction of glass cockpits. The output of many sensors was efficiently merged onto screens for a better situational awareness.

Nowadays, the main trends of cockpit evolution can be identified as follows:

- a rationalisation of cockpit equipment by reducing the number of dedicated input media/output devices and processing platforms;

- an increase in system flexibility to allow avionic upgrades;

- an increase in the display size.

Tomorrow's cockpits will also have to address new sky policies driven by projects such as SESAR and CLEANSKY. New functions like 4D trajectory, airport navigation systems or synthetic vision are expected to meet future mission management requirements and to support greener operations.

Due to the limited size of cockpit displays, the integration of these new applications on current displays will saturate the crew with information. The ODICIS project will thus provide a step-change improvement in cockpit design to meet these major challenges.


The first objective is to prove the technical feasibility of a single, large, seamless, avionic display, which could be curved; this would involve optical but also graphic generation challenges. The adequate means of interaction must also be defined and implemented. These include keyboards, cursor control devices but also tactile interfaces. Organising the buttons and control panels that were between the displays will be one of the objectives. At this point, a complete technological mock-up of a single display cockpit will be available.

At the same time, the concepts of use for the original single display cockpit must be reviewed and extended to prepare for the validation of the cockpit mock-up. A human-machine interface implementing standard but also innovative functions will be prepared to illustrate and evaluate the single display concept.

The design of the display must take into account user requirements and aircraft integration issues. The ODICIS consortium also aims at obtaining as much feedback as possible from various aeronautical actors - from pilots but also external experts via planned workshops.

The last objective is to produce a roadmap. This will take into account the different results from the project and will present the steps following the project, including a possible industrial scheme.

Description of Work

The ODICIS project has been divided into six technical work packages (WP) using key aspects of a formal system engineering process as follows:

- Requirements;

- Conceptual/functional analysis and development;

- Verification.

Requirements: WP1 will aim at defining the system to be designed. Avionic requirements remain mandatory, but the concept itself brings specific requirements, e.g. a seamless ability.

Analysis and development: the consortium will then work on adapting the technologies to comply with this list of general requirements. The key building blocks in the technological demonstration are the rear projection system (WP2), the graphical content generation (WP3) and the human-machine interface (WP4). These will start almost simultaneously by deriving the general requirements. A development phase will then follow resulting in an advanced, fixed-base simulator.

Verification: a full evaluation (WP5), supported by previous part-task evaluations, will check the performance of the fixed-based simulator against the established requirements. Technical and operational points of view will be addressed.

In parallel, a major point will be to disseminate the ODICIS results (WP6). Sharing and discussing project outputs with other aeronautical stakeholders will be of prime importance.

Expected Results

One of the key deliverables of the ODICIS project is the complete mock-up of a fixed-base aircraft simulator with a display covering the whole dashboard and interactive means, including tactile input. Such a new cockpit concept will provide advances in the domain of image blending, graphic computing architecture for avionic systems and human-machine interactions.

Based on the final evaluation report, recommendations will be provided for the development of a future system. An exploitation roadmap will be defined for technological readiness levels, resulting in an aeronautical product, which also has potential for the consumer and simulation markets.

The ODICIS project will pave the way for future aircraft cockpits by introducing a greater flexibility on the system architecture. From the marketing point of view, a single display is also a visible technological breakthrough bound to attract attention and sharpen the image of aircraft manufacturers.

ODICIS work breakdown structure
ODICIS work breakdown structure
Artist’s impression of a single display cockpit
Artist’s impression of a single display cockpit