One crucial step in predictive maintenance is simply getting data off the aircraft. And the more economically, the better - the cheaper the byte, the more bytes can be sent and better predictions made. Tapping maintenance data from aircraft is most affordable if combined with other connectivity solutions, including operating data for pilots and passenger connections.
It is thus not surprising that premiere passenger-connectivity provider Gogo has partnered with Brazil's GOL Linhas Aereas, to launch Gogo's aircraft data service, wireless quick access recorder and automated turbulence reporting. These tools tap aircraft data to drive operational and maintenance benefits by using 2Ku high-speed global communication satellites. The synergies of using a common system make each function more affordable, according to Chad Gill, senior product manager of connected aircraft services
Gill explains the basic components of the new service. Gogo’s wireless quick access recorder acquires, records, stores and can push aircraft data to airline flight data monitoring, flight operations quality assurance or aircraft health monitoring programs. Automated turbulence reporting generates and shares turbulence reports instantly. And Gogo’s aircraft data services improve decision making and situational awareness by with real-time data. “Data can be sent during all phases of flight, over the most cost-effective channel,” Gill explains. “With Gogo’s eEnablement service and our onboard network, airlines can now do with software what other suppliers have historically done with hardware.”
Gogo is getting into the operational side of connectivity because “data is the new currency,” Gill stresses. Gogo’s inflight passenger connectivity business has always required sensors on aircraft. Meanwhile, “the number of sensors and data from those sensors keeps increasing as more technologically advanced aircraft come to market. More and more data generation is inevitable, which makes the ability to access the data even more important.”
If airlines can’t access some new sensor data before it becomes stale, they can’t act on it to make flights safer and more efficient. “This is where Gogo comes into play, enabling access to aircraft data wirelessly both in the air for pilot EFBs and on the ground for quality assurance analysis,” Gill stresses.
Data supported varies by aircraft type, and Gogo offers standard and custom data packages. Now that FAA has approved the use of own-ship data on EFBs throughout all phases of flight, Gogo can transmit data such as latitude, longitude, altitude, ground speed, origin, destination, and so forth directly from aircraft systems to EFB applications.
Conveniently, if an airline is already a Gogo passenger connectivity customer, minimal installation is required. Gogo’s onboard server incorporates the hardware features commonly found in aircraft interface devices, and its software can access read-only aircraft data.
Wirelessly storing and forwarding aircraft data from the aircraft with Gogo’s wireless quick access recorder enables maintenance engineers to get data faster for quality assurance programs and eliminates the need for expensive media and costly recurring visits to the aircraft to manually retrieve data.
Gill says the approach enables maintenance planners to do airplane health management and predictive analytics with selected real-time data and real-time alerts for aircraft issues. And it’s all much more affordable: “Gogo’s solution bonds aircraft data access together with broadband technology that yields a platform for many connected aircraft initiatives at unprecedented economics. The ability to avoid costly hardware and aircraft downtime for installations positions us very well to provide this capability to our customers.”