Autonomous and Intelligent Aircraft Maintenance Technologies
Navy SBIR 2020.1 - Topic N201-015
NAVAIR - Ms. Donna Attick - email@example.com
Opens: January 14, 2020 - Closes: February 26, 2020 (8:00 PM ET)
AREA(S): Air Platform, Human Systems, Materials/Processes
PROGRAM: NAE Chief Technology Office
technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms
Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and import
of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive
technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts
730-774, which controls dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use
of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or
work permit possessed, and the statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for
accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with section 3.5 of the Announcement.
Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be
restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws.
Develop autonomous Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based systems to work with or
alongside aircraft maintainers to reduce manning and/or to augment the
abilities of aircraft maintainers.
There is a need to support reliability and maintainability of aviation assets
that will directly reduce life cycle costs by augmenting or replacing manual
operations. The Navy has demonstrated use of smart algorithms combined into
optical detection systems to detect, identify, and quantify defects and damage.
Augmented reality (AR)/virtual reality (VR) are used in industry today to
greatly enhance maintenance and training, and are tools for doing both
remotely. The Navy has recently experimented with AR/VR technologies for
improved training. In the Navy’s Fleet Readiness Centers, robotics are
currently used for industrial processes such as coatings removal, coatings
application and thermal spray metal repair application to increase precision,
quality, and throughput. The Navy has recently demonstrated an autonomous
mobile-portable robotic metallization system for on-aircraft maintenance that
has shown the effectiveness of such technology deployed to Intermediate level
maintenance. All of these technologies have proven to benefit all levels of
aircraft maintenance. The next step is to combine AI algorithms, sensors,
AR/VR, and/or robotics to develop smart autonomous systems or tools.
Assess current aircraft maintenance practices such as cleaning, coatings
removal, non-destructive inspection, and corrosion assessment. Determine areas
that are candidates for autonomous maintenance, integration of AI, or other
smart-based systems such as AR tools. Design, develop, and demonstrate
feasibility of an approach. Perform an analysis of alternatives and benefit
analysis to meet the requirements laid out in the Description. The Phase I
effort will include prototype plans to be developed under Phase II.
Develop, construct, evaluate, and demonstrate a prototype autonomous AI-based
technology or an AR/VR tool or technology for aircraft maintenance based upon the
conclusion of Phase I. Perform demonstration of the technology on indicative
aircraft structures or test on mock-ups of unmanned aerial systems, fixed-wing
aircraft, or rotary-wing aircraft. Demonstrate prototypes in a lab environment
with the anticipation of deployment to the field.
DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Demonstrate and evaluate the technology on a
demonstration aircraft. Transition the technology into an active Marine Corps
Squadron or Navy Squadron, or Fleet Readiness Center/Depot, for implementation
into the Navy. The technologies developed would apply directly to the
commercial aviation industry, general aircraft maintenance, as well as
potential broad application in the coatings industry.
1. 2018 LMI
Estimated Impact of Corrosion on Cost and Availability of DoD Weapon Systems
FY18 Update Report SAL62T1 https://www.corrdefense.org/static/media/content/11393.000.00T1-March2018-Ecopy.pdf
Maintenance Robots: Shaping the Future of BizAv Compliance and Safety?” Blog by
Sam. L&L International, Corporate Jet Insider, September 27, 2018. https://l-lint.com/blog/jet-maintenance-robots-shaping-future-bizav-compliance-safety/
3. “U.S. Navy
Tests Augmented Reality Tech for Training and Operations.” The Maritime
Executive, April 9, 2019. https://www.maritime-executive.com/article/u-s-navy-tests-augmented-reality-tech-for-training-and-operations
4. Chang, P.
“U.S. Navy Enlists Virtual and Augmented Reality for Cutting-Edge Training and
Recruitment.” AR Post, October 12, 2018. https://arpost.co/2018/10/12/us-navy-virtual-augmented-reality-cutting-edge-training-recruitment/
5. Potter, K.
“Augmented Reality becoming a focus in maintenance technology.” Geopspacial
World, January 2019. https://www.geospatialworld.net/blogs/augmented-reality-becoming-a-focus-in-maintenance-technology/
6. Rio, R.
“Augmented Reality Reduces Mean-Time-To-Repair.” ARC Advisory Group, May 2018. https://www.arcweb.com/blog/augmented-reality-reduces-mean-time-repair
7. Kohles, C.
“Augmented Reality: Remote Assistance and Maintenance Overview.” Wikitude,
November 2017. https://www.wikitude.com/blog-augmented-reality-maintenance-and-remote-assistance/
Tests Augmented Reality in the Factory.” Boeing Features & Multimedia,
January 2019. https://www.boeing.com/features/2018/01/augmented-reality-01-18.page
9. Wright, I.
“Airbus Uses Smart Glasses to Improve Manufacturing Efficiency.”
B. “Aircraft-inspecting robot successfully climbs a 737.” New Atlas, January
Bjerregaard, L. “Aircraft Inspection Robots Receive an Upgrade.” MRO Network,
December 2018. https://www.mro-network.com/emerging-technology/aircraft-inspection-robots-receive-upgrade
E., Chang, P., O’Meara, N. and Stroh, R. “The Effect of Corrosion on the Cost
and Availability of Navy and Marine Corps Aviation Weapon Systems” U.S.
Department of Defense Corrosion Policy and Oversight Office, December 2014. https://www.corrdefense.org/static/media/uploads/Resources/Navy/the_effect_of_corrosion_on_the_cost_and_availability_of_navy_and_marine_corps_aviation_weapon_DEC2014.pdf
Autonomous; Artificial Intelligence; Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality;
Robotics; Sustainment; Readiness