Faculty members of the Aviation Institute shared the outcomes of their various projects and thesis studies at the AIAA SciTech event in Maryland, USA.
Aviation Institute faculty members took center stage at the prestigious AIAA Science and Technology Forum and Exposition (AIAA SciTech) in National Harbor, Maryland, USA. The event, renowned as one of the most important aerospace conferences in the world, provided a platform for experts to share research and advancements in the field. The faculty members and their graduate students presented a diverse range of projects and thesis studies, highlighting the institution's commitment to advancing aerospace science and technology. The following is a comprehensive list of publications showcased at the conference:
Akın Çatak, Ahmet T. Çetin, Emre Koyuncu, “Model Uncertainty-aware Adaptive Controller Design with Online Parameter Identification”.
Eren Ertuğrul, Emre Koyuncu, “Neural Network-based UAV System Identification from Sparse Flight Test Data”.
Eyüphan Küçükkalfa, Aliakbar Ghaderiaram, Kaan Yıldız, Mohammad Fotouhi, Amir Asadi, Hülya Cebeci, “Damage Detection of CNT/CNC-reinforced Foam-cored Sandwich Composites by Acoustic Emission Tests under Flexural Load”.
Said K. Cengiz, Ayşe A. Sarı, Abdullah Çerkezoğlu, Muhammed H. Yılmaz, Ramazan Yeniçeri, “ARCHI-Pilot: A Model-Based Autopilot Software Implementation using FreeRTOS with Automatic Code Generation”.
Sezer Memiş, Ramazan Yeniçeri, “Towards FPGA Based Digital Twin of UAV Swarms: An Area Efficient Hardware Accelerator of Transformation Matrix of 6-DoF Block”.
Merve Karabal, Ramazan Yüksel, Fulden Kaygınok, Alptekin Yıldız, Hülya Cebeci, “Embedded Piezoresistive Sensors Printed by FFF for Aerospace Applications”.
Esra Demir, İbrahim Özkol, “Some Critical Issues in Application of Lagrangian Mechanics to Air Vehicles Analysis: An Example of Quadrotor”.
Çağrı E. Altunkaya, İbrahim Özkol, “Auto-landing Fault-Tolerant Control System Design for a Light Aircraft”.
Two mutually supporting unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) projects funded by ASELSAN and developed at ITU Aerospace Research Center have been successfully completed.
Two pioneering projects, led by Dr. Emre Koyuncu, Dr. Ramazan Yeniceri, and Prof. Hulya Cebeci, are pushing the boundaries of UAV technology with their innovative shape-shifting capabilities. These shape-shifting UAV systems boast special designs that enable them to dynamically alter their physical structures during flight, setting them apart from conventional counterparts.
The first project, titled “Ballistically Launchable UAV (Bal-UAV)” directed by Dr. Emre Koyuncu and Dr. Ramazan Yeniceri, aims to significantly contribute to the evolving landscape of shape-shifting UAVs. Concurrently, the “Ballistic Launch System for Shape Changing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (BLS)” project, led by Prof. Hulya Cebeci and senior researcher Dr. Alptekin Yildiz, focuses on the ballistic launch of the Bal-UAV developed in the initial project.
The projects incorporated 3D printing technology for fabricating UAVs, ensuring precision and customization within the scope of the project. After thorough design verifications, the prototyped vehicles underwent successful flight tests, demonstrating stability and operational capabilities. The Ballistic Launch System (BLS) developed in the project allowed for the launch of up to five UAVs from the same system, showcasing an efficient launch mechanism. Additionally, the BLS can accommodate variable launch angles, providing a solution to meet diverse operational requirements.
The success of these endeavors not only represents a leap forward in UAV technology but also underscores the potential applications of shape-shifting capabilities in various scenarios, including defense, surveillance, and exploration. These projects stand as a significant example of the collaborative efforts of the research teams in shaping the future of UAV innovation.
Faculty members of the Aviation Institute shared the outcomes of their various projects and thesis studies at the RAST’23 event in Istanbul, Türkiye.
Aviation Institute faculty members demonstrated their commitment to advancing aerospace technologies as they actively participated in the "Recent Advances in Air and Space Technologies" (RAST’23) conference. This biennial event, organized at the international level by the National Defense University, Air Force Academy, provides an important platform for scholars and experts to share insights and discoveries. Held at the National Defense University in Istanbul, Türkiye, the conference witnessed the exchange of research results from the Aviation Institute's faculty members. Their projects and supervised theses, reflecting the latest advances in the field, contributed to the global discourse on aerospace technologies. The following is a comprehensive list of publications presented by the Aviation Institute faculty during the RAST’23 conference:
Barış Yılmaz, Elif Akar, Eyüphan Küçükkalfa, Kaan Yıldız, “Direct Foaming Approach for Reinforcing Re-entrant Auxetic Structures for Superior Compressive Properties and Energy Absorption”.
Merve Karabal, Alptekin Yıldız, “Creep Modeling of 3D Printed Carbon Black Reinforced Polyetherimide Composites”.
Muhammed Murat Özbek, Emre Koyuncu. “Missile Evasion Maneuver Generation with Model-free Deep Reinforcement Learning”.
Ramazan Yeniçeri, Emre Koyuncu, Serkan Şenel, Mehmet Zeki Paşaoğlu, Ahmet Talha Çetin, İpek Ösken, Onur Sevimli, Gürkan Çetin, Bariş Yalçin, Mert İrez, Taha Taner Inal, Mehmet Altan Toksöz, “A Multi-drone System for Formation Flight and Solo Attack”.
“Türkiye Sustainable Aviation Alliance” was established in cooperation with Boeing Türkiye, Istanbul Technical University and Turkish Airlines.
The opening program of the platform, in which the faculty members of the Aviation Institute took part as project coordinators and researchers, started with a presentation on sustainability in aviation by Brian Moran, Vice President of Global Sustainability Policy and Partnerships at Boeing. Aysem Sargin, Managing Director and Country Executive at Boeing Türkiye, Prof. Lutfiye Durak Ata, Vice-Rector of ITU and Levent Konukcu, Chief Investment and Technology of THY, attended the signing ceremony that marked the beginning of this exciting journey for our country's aviation industry. The event concluded with a panel titled "Collaboration for a Sustainable Future in Aviation" moderated by Filiz Hayirli Tepebasi, Strategy and Public Affairs Director of Boeing Türkiye, and featuring Deniz Dastan, Corporate Sustainability Management Manager of THY, Ismail H. Polat, Deputy General Manager for Planning of IGA Istanbul Airport, and Prof. Hulya Cebeci, Director of ITU Aerospace Research Center (ITU ARC). Addressing the main objectives of the platform in the panel, Prof. Cebeci stated that the aim of the platform is to create a cooperation network among stakeholders on sustainability, raise awareness, organize training programs, investigate the potential of the use of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) and create a roadmap as a recommendation. In the project that will contribute to the vision of ITU, which declared the 250th year of its establishment as the "Year of Sustainability", ITU ARC will perform its duty to ensure synchronization in university-industry collaborations with the role of "Project Manager".
The “Sustainability Studies in Aviation & Learn by Playing” event was held with 6th grade students at ITU Development Foundation Schools (ITU GVO) under the leadership of ITU Aerospace Research Center (ITU ARC), the Sustainable Aviation Alliance manager of Turkey, and the faculty members of Aviation Institute.
ITU ARC as the manager of Türkiye Sustainable Aviation Alliance in collaboration with the faculty members from Aviation Institute, organized the “Sustainability Studies in Aviation & Learn by Playing” event at ITU GVO, engaging 6th grade students in a transformative learning experience.
Commencing with an insightful seminar covering fundamental aviation concepts, sustainability principles, and ongoing efforts in the aviation sector, students were immersed in the dynamic world of sustainable aviation. The session fostered awareness as students delved into current and prospective challenges facing the aviation industry, along with innovative solutions.
A pivotal interactive segment involved students actively exploring the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations. Through a question-and-answer activity, students engaged in a dialogue on the sustainability goals they selected, employing an interactive education method that encouraged their active participation. This initiative provided students with a unique opportunity to identify and discuss their aspirations for a sustainable future.
As a part of the event, students eagerly participated in the “Zero Carbon City” board game, specially modified by the Türkiye Sustainable Aviation Alliance. This engaging game allowed students to grasp and apply sustainability principles in a practical setting, reinforcing the importance of sustainable practices in their everyday lives.
The “Sustainability Studies in Aviation & Learn by Playing” event not only enriched students' understanding of aviation and sustainability but also inspired them to actively contribute to a more sustainable future. The collaborative effort between ITU ARC, Türkiye Sustainable Aviation Alliance, and Aviation Institute showcased a commitment to fostering environmental consciousness and shaping the next generation of environmentally responsible individuals.
Launched in 2020, the Swarm Robotic Flight Systems, a comprehensive project supported by HAVELSAN, was successfully completed.
A pioneering project led by Dr. Emre Koyuncu and Dr. Ramazan Yeniçeri and faculty members of Aviation Institute, supported by HAVELSAN, has reached new heights in the capability of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The study focused on the development of high-speed and highly maneuverable UAVs equipped with swarming and diving capabilities. Integral to the project's success was the creation of ground control station software, a pivotal tool for future UAV studies. The team also established a robust communication network, both in hardware and software, playing a crucial role in enabling coordinated swarm flights. The project achieved successful completion following rigorous acceptance tests. Presenting academic output, the team showcased their achievements at the 10th International Conference on Recent Advances in Air and Space Technologies (RAST2023), held on June 7-9, 2023, with a study titled “A Multi-drone System for Formation Flight and Solo Attack”. The study, emphasizing the innovative swarm capabilities and advanced functionalities of the developed UAVs, has been published with the DOI: 10.1109/RAST57548.2023.10198012. This project represents a significant contribution to UAV technology, and the successful integration of state-of-the-art hardware and software solutions and academic contributions position this project as a significant advance in the field of unmanned aerial systems.
Under the leadership of Dr. Ramazan Yeniceri, the summer internship students at ITU Aerospace Research Center Avionics laboratory achieved a great success by developing a sun sensor and an ultrasonic anemometer in four weeks.
The summer internship program, led by the Avionics Laboratory and under the supervision of Dr. Ramazan Yeniçeri, was performed by Res. Assist. Sezer Memiş, Res. Assist. Emine Elif Yiğit, and a group of devoted students have witnessed significant achievements. The team carried out outstanding research and demonstrated their creativity and skills by developing a sun sensor system. The students initiated their journey by designing the sun sensor system, procuring components, and modeling their concepts in Simulink. Progressing further, they developed sophisticated algorithms, seamlessly translating them into embedded software deployed on a real-time operating system (RTOS). The multidisciplinary approach extended to PCB drawing and solid model design, and the team utilized 3D printing technology to bring their concepts to life. Notably, the students successfully transmitted measurements over WiFi, achieving an impressive deviation of less than 1 degree using over 30 Light Dependent Resistors (LDRs). This technological feat reflects their commitment to precision and innovation. In a parallel internship group, students took on the challenge of developing an ultrasonic anemometer, demonstrating their prowess in designing devices capable of measuring speed on two axes. Rigorous testing underscored the reliability and functionality of their creations, marking significant strides in the students' academic and professional development. These transformative projects not only represent a testament to the students' capabilities but also pave the way for future internships and academic careers. Aviation Institute continues to foster an environment where theoretical knowledge converges with hands-on experience, empowering students to contribute to advancements in technology and shaping the future of aviation and beyond.
In collaboration with SunExpress Airlines, AiPort, founded by the Aviation Institute faculty members, is developing the software and hardware systems for smart cameras to detect airline cabin events such as boarding and cleaning, reporting them to airline control center in real time.
AiPort, founded by the Aviation Institute faculty members Dr. Emre Koyuncu and Res. Assist. Muhammet Aksoy, is spearheading the development of intelligent camera modules designed to monitor airliner cabins, aiming to enhance operational efficiency during critical turnaround phases. The innovative project focuses on real-time detection of in-cabin events such as boarding, deboarding, and cleaning. Strategically positioned at key points during each turnaround phase, the smart cameras will capture crucial events inside the cabin and relay the information in real-time to the airline control center. This breakthrough initiative promises to streamline processes, optimize workflow, and contribute to an overall improvement in airline operations. Currently, two prototypes have been manufactured, and rigorous preliminary testing is underway at the ITU Aerospace Research Center (ITU ARC) labs. These tests encompass both software and hardware evaluations, ensuring the robustness and reliability of the smart camera modules. The proof-of-concept phase is slated to occur at the end of November 2023, with a collaborative effort and commitment from SunExpress Airlines. The partnership signifies a significant step toward real-world implementation and validation of AiPort's innovative cabin monitoring solution. For further details and updates on this pioneering project, interested parties are encouraged to visit the official AiPort website at aiport.aero.
The ITU Aerospace Research Center “AIGNC” research group, which includes faculty members from Aviation Institute, is developing an automatic flight approval system for unmanned aerial vehicles in order to improve Urban Air Traffic Management in smart cities.
ITU ARC Artificial Intelligence, Guidance, Navigation and Control (AIGNC) led by Dr. Emre Koyuncu is taking a significant stride in shaping the future of urban traffic management. The team is focused to developing an innovative automated flight approval system for drones, aimed at revolutionizing drone flight plan generation, risk assessments, and overall planning processes in the project. This pioneering project addresses the growing demand for efficient drone traffic management in urban environments, aiming to facilitate seamless integration into the airspace. The key components of the initiative include the formulation of a standardized flight plan format and a user-friendly interface that empowers operators to file their flight plans effortlessly. The collected flight plans undergo thorough scrutiny, with AI-based algorithms identifying anomalies or conflicts. The system proposes resolutions, ensuring a streamlined and secure drone operation environment. Collaborating with partners from the European Union (EU), the project extends its scope to include airspace resolutions, wind and capacity estimations, and conceptual designs for Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM). The project is EU-funded and is scheduled to span 30 months, commencing from September 2023. As the project unfolds, it promises to contribute significantly to the development of a safer, more efficient urban airspace for drone operations.
The AIGNC at ITU ARC has reached the capability to produce synthetic data for virtually all aspects of quadcopter vision-based navigation studies. This includes tasks like object detection, depth estimation, and visual odometry, employing camera setups equipped with realistic pinhole and fisheye lenses, whether monocular, binocular, or trinocular.
PhD candidate Seyed Erfan Seyed Roghani, a member of the research group of ITU Aerospace Research Center “AIGNC”, which includes faculty members from the Aviation Institute, has achieved a milestone in the realm of aerial technology by developing a cutting-edge platform tailored for quadcopters. This Unity-based platform introduces synthetic vision-based navigation data, reshaping the landscape of quadcopter control methodologies. The platform, meticulously crafted by Roghani, integrates popular quadcopter control techniques, providing a versatile and powerful tool for researchers and developers. Leveraging Unity's advanced graphical capabilities, the platform stands out by simulating various camera lenses, including pinhole and fisheye, motion blur, and lens distortion. What sets this platform apart is its ability to generate synthetic vision-based navigation data explicitly designed for quadcopters. By seamlessly integrating pose data and depth images, it meets the unique requirements of quadcopter navigation, addressing challenges specific to this aerial platform. Beyond its fundamental navigation capabilities, the platform opens doors to the application of artificial intelligence (AI)-based image processing techniques. Notably, researchers can implement object detection and semantic segmentation, expanding the platform's utility beyond navigation into broader AI applications. Roghani's innovation represents a significant leap forward in the field of quadcopter technology, offering a comprehensive and adaptive solution for both navigation and advanced image processing. As the platform continues to evolve, it holds the promise of reshaping how quadcopters navigate and perceive their surroundings, fostering advancements in various industries reliant on this emerging technology.
In the project supported by ASELSAN, a UAV with visual navigation and visual guidance capabilities was developed. The drone, which has artificial intelligence-based visual detection and tracking and visual inertial odometry capabilities, aims to protect critical systems (such as airports) where electronic warfare support (electronic jamming, etc.) is not possible.
An important collaboration between ASELSAN and ITU Aerospace Research Center (ITU ARC) has resulted in the creation of a cutting-edge drone equipped with fully visual navigation and guidance capabilities. This collaborative effort integrates artificial intelligence (AI)-based visual target tracking and visual-inertial navigation, presenting a transformative solution for defending critical facilities, including airports, where traditional electronic warfare support may be rendered ineffective. The project opens new possibilities for navigating seamlessly across the entire operational envelope without the need for GPS data. Key features of the developed drone include AI-based visual target tracking, visual-inertial navigation and autonomous operations.
In the final stage of project, flight tests were conducted to validate the visual target tracking and guidance algorithms, considering different weather conditions and time zones. The acceptance tests took place at ITU ARC Örencik UAV Test Site, where two Anti-UAV drones produced within the project were delivered to ASELSAN, marking the successful completion of this initiative. This collaborative achievement not only signifies a leap forward in drone technology but also reinforces the capabilities of AI-based visual navigation in critical defense applications. The project's success sets a precedent for future innovations in autonomous systems that can operate reliably in challenging and contested environments.
The 2022 initiatives of the iGA Hub Initiatives Program, launched by iGA and ITU ARI Teknokent, who teamed up to support startups in the field of Civil Aviation and Airport Management, made their appearances on the final stage of the Big Bang Startup Challenge. iGA awarded a total of TRY 800,000 to six startups. Our research assistant, Muhammed Aksoy, won an award as the founding partner of one of these start-ups. Congratulations on him and Assoc. Prof. Emre Koyuncu for their success.
Our graduate students Dilan Arslan and Melisa Dinçer participated in the FutureTex Istanbul context organized by the Istanbul Textile and Raw Materials Exporters Association (İTHİB) and ranked the fourth. The contest evaluates the combination of textile and innovation which we participated with the project “Anemon: Talking Surfaces” enabling antenna design on textile-based surfaces via as-developed conductive inks. The project was supervised by Assoc. Prof. Hülya Cebeci in collaboration with Asst. Prof. Başak Özkendirci (Doğuş University) and Asst. Prof. Ramazan Yeniçeri.
As a result of the studies carried out within the Aviation Institute, we attended the European Conference on Composite Materials ECCM20 on 26-30 June 2022 in Lausanne, Switzerland with seven different presentations. The studies were guided by Assoc. Prof. Hülya Cebeci, Asst. Prof. Alptekin Yıldız and Asst. Prof Kaan Yıldız in collaboration with our research partners Assoc. Prof. Elif Özden-Yenigun (Royal College of Art) and Asst. Prof. Başak Özkendirci (Doğuş University). The details of the studies presented by our students Adel Alrai, Çağın Emre, Emir Karcı, Eyüphan Küçükkalfa, Melike Ertürk, Melisa Dinçer and Yunus Emre Bozkurt are given below.
📆 27/06/2022 – Melike Ertürk – “Investigation of the Mechanical Properties of Fuzzy CNT and CNT/CNC Integrated Glass Fiber/Epoxy Composites with Different Reinforcing Strategies"
📆 28/06/2022 – Emir Karcı – "Effect of Weaving Patterns on the Wettability and Mechanical Properties of 3D Woven I-Beam Composites"
📆 28/06/2022 – Eyüphan Küçükkalfa – "Flexural Behaviour of Polyurethane Foam Filled High-Performance 3-D Woven I-Beam Composites"
📆 28/06/2022 – Adel ALRAI – "Toward sustainable Active Cellulose Nanocrystals-based ink for Structural Health Monitoring"
📆 28/06/2022 – Yunus Emre Bozkurt – "Establishing Synergistic Effects of BN and CNTs on the Thermal Conductivity of PEEK Filaments for 3D Printing"
📆 28/06/2022 – Melisa Dinçer – "Influence of TEX Linear Density on Mechanical Properties of 3D Woven I-Beam Composites"
📆 29/06/2022 – Çağın Emre – "Efficient and Versatile 3D Woven Composite Manufacturing: Novel Approaches on the Quality of Composite Fabrication"
The project entitled "Investigation of Dynamic Mechanical Properties of Elastomeric Nanoparticles Reinforced Polyurethane Foams" has been supported under the General Research Projects Programme by Istanbul Technical University Scientific Research Projects Coordination Department. Asst. Prof. Kaan Yildiz will serve as the principal investigator whereas the project team consists of Assoc. Prof. Hülya Cebeci and Prof. Aytaç Arıkoğlu of Faculty of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Res. Asst. Eyüphan Küçükkalfa. The main goal of the project is to improve the dynamic mechanical properties of polyurethane foams via elastomeric nanoparticles reinforcements and developing a high-fidelity model by using the experimental data.
The project named "Mathematical Modeling of Creep Behavior of Carbon Black Reinforced PEI Composites Fabricated by Additive Manufacturing", led by Assist. Prof. Alptekin Yıldız, has been supported by the ITU BAP Coordination Unit as part of the Research Initial Support Project (ABP). The aim of this project is to examine the experimentally obtained creep behavior of composites produced by additive manufacturing with the mathematical models given in the literature.
In advanced engineering applications such as aerospace and defense technologies, PEI stands out with its superior properties such as high mechanical strength, high thermal stability, and non-flammability. PEI composite filaments with carbon black fillers were produced and test samples were printed. The purpose is to investigate the effects of the production method on the behavior and in-service performance of the composites after 3D printing of test samples. It is aimed to make material characterizations and to model these behaviors mathematically.
In the management of airspaces, a paradigm shift is taking place on the continuation of flights not over known points, but with operations based on high precision calculations called Trajectory Based Operations (TBO)…(click for details)
An important part of the innovative work carried out within the Aviation Institute is modeling, simulation and control algorithms development projects. The development of SI (System Identification) based control algorithms, which is one of these studies and one of the hot research topics of today, is carried out by researchers within the Aviation Institute...(click for details)
Our EU-funded project aims to increase the safety, security, efficiency and solidity of future air traffic management (ATM) systems by updating CNS technology. FACT is an SESAR2020 exploratory research project investigating possible enhancements of CNS capabilities for low altitude operations. In this context, a coexistence of drones and GA including rotorcrafts within the controlled and uncontrolled airspace is the primary focus...(click for details)
Within the scope of "High Maneuverable UAV and Hybrid Vertical Take-off UAV Research and Development Project (SRUS)" that we are working with Havelsan, High Maneuverable (Kamikaze) UAV and Hybrid Vertical Take-off (VTOL) UAV systems and their control systems, swarm algorithms, avionic systems, dynamics and modelling, and the development of image and navigation algorithms...(click for details)
Archi-pilot is an autopilot software being developed with 4 undergraduate students under Aerospace Research Center in ITU. The modularity and flexibility of the PX4 and abilities of ArduPilot were inspired, whilst using the FreeRTOS environment. This for the future possibility of usage on any FreeRTOS running board without being forced to use any particular hardware. It is originated by solving the autonomy of aircraft problems but aimed flexibility to be used on any autonomous vehicle such as robotics arm, ground vehicle etc. ...(click for details)
Assist. Prof. Kaan Yildiz has been awarded the Career Development Program (3501) by TUBITAK. The project aims to enhance the vibration characteristics and energy absorption capabilities of tensegrity structures using nanomaterials…(click for details)
The project titled “The Next Generation Thermal Management Materials and Structures” with a scope of developing thermally conductive 3D filaments, funded by Boeing and developed at ITU was successfully completed under the supervision of Assoc. Prof. Hulya Cebeci (Department of Aeronautical Engineering) and Assist. Prof. Alptekin Yıldız (Aviation Institute) as a researcher with a team of graduate students…(click for details)
Head of Textiles Programme, Anne Toomey, and senior tutor at Textiles Programme, Dr. Elif Ozden-Yenigun from Royal College of Art (RCA) has visited Istanbul Technical University Aerospace Research Center for discussing potential collaborations which led to a new project on wearable respiration sensors…(click for details)
Res. Assist. Yunus Emre Bozkurt and Assist. Prof. Alptekin YILDIZ from Aviation Institute and Assoc. Prof. Hülya Cebeci from Aeronautical Eng. Department are granted TÜBİTAK 1512 - Entrepreneurship Support Program (BiGG) for the project titled as “Functional Composite Filament Production” …(click for details)
The 12th-month report of the project titled "Manufacturing 3D woven I, T Profiled Beams and Monocoque Airfoil Shaped Preforms-Prepregs and Preparing Their Structural Composites" supported under The 1003 - Primary Subjects R&D Funding Program of Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) has been accepted in April 2021...(click for details)
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