Office National d’Etudes et de Recherches Aérospatiales (ONERA)

Research and DevelopmentMember since 2014

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 six key missions:

  • 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

  • Train researchers and engineers

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 defense 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 aircraft

  • Military aircraft

  • Helicopters and tiltrotors

  • Propulsion systems

  • Orbital systems

  • Space transport

  • Missile systems

  • Defense systems

  • Networked systems and security systems

Onera’s funding comes from two sources:

  • 60%: contract research for industry and agencies

  • 40%: annual subsidy from the French government

The subsidy primarily finances long-term research, which lays the groundwork for future developments. Research contracts finance medium and short-term work, closer to the application. The strategic challenge for Onera is to organize this broad knowledge stream, ranging from the acquisition of knowledge to transferring it to industry.

Onera is both an active participant in aerospace research and a coordinator of this research. As a player, we develop our scientific knowledge base in our own laboratories. As a coordinator, we use this knowledge, combined with that of other French and European research teams, to lead multidisciplinary research projects that focus on applications.

The research carried out or coordinated by Onera is designed to meet some of the challenges facing society today:

  • Develop industrial competitiveness

  • Protect the environment

  • Enhance safety and security

Onera is working on some of today’s most important issues, including the reduction of noise and emissions, aircraft safety and air traffic management. At the same time, we are continuing our research into increasing the performance and competitiveness of airplanes, helicopters and launch vehicles.

Onera also addresses today’s fast-changing defense needs, such as surveillance and tracking systems, information processing, decision aids and aircraft autonomy. Our researchers cover every link in the defense system chain: see- understand- decide- act.