NCMS Project #: 140701
Problem: The Military Services are currently challenged by detecting and isolating faults in aircraft wiring cables and avionics line replaceable units (LRU). These faults include opens and shorts, degraded and intermittent signals, and insulation degradation. The magnitude of the challenge is daunting with the DoD spending approximately $2B annually just removing and replacing LRUs that when tested, reveal no fault found (NFF). Additionally, legacy electronic components are experiencing increasingly reduced reliability as a result of component age and usage, current visual inspection processes lack effectiveness and can identify only approximately 25% of total weapon system wiring problems. DoD estimates that 75% of aircraft in a mission ready status contain intermittent electrical interconnect issues with potentially catastrophic implications.
Several newer technologies address the identification and isolation of electrical faults in weapon systems, including intermittent faults. However, there is no defined requirement for detecting and isolating intermittent faults and no test validation process for assessing the capabilities of intermittent detection and isolation devices offered by industry.
Benefit: The ability to test, identify, isolate, and repair intermittent fault problems for all weapon systems will result in substantial cost savings as well as weapon system availability for all the services. Complex electronic intermittent faults are not a problem that is isolated to DoD equipment.
Solution/Approach: This initiative complements and leverages NAVAIR and Air Force fault detection and isolation projects to develop test, fault detection, isolation and root cause determination for field level and depot level use. By properly identifying the parameters defining intermittent faults, joint intermittence test requirements can be developed and published, and intermittence test equipment can then be acquired and validated for use in the DoD maintenance and repair operations.
- Define and validate joint requirement for intermittent fault detection.
- Identify, define, and establish joint test methods and capabilities to assess and validate industry proposed intermittence detection and isolation capabilities.
- Publish joint performance requirements – MIL-PRF, report and recommendations.
Impact on Warfighter:
- Reducing maintenance downtime
- Increasing operational availability
- Reducing the logistics footprint (materiel, waste, disposal)
- Reducing overall sustainment costs
- U.S. Navy (NAVAIR)
- U.S. Air Force (Hill AFB)
- Eagle Solutions
- Cost savings
- Repair turn-around time
- Obsolescence management and continued maintenance capability
- Positive environmental impact
- Improved readiness
- Enhanced inspection