Like other major component OEMs, Honeywell is increasingly involved in support and analysis of the systems it offers airlines.
But the firm’s ambitions go beyond just analyzing sensor data and supporting its own products.
Bharathan Aravamudhan, senior product marketing manager for condition-based maintenance, says Honeywell is building a set of applications that assist technicians in troubleshooting that could be extended across the entire aircraft.
Honeywell’s suite of applications offers three levels of support.
MyMaintainer Troubleshooter provides what Aravamudhan calls “the first level of defense” that will helps techs with targeted troubleshooting steps from the aircraft maintenance manuals based on fault codes.
MyMaintainer Analyzer is an analysis application developed for Honeywell’s own cockpit systems that helps transfer, decode and analyze detailed fault data.
The third level, MyMaintainer Diagnostic Reasoner, is a much more detailed troubleshooting application that techs can use to troubleshoot various scenarios and conditions and receive highly targeted troubleshooting advice based on the aircraft maintenance manuals.
“Each of these components has the potential to cover the overall aircraft,” Aravamudhan explains. The key inputs are aircraft and component maintenance manuals, central maintenance computer faults and operating data.
Turning digital maintenance manuals into data that these applications can interpret for techs is a non-trivial but very practical task. Generally, Natural Language Processing techniques ‘ingest’ the manuals and organize the results so simple queries by techs yield the right trouble-shooting and repair steps.
MyMaintainer Analyzer is now is being used by techs for Honeywell’s EPIC and APEX cockpit systems, while the MyMaintainer Troubleshooter application is now being tested on a pilot aircraft. Aravamudhan says it ready to be implemented on any aircraft that has necessary access to the aircraft maintenance manuals and fault isolation manuals.
The core of the deepest level, MyMaintainer Diagnostic Reasoner, has been built. But it needs to be further developed for specific customers and manufacturers based on their maintenance and fault manuals and design data for components that would be covered.
Aravamudhan sees challenges and opportunities on all three levels. “Honeywell will need work with operators and OEMS to ensure coverage of MyMaintainer as an aircraft-wide solution, starting with diagnostics and moving into predictive and prognostic maintenance.”