Autonomous and Critical Embedded Systems

PhD offer: mixed criticality systems for a heterogeneous drone fleet

Une version en français est également disponible.

Institut Polytechnique de Paris is offering financing for a 3 year PhD in computer science. The PhD will be hosted in the ACES (Autonomous and Critical Systems) team of the LTCI lab of Télécom Paris and is part of a larger project involving Télécom Paris, École Polytechnique and ENSTA. The PhD thesis work will be about designing mixed critical systems for an heterogeneous drone fleet running hard and soft real-time tasks.

In an heterogeneous drone fleet composed of land, air and marine drones, we might want to distribute computations such as the global strategy. This strategy depends on the state and characteristics of individual drones while maximizing the probability of mission success and preserving the drones safety and integrity. Of course, each kind of drone will have a different view on what constitutes safety and integrity. Also, different drones might use different software architecture and design methodology.

Mixed criticality systems (MCS) allow the combination of functionalities running at different criticality levels on the same hardware platform. Those systems handle adverse conditions such as an over-consumption of the allocated budget or unavailability of computed data by switching to a high criticality mode in which only a subset of functionalities can run with stronger safety guarantees. Other tasks such as mission-critical ones may be stopped or run in a degraded mode.

We propose to extend those concepts to a fleet of heterogeneous drones. An failure event on one or several systems might require reconfiguring the part of the fleet in order to increase the probability of success of the mission. During the transition operation, at any time the individual and global safety properties must be preserved. The PhD candidate will propose, prove and test new ideas and methods for designing, scheduling and modelling such a system.

In a collaborative work with other teams of Institut Polytechnique de Paris, we will develop a prototype to evaluate the proposed solutions performances in realistic test cases. Our solutions will be made compatible with industrial standards such as AUTOSAR and ARINC 653.

Administrative information

  • PhD candidate selection: June/July 2021
  • PhD starting date: October 2021
  • PhD end date and defense: October 2024
  • Diploma requirements: French M2 or similar (graduate student); competency in algorithms and software developments; able to work autonomously and in teams; can work with international teams.
  • Information needed: letter indicating interest in the PhD offer subject; academic transcript; recommendation letters are appreciated
  • Contact: Laurent Pautet ( et Samuel Tardieu (

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