Augmented Reality and Aircraft Wiring
AREA(S): Air Platform, Electronics, Materials/Processes
PROGRAM: PMA275 V-22 Osprey
Design and develop the enabling technology to allow universal tagging/marking
and database architecture for aircraft wiring identification, visualization,
and comparison via a hardware agnostic Augmented Reality (AR) solution.
Ongoing NAVAIR efforts, from production installations to DEPOT maintenance
events, require the inspection of thousands of wires, harnesses, connectors,
etc. The continually expedited timelines required for these events, paired with
the limited human capacity to quickly locate, identify, and correlate those
wires to as-is or desired state, has the potential to negatively impact timelines,
quality, safety, and readiness.
Current AR systems, including Microsoft HoloLens, Google Glass, and other
handheld applications, utilize marker-based or markerless location-based
approaches to determine a subject field of view (FOV), query a database for
relevant digital information related to that marker or location, and overlay
the digital information within a user's field of view. While current methods
are effective for some broad commercial applications, they do not possess the
necessary fidelity and/or robustness for effective use on aircraft installed
wiring systems. Current marker-based approaches have not been validated to meet
MIL-W-5088 [Ref 4] and MIL-M-81531 [Ref 5]; markerless location-based FOV
solutions lack the visual acuity within confined and complex aircraft spaces.
Specific challenges include: variations in harness depth when multiple harness
are stacked together within particular aircraft location; camera fidelity and
software recognition of individual wires strung through an exposed bundle; and
longevity/legibility of potential marker application due to dirt, aircraft
fluid, and other debris present during normal military aircraft operation. The
goal is to develop a solution that can perform with one or both of the
identified methods for FOV identification and overlay, or develop a currently
unknown and more appropriate solution. For a marker-based solution, [Ref 4] and
[Ref 5] would be met in a manner facilitating marker utilization with no
additional manpower requirements from maintainers to find and clean all
appropriate markers. For a location-based solution, the proposer should use
relative position in the aircraft for FOV identification and overlay. Both of
these FOV solutions would need to be paired with a visual hardware and software
system sensitive enough to identify proper vs. improper harness routing (based
on a 3D model) per [Ref 3] as well as wire type identification for exposed
bundles per [Ref 3]. The Navy seeks a solution to quickly identify
non-conformances in harness routing for maintainers from production teams,
organizational maintenance personnel, and DEPOT artisans and that is hardware
agnostic. Additionally, this will improve the execution of engineering change
proposals, aircraft-capability upgrade modifications, and major DEPOT Planned
Maintenance Intervals (PMI) or Integrated Maintenance Planning (IMP) events
like providing immediate updates to aircraft databases to reflect changes. This
would allow the AR platform to immediately highlight non-conformances or discrepancies
in harness routing, material selection, and issues often missed by human
quality assurance personnel. Marking technologies should conform to wire/cable
markings requirements outlined in NEMA WC27500 Aerospace and Industrial Cable
[Ref 1], SAE AS22759 Aerospace Wiring [Ref 2], and SAE AS5942 Marking of
Electrical Insulating Materials [Ref 4]. This would be ideally suited for new
acquisition platforms and support equipment as well as any platforms or support
equipment preparing to undergo major modifications.
Design, develop, and determine the feasibility of a proposed
marking/location-based approach as well as database integration opportunities.
Ensure that the marking technologies conform to wire/cable markings
requirements [Refs 1, 2, 4]. The Phase I effort will include prototype plans to
be developed under Phase II.
Further develop a prototype and demonstrate its application on uninstalled
aircraft wiring harnesses within aircraft representative spaces. If available,
demonstrate the capability on existing platform and/or platform representative
examples, leveraging actual 3D design models and installed harnesses.
DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Perform final development and testing for any marking
applicability to include conformance testing to applicable SAE/MIL-STDs.
Support final system application testing onboard aircraft with full system
test, in coordination with NAVAIR Test and Evaluation.
With the proliferation of AR, digital visual acuity systems, point cloud generation,
and artificial intelligence-/machine learning/deep learning-backed virtual
visual overlays, the commercial potential for this technology spans any
production or modification industry requiring the ability to mark and reference
small components vs. individual markers/locations. These industries include the
aircraft, automobile, vessel, solar, battery, microprocessor, industrial bulk
material, and computer.
1. “NEMA WC
27500 - Aerospace and Industrial Electrical Cable.” https://www.nema.org/Standards/ComplimentaryDocuments/REVISEDANSI_NEMAWC%2027500-2015%20Contents%20and%20scope.pdf
AS5649 - Wire and Cable Marking, UV LASER.” https://www.sae.org/standards/content/as5649/
AS22759 (M22759, MIL-W-22759) Mil-Spec Wire & Cable.” Aerospace &
Defense: A.E. Petsche Co. (n.d.). http://www.aepetsche.com/products/wire-cable/mil-spec/sae-as22759/
“MIL-W-5088 Wiring, Aerospace Vehicle.” Department of Defense: Lakehurst, 1984.
“MIL-M-81531 Marking of Electrical Insulating Materials.” Department of the
Navy, Naval Air Systems Command, 1967. http://everyspec.com/MIL-SPECS/MIL-SPECS-MIL-M/MIL-M-81531_11197/
Aircraft; Wiring; Wire; Marking; Augmented Reality; Visualization