André Marques

André Marques

André Marques is an Aeronautical Engineer specialized in NAVAIDS and aeronautical Metereology projects

Unpressurized Light Aviation Aircrafts: Flight and Physiological Data Acquisition System

Jorge Silva

Jorge Silva

Programme: Flight Safety and Security
Year: 2012
Keywords: Light Aviation, Flight Safety, Unpressurized Cabins, In-flight Data Acquisition, Monitoring System.


The majority of light aviation aircrafts have non pressurized cabins that may pose risks for the safety of both pilots and passengers. As altitude increases partial oxygen pressure decreases and this situation may lead to early stages of hypoxia affecting pilot’s capabilities to perform simple tasks. In addition temperature also changes as altitude increases. All these factors combined in several ways may affect significantly the capability of a pilot to conduct a safe flight.

Some work has been developed in this area and results show that even small changes in altitude can decrease pilot’s oxygen level significantly. Thus, as pilot’s behavior and flying capabilities can be affected, flight safety may be compromise too.

This work is generally focused on the acquisition and study of flight operational and physiological data, to perform such objectives data acquired from the aircraft contains several items as geographic coordinates, attitude, altitude, speed, g-load, heading, absolute pressure and temperature inside the cabin; also data acquired from the pilot contains cerebral oximetry, and electroencephalogram (EEG) and electrocardiogram (ECG) parameters.

During the flight pilot’s own safety and comfort are important issues so that we developed a portable system that may be installed and operated in a safe and ergonomic way inside a light (small) aircraft cabin. This equipment is also flexible enough so that it may be used inside a hypobaric chamber or in a flight simulator to test prior a real flight some specific pilot’s reactions to different flight scenarios.

The specific objective of this work is to report the acquisition, processing and monitoring of flight data collected directly and in real time from the aircraft and the pilot, so it may be analyzed to determine pilot’s major physiological changes and the consequents alterations of his flying capabilities.

Taking in account either the results of this work or the flight safety boundaries we also sustain the basis for a revision of the actual European legislation for pilot licensing.



André Marques

André Marques


NIT Researcher: 2011 – 2012
Programme: Flight Safety and Security
Phone Number: +351 917 981 339

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