ONERA (Office National d’Etudes et Recherches Aérospatiales) is the French national aerospace research center. It is a public research establishment, with eight major facilities in France and about 2,000 employees, including 1,500 scientists, engineers and technicians. ONERA was originally created by the French government in 1946, and assigned:

  • Direct and conduct aeronautical research;
  • Support the commercialization of this research by national and European industry;
  • Construct and operate the associated experimental facilities;
  • Supply industry with high-level technical analyses and other services;
  • Perform technical analyses for the government.

All of this research is keyed to applications. Whether the research has short, medium or long-term goals, it is designed to support the competitiveness and creativity of the aerospace and defence industries. The research carried out at ONERA results in computation codes, methods, tools, technologies, materials and other products and services which are used to design and manufacture everything to do with aerospace: civil and military aircraft, helicopters and tilt rotors, propulsion systems, orbital systems, space transport, missile systems, defence systems, networked systems and security systems

ONERA includes a Systems Control and Flight Dynamics department whose mission is to develop new methods and new tools for identification, optimization and automation, intended to predict and control the dynamic behaviour of vehicles and systems. The areas of expertise of this department cover:

  • Flight dynamics and identification;
  • System control;
  • Control and decision making;
  • Human factors.

The department's favourite area of activity is the aerospace sector but its research applies equally well to submarines and surface vessels, to self-sufficient or remote controlled robotic systems and large land traffic or air traffic control systems. The department conducts robotic experiments using its own autonomous helicopter