Cranfield University completed construction in December of 2020 on the Digital Aviation Research and Technology Centre (DARTeC) in the United Kingdom. Designed by Burrell Foley Fischer, the £65 million complex provides technology-rich laboratory environments adjoining a live aerodrome with a hangar, a 737-400 aircraft, and a digital air traffic control center with next-generation radar systems. The innovative facility also includes open offices and a two-story atrium with integrated breakout areas to promote interaction and collaboration. Accommodating research on aircraft sensing equipment for visual, thermal, and load distribution, the facility will support digital maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) studies, as well as the development of autonomous airport ground handling vehicles and unmanned aerial vehicles. R G Carter was the general contractor for the project, which began construction in January of 2019. Curtins provided structural, civil, and geotechnical engineering services.
DARTeC consortium partners include Aveillant, Blue Bear Systems Research, Boeing, BOXARR, the Connected Places Catapult, Etihad Airways, Inmarsat, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the IVHM Centre, Saab, the Satellite Applications Catapult and Thales.