ORLANDO, Fla. -- UTC Aerospace Systems (UTAS), seeking to expand its presence in the data-driven maintenance prognostics arena, has launched a multi-tier set of aircraft subsystem monitoring and health management services running on an expanded and re-branded version of its five-year-old aircraft system health management (ASHM) product.
The suite, christened FlightSense, offers three levels--Repair, Predictable, and Available--that gives airlines a range of coverage options, from pay-as-you-go to a cost-per-hour choice that includes guaranteed asset availability. The common thread in each option: cost predictability derived from the company's ASHM maintenance analytics platform.
ASHM's latest edition, which UTAS has branded Ascentia, combines three primary data analysis methods: physics-based modeling, statistical analysis, and machine learning. UTAS's engineering and data-science experts use the system to help customers improve aircraft reliability by developing predictive maintenance recommendations and optimizing shop-visit schedules and workscopes.
“We’ve developed highly advanced algorithms from the thousands of parameters of data we analyze, that combined with our years of experience and expertise enables operators to reduce costs and improve fleet reliability,” said Samir Mehta, UTAS president, aftermarket.
Ascentia builds on ASHM, which UTAS launched in 2013. That system took condition monitoring reports from various subsystems and calculated estimated values for certain key parameters, providing users with windows on how components were performing, and when maintenance would likely be needed. The system also set up alerting functions to help customers monitor certain conditions and call attention to issues that may signal a maintenance action is prudent.
In the years since ASHM made its debut, both the amount of data available and the computing power to crunch it has expanded significantly. UTAS, which makes a variety of aircraft subsystems, including wheels and brakes, thrust reverses, and electrical generators, has been eyeing ways to leverage streams of data from its products to help boost asset availability for customers--and broaden its aftermarket portfolio in the process.
The pending acquisition of Rockwell Collins by UTAS parent United Technologies Corp. should only expedite the effort. Among Rockwell's core competencies is using sensors to generate useful data from components, and providing communications channels to move data between aircraft and the ground.