Cloud computing is bringing innovation to aircraft engine health monitoring tech with real time data streaming to platforms. Traditionally engine data has been stored on board with only small reports during takeoff, ascension, and cruise. Today, aircraft can connect to the cloud 24/7 offering massive amounts of data to optimize an aircraft engine. Rolls-Royce was an early adopter of such technology and monitors the health of over 13,000 engines per day using Microsoft Azure’s cloud platform. Data from flights around the world is extracted from engines mid-flight and transformed into usable information using Microsoft’s Cortana Intelligence Suite.
Analysis gives insight to aircraft engine OEM’s to maximize fuel efficiency and extend engine life. Additionally, predictive models can give operators the foresight needed to keep their aircraft off the ground, thus avoiding the expensive fees associated with an AOG. The best news is that this technology is becoming available to older aircraft engines as well.
GE Aviation recently announced a partnership with Avionica to bring real time engine data from their reputable CF34-3 engines. These engines have been in service since 1983, and have been equipped on the Bombardier Challenger 600-series aircraft since 1986. In the partnership, Avionica will supply their quick access recorder (QAR) technology as a retrofit to the CF34-3 engines. The relatively painless upgrade will breathe new digital life into the CF34-3 engine and do away with the process of extracting text files via USB drive from the engine computer. The data collected will provide detail on engine temperature, pressure, speeds, and vibration—all of which will be used to fine tune existing engines and pave the way for the next generation of efficient aircraft engines. The GE-Avionica partnership expects the QAR to be available to the 200 CF34-3 operators later this year.
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