CEIT-IK4 research centre and Integrasys have developed a system of sensors placed in aircraft that acts like a real-time black box. It is used to monitor the condition of the aircraft and predict potential problems long before they occur.
Spanish engineers from the electronics and telecommunications department of CEIT-IK4 research centre, in collaboration with the company Integrasys, have just presented an innovative system of airplane maintenance. It is a kind of black box that performs real-time monitoring of a plane’s condition. In fact, it is not intended to be a black box to detect in-flight errors. This system will not warn that an aircraft component is going to fail in seven minutes, but will rather detect the potential problem a long time (weeks, even months) in advance, so that it can be repaired.
The sensor system is placed strategically in the plane structure, including in the least accessible areas for mechanics, and is connected via Wi-Fi to a central node on board and to a ground control centre. The system covers the safety gaps in the aviation sector, especially in monitoring the condition of the airframe, internal wiring, operation of the wings or the fuselage of the aircraft. For instance, these sensors can analyse whether certain vibrations are compatible with a specific model of aircraft.
So far, the Greek defence industry has already made inquiries to the Spanish research centre. It is particularly interested in the cost savings achievable when carrying out maintenance work.