UTC Aerospace Systems is currently testing its new Pulse Health Monitoring System (HMS) to evaluate the airworthiness of sensing systems aboard the USAF's C-5 Galaxy aircraft.
The Pulse HMS is a lightweight, scalable vehicle health management system designed to enable real-time evaluation of an aircraft's condition.
The on-going flight trials are part of a US Air Force (USAF) contract awarded to Metis Design Corporation. UTC Aerospace Systems licensed the MD7-Pro structural health monitoring system from Metis on July 14, 2016, to further expand its aircraft health management solutions. During the flight trials, Pulse HMS and the MD7-Pro will be used to evaluate the airworthiness of sensing systems aboard the USAF's C-5 Galaxy aircraft. The C-5 Galaxy is one of the largest aircraft in the world and the largest airlifter in the USAF's inventory, having a greater cargo capacity than any other airlifter with a maximum cargo rating of 270,000 pounds, according to the USAF.
Pulse HMS uses a remote sensor interface, diagnostic and prognostic analytics software modules, and wireless communication capability to perform data collection of the overall health and performance of an aircraft. The data collected can be processed on-board or transferred off-board for storage and further analytic processing.
Pulse HMS ties seamlessly to existing UTC Aerospace Systems Pulse Ground Stations. These stations provide ground analytics solutions that can be loaded onto laptops and tablets for maximum flexibility for both operators and maintenance teams. Together the system and the station offer users a suite of tools that can be used individually or collectively to measure an aircraft's performance.
"This is like monitoring systems found in modern automobiles that evaluate tire pressure, fuel consumption, oil condition, drivetrain performance or other aspects, and they provide the driver or mechanic with the necessary information to assist in keeping the vehicle well maintained," said David Larsen, Prognostics and Health Management Systems Program Chief Engineer at UTC Aerospace Systems.
The capability to wirelessly collect, process, and transfer data through the Pulse HMS is designed to allow customers tailored options to pull and analyse selected data. Measured data can be processed as a snapshot in time or as part of a continuous performance monitoring process. This flexibility extends from monitoring a single aircraft up to an entire fleet to determine trends.