Data Analytics is the New Ammo for Successful Military Operations

March 18, 2019| Author: Norm Balchunas

Equipment failures cause operational failure. Unscheduled maintenance – or worse inflight failure – of essential equipment jeopardizes mission effectiveness and costs critical resources. Failure to anticipate and address mechanical problems can jeopardize a critical mission and put the lives of our greatest national resource, our warfighters, at risk.

Across all services, senior leaders are eager to leverage commercial innovation and experience, using predictive and prescriptive maintenance technologies to forecast potential problems and fix them before they can disrupt planned operations.

The military has long incorporated predictive elements into its condition-based maintenance approach. For example, HUMS – the Health and Usage Monitoring System – are routinely used to monitor performance and detect out-of-tolerance vibrations of rotating parts on helicopter and turboprop engines. Honeywell is the leading producer of HUMS technology, having fielded more than 22,000 onboard and carry-on systems for dozens of helicopter and aircraft types over the last five decades.

In recent years Honeywell has taken a lead role in developing solutions that use big data, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and artificial intelligence to improve operational outcomes. We pioneered connected maintenance solutions that provide operators with predictive and prescriptive insights that help them make faster, better decisions and prevent unplanned aircraft and weapons system downtime.

First used in the commercial world, predictive and prescriptive maintenance solutions are now needed across military applications. 

Along with the armed services and military aircraft manufacturers, Honeywell is working to make more effective use of the huge volume of data generated by aircraft and weapon systems. For example, we developed the Power and Thermal Management System for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which fully digitizes key parameters impacting performance and system operation.

Honeywell is also driving sophisticated connected maintenance capabilities to proven performers such as the C-130, B-52, T-38 and CV-22 platforms, with equipment that draws analog data for analysis from multiple sources on the aircraft and lets maintenance teams know when a particular component should be replaced.

All this is done using commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) technologies that have proven their value in the commercial world and are offered without ITAR restrictions to all armed forces.

With Honeywell’s GoDirect Connected Maintenance, maintenance and operations are able to drive successful missions, leveraging predictive insights using proven analytics that combine onboard data with patterns from past experiences to accurately forecast which part is likely to fail, days in advance.

Prescriptive insights take things a step further by pinpointing the part that’s ready to fail and using cognitive diagnostics, artificial intelligence and IIoT enablers to prescribe the best action to take to prevent the failure from occurring. The result is better maintenance, higher aircraft availability, fewer delays and/or cancelled missions, reduced turnaround time, better mission-effectiveness and a more efficient logistics chain.

Connected maintenance gives military commanders the ammunition they need to successfully accomplish their missions. That ammunition is Honeywell-enabled data. 

Norm B

Norm Balchunas

Norm Balchunas is the Senior Director for Defense and Cybersecurity with Honeywell Aerospace. He's a retired U.S. Air Force officer.

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