Accessibility statement

Complex, connected, and cyber-secure - the future of flight in the UK

Posted on 31 January 2020

Computer scientists at York are partners in a new £32m project to enable UK industry to build and support the most complex, connected, cyber-secure avionic systems in the world.

Photo by Francois Van on Unsplash


HI-CLASS (High-Integrity, Complex, Large, Software and Electronic Systems) brings together systems developers, tool suppliers, and academia in order to develop new electronic products for aircraft that are intelligent and internet-connected, but also certified, safe, and secure from cyber-attack.

The project team in the Department of Computer Science at York will be led by Dr Iain Bate and Professor Dimitris Kolovos. Iain’s team will focus on challenges with multi-core technologies. Such technology brings huge benefits in terms of system performance and lower cost, but can cause unpredictability. The team in York will be developing certification guidance, enabling system developers to meet regulator objectives. They will also progress practical research methods to allow multi-core technologies to be used in future systems.


“The University of York welcomes this opportunity to embed their world-leading research into this new aerospace project,” said Dr Bate. “Our work will address the specific issues of how to improve the efficiency with which more complex avionic systems can be developed and certified. We will be working with a range of companies from all tiers of the supply chain across conventional aircraft systems and aircraft systems of the future."

Professor Kolovos will lead a second team in York developing a new Rolls-Royce product software architecture, CaMCOA. “This architecture is important for the progression of avionics,” added Dr Bate. “To be able to create safe and secure, complex, connected systems we need a new intelligent software architecture.”


HI-CLASS is a £32m UK government funded research project that started in July 2019. The programme is led by Rolls-Royce Control Systems. The collaborative group, comprised of 16 funded partners and two unfunded partners, is made up of the following system developers, tool suppliers and academic institutions: AdaCore, Altran, BAE Systems, Callen-Lenz, Cobham, Cocotec, D-Risq, GE Aviation, General Dynamics UK, Leonardo, MBDA, University of Oxford, Rapita Systems, Rolls-Royce, University of Southampton, Thales, Ultra Electronics and University of York.