Software Engineering Within The Aerospace Industry

Technology continues to expand, growing and innovating the aerospace industry at incredible rates. Much of these accomplishments are, in part, due to the ever growing software engineering profession within the aerospace industry. Unlike developing code for desktop or phone applications, working as a software engineer within the aerospace industry requires integrated knowledge of code and hardware.

Software Engineering Within The Aerospace Industry

Although many may define the aerospace industry as the hardware they see, much of the cost and labor is found in what allows these machines to function successfully. According to a recent article, 50% of the cost goes to navigation, guidance, control, & software. The software within the aerospace industry works to allow communication between vehicles and ground control, communication between vehicles with each other, and vast amounts of data to be collected throughout all processes.

A software engineer within this industry must be very particular when developing code, and understanding the detail of the hardware they are working with. A small bug may cause a headache for someone developing a new iPhone application, yet a small bug thousands of feet in the air is another story. Software engineers also work to make landings more efficient, by developing various ways to track and communicate with those that are flying. The more continuous data they are able to collect on the plane’s position, the more efficient the landing becomes saving both time and cost.

Next Steps

There is now increasing focus on big data that is produced within the industry-how that data is collected, organized, and interpreted allows vast amounts of room for product improvement, product development, innovation, and cost efficiency. This allows for flying and communications to become much more efficient, as there are constant ways to improve process with so much data being produced.

However, as more systems become automated, it is important that pilots working the machines are still well educated on the machine itself. It is stated in a new article, that while new technology creates endless ways to innovate, pilots must learn to keep up with the machines they are flying. Although the case becomes less and less common, they must be prepared to take over with their own skill and judgement when necessary.

The Future

Software engineering within the aerospace industry is a growing interest among college students. According to a recent article, aerospace is the 3rd most popular among engineers.  The demand for more educated professionals will increase as the aerospace industry continues innovate and expand.

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