At the Farnborough International Airshow which begins next Monday (July 11), we’ll see lots of aircraft on display that are being powered by the Internet of Things (IoT) and data analytics.
These new technologies are set to revolutionise the aero-engines industry; from assembly and manufacturing to maintenance and safety, including tracking the aircraft’s location and engine performance.
For instance, the IoT is being used to drive better decision making and enhance the power of prediction to detect faults before they cause an aircraft to be grounded.
Specifically relating to maintenance, the IoT helps airlines collect and subsequently to translate vast volumes of data into meaningful business information that can then be applied to determine the status and performance of particular systems and subsystems within the aircraft.
Of course, the more information made available to ground staff, the more informed the decision making process will be in ascertaining firstly, what the issue is, and secondly, whether it is a problem with one particular aircraft, or the entire fleet; enabling them to improve overall performance.
We also expect to see many virtual reality concepts on display this year at Farnborough; which are starting to make headway in areas such as MRO.
For instance, smart glasses worn by engineers working on engines could be used to transmit images of the aircraft to maintenance specialists for assessment, and immediate consultancy could be given. In turn, information could be fed straight back to the engineer on the ground in real-time.
The capabilities of hands-free smart glasses also allow for all this data to be recorded to assess further issues down the line. This technology could drive huge improvements in efficiencies and safety and reduce human error.
Tom Edwards is president for North America operations and aerospace at Cyient.