NCMS Project #: 140876
Problem: The issue of how to develop a reliable, cost-effective solution for trouble-shooting electrical systems continues to plague the aircraft industry. A good portion of aircraft maintenance costs are attributed to finding anomalies associated with complex electrical systems. AMUET has been successfully demonstrated as a Proof of Concept in Phase I and Phase II on multiple C130 electrical subsystems at Warner Robins including Intercom, Fuel Quantity Sensor, and Antiskid Braking. Additionally, a separate project with NAVSEA has shown strong promise on a naval ship. A preliminary BCA (Benefit Cost Analysis) was completed validating potential cost, flight readiness and technician ergonomic benefits over conventional ATE (Automated Test Equipment) and handheld meters in a depot environment. What has not been proven is AMUET’s capability to be used on the flight line at a remote location over an extended period under operational conditions.
Benefit: It is expected that the project will demonstrate that AMUET can be a valuable, cost effective wiring/electrical systems analysis tool as an alternative to conventional ATE and handheld meters typically used at the Operational-(O) level. Having real-time data (by tail number) at the O-level is particularly useful for aircraft fleet sustainability if merged into a Conditioned Based Maintenance (CBM+) system to rapidly troubleshoot unsuspected electrical failures with the potential to identify necessary corrective action before the fault occurs. Early results from a Phase II BCA showed testing for a moderate subsystem can be completed within 45 minutes (compared to hours using handheld meters) and tens of thousands of dollars in equipment (hardware and software) costs and months of TPS (Test Program Set) development time be avoided when compared to conventional ATE.
Solution/Approach: The objective of AMUET Phase III is to demonstrate AMUET’s capabilities over an extended period at a remote maintenance and sustainment center. Hurlburt AFB will be the test location. They are anxious to test AMUET due to the many electrical problems that need quick resolution in active aircraft (e.g., C130 U) where turnaround time is of the essence. To achieve this objective, a ruggedized system must be made available to Hurlburt with an ATO (Authority to Operate) approval. Currently AMUET has achieved IATT (Interim Authority to Test) in depot environment.
Impact on Warfighter:
- Increased safety
- Reduced costs
- Improved readiness
- U.S. Air Force (Warner Robins)
- U.S. Air Force (Hurlburt)
- Mercer Engineering and Research Center (MERC)
- Cost savings
- Repair turn-around time
- Maintenance avoidance and reliability
- Maintenance management improvement
- Improved readiness
- Enhanced inspection