Maintenance Issues and Fail Safes of the Oculus Sensor Platform System 2005-01-3427
When designing the Oculus sensor platform, many safety issues such as designing fail safes, adapting to flying situations, and examining situations produced by exposure to real-world conditions were taken into consideration. When predicting maintenance issues, environmental conditions that the platform will have to encounter were assessed. A material that was lightweight and strong enough to withstand the harsh environmental conditions experienced outside the C-130 aircraft was needed. In addition to the material used, another issue addressed was the ability to repair the platform easily and efficiently. Normal operations expose the components to significant wear and tear, which requires the replacement of parts to maintain safe operations. Oculus was constructed to allow for component replacement without deconstruction of the entire platform.
While environmental factors were a concern, mechanical design and functionality, along with safety, was vital to the project. All moving parts on the platform make use of a triple redundant fail safe system. A manual means of rotation and retraction was needed in the event of a power loss to the platform. This problem was solved by the addition of a hand crank system that manually returns the pod and sliding platform to a safe in-flight position. Safety, mechanical design, and maintenance were greatly influential to the successful design of Oculus.