How Tools and Process Improved Diagnostic and Prognostic Reaction Time 2015-01-2589
Modern aircraft, such as A380 or A350 for Airbus, are very well connected in flight to ground stations through wireless communications. For maintenance and operations purpose, the aircraft is programmed to send regularly information such as flight reports based on the BITE messages (Built-In Test Equipment) or standard reports based on the value of physical parameters. Moreover, Airbus is capable of sending requests (called uplinks) to the aircraft to retrieve the value of different parameters in almost real-time. This ability, associated with adequate process, improves significantly the reaction time of the diagnostic and prognostic solutions that Airbus can provide to its customers.
Traditionally Health Monitoring is considered useful when the Potential to Functional failure (P-F) interval is greater than one flight cycle. This is due to the fact that it usually takes at least a flight cycle to collect and analyze data, and because on-board systems are responsible for managing failures that have an effect on current flight. But, in some circumstances, operational interruptions cannot be avoided by on-board systems and health monitoring solutions can be a useful mitigation mean as long as their reaction time is quick enough. In this paper is presented a case where an environmental corruption of sensors during aircraft Turn-Around Time (TAT) on ground can lead to an operational interruption before take-off. The consequences of this case are averted by the implementation of tools and process that allow a very quick reaction time. By collecting data just after engine start, analyzing them and informing the operator within 10 minutes, Airbus was able to avoid an operational interruption to occur during take-off rolling phase, reducing significantly its severity. This paper describes the study, the process setup and the performance of the solution implemented.