The Last Mile for Digital Aviation

The Last Mile for Digital Aviation

Before talking about the “last mile,” we need a common knowledge of our Digital Aviation vision. First, let’s think about what we require from Digital Aviation then explore the way to get there in the last mile. Flying combat missions in a Vietnam-era C-130E presents an honest place to begin for this discussion. In 2003, my US Air Force Reserve unit was tasked with delivering airlift support in the Asian country with our 1963 C-130E model aircraft. Though capable for the mission, a C-130E undoubtedly lacks the support and flight deck automation of contemporary day aircraft. As a flight engineer, I found myself, on several occasions, having to respond to inflight emergencies with the assistance of the data contained in my flight bag. Unlike the trendy electronic flight bag, our flight bag was virtually a 40-pound animal skin bag full of technical publications. Don’t get me wrong, and the USA Air Force did a superb job coaching USA for the mission. We have a tendency to had all the data we would have liked to deal with advanced inflight emergencies. The challenge was that the information was distributed across completely different publications in the bag. Thus after you were flying NVG missions within the mountains of the Asian country, quickly retrieving this data throughout an inflight emergency was a real challenge. Needless to say, situational awareness is lost during this situation. In contrast, once equivalent inflight emergencies occur within the cockpit of a modern-day aircraft, electronic flight bags automatically provide aircrew with the data they have to diagnose and reply to the situation. With the click of a button, discourse data appears that directly relates to the system failure alongside the applicable system schematics, limitations, troubleshooting guides, and emergency procedures required for resolution.

This flight bag comparison gives a compelling illustration of the real end game for Digital Aviation, in my opinion. Digital Aviation ought to do what electronic flight baggage have made for aircrew over the years, except for alternative roles on the bottom in Maintenance management, reliability and safety departments, and on the flight line. At its core, Digital Aviation ought to provide the power to supply the correct data, to the right person, at the exact time, even while not them asking. In alternative words, act as an enabler for true call support. It means that mechanically delivering all the relevant technical and policy-related data so that the failure will be diagnosed, and also the remedy executed quickly.

The Power of a Business Network

Gartner, Inc. defines the Internet of Things (IoT) as a network of physical objects that includes embedded technology to communicate and communicate with internal states or the external setting. While, IoT isn't new for aviation, the power to expand its application on the far side the flight deck is. With the hardware, code, and property currently in place, aviation has crossed the tipping point from a technology point of view.

Now, it’s attainable to travel the last mile within the industry’s evolution by expanding the view of the “network” to incorporate the business network.

It’s this business network and also the ensuing new business models that will bring Digital Aviation to its full potential. Why? Because any piece of capital equipment is a system of systems. To appreciate the real value, these systems will now not run in isolation. Even as operators don’t fly engines in isolation, so neither does the military nor airline operators need multiple, disconnected solutions for each system or system installed across their mixed fleet of craft. Instead, the “last mile” for Digital Aviation needs a business network that aligns the service eco-system for the benefit of the operator.

The challenge is that current processes and systems used for support are generally very disconnected across the A&D ecosystem. Stakeholders historically accept a model of “request/receive,” that is no longer economical as instrumentality gets more advanced. To reach the next level of potency, large amounts of data has to be continuously changed between regulatory authorities, operators, OEMs, and repair suppliers. A neutral business network is required to assemble all stakeholders onto a typical setting to facilitate collaboration across the system. A neutral third-party business network would allow standardized master data management, additional cooperative service processes, and a setting for delivering new innovative services.

Standardized Master data Management- OEMs publish, Operators Consume

The network should enable OEMs to post product knowledge in an approach that's consumed by operators and repair suppliers. A critical part of Digital Aviation is visual processes. As an example, OEMs ought to have the power to publish their model knowledge in 2d and/or 3D formats. Thus it will be reused across the system. Examples are visual work directions tied on to operational task lists and visible half ordering processes to speed the requisition process. Once printed on the network, the system currently has one place to travel for data and one version of the reality, saving time and money for the entire system.

Collaborative Service Processes - Operators Publish, OEMs Consume

OEMs and repair suppliers conjointly want higher visibility into operational data to support the execution of service contracts and to drive product enhancements. This is often enabled by a flow of data concerning however the equipment is being employed, wherever it's installed, what failures have occurred, FMEA from the operator and what service bulletins are embodied so far. The network ought to give the platform for OEMs, service suppliers, and operators to collaborate around equipment design enhancements, which is able to increase the safety of flight, improve dependableness and cut back lifecycle prices. Just like the commercial enterprise of the equipment master data, access to the current data would be controlled by means that of a subscription-based approach.

Next Generation of Digital Services

As the business network allows the gathering and access of additional knowledge across the system, exciting new applications become possible. Advanced algorithms are going to be able to predict equipment performance. With open and anonymized access to expertise, operators will currently open up a competitive market place to solicit and contend for the foremost practical algorithms and analysis of their operational knowledge. The business network may even give an area wherever business partners will connect with alternative third parties to competitively supply the best intelligence for his or her equipment. With a solid foundation of equipment data within the network, a new category of potential enterprise solutions becomes attainable.

The creation of a “neutral” business network could also be the missing piece within the Digital Aviation journey. Of course, there square measure several obstacles to overcome. The aviation trade includes a long history and culture of not sharing data because of property rights and security considerations. Also, there's an unending discussion around standardizing model, engineering, and transactional knowledge. The question is… what's going to get the complete A&D system pulling in the same direction? The vision printed higher than is merely possible after we get an essential mass act within the same language on an equivalent network. This is often once the system comes along and acts because of the force multiplier for price creation for operators. Currently that the technology exists and also the vision is set out, it’s time to require the primary step along on a journey down this last digital mile.

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