Condition based maintenance standard proposed for aircraft and avionics systems

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., 24 June 2009. U.S. aircraft and avionics experts are proposing a new approach to condition based maintenance for aircraft and aircraft avionics called the Open System Architecture for Condition-Based Maintenance (OSA-CBM), which experts say will help make embedded health monitoring practical for avionics and other aviation technology.

The Boeing Co. in Seattle and GE Aviation in Grand Rapids, Mich., are proposing the OSA-CBM as an industry standard for aircraft and avionics design to Machinery Information Management Open Systems Alliance (MIMOSA) organization in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The standard would apply to commercial avionics and aircraft, military avionics and aircraft, and other aviation systems.

"The Boeing and GE implementation provides a 10-fold increase in real time performance of the Open System Architecture for Condition Based Maintenance standard, making it practical for embedded health monitoring of aircraft systems," says John Armendarez, president of Avionics for GE Aviation. "This technology demonstrates a major step forward in condition-based maintenance for an entire aircraft."

Project managers implementing condition-based maintenance systems must integrate a wide variety of software and hardware components, each one developed to monitor one supplier's system such as an engine, hydraulic, or braking system, GE Aviation officials say.

OSA-CBM can simplify this process by specifying a standard architecture and framework to implement condition-based maintenance systems. This standard defines the binary form to implement the open systems architecture for condition-based maintenance.

"GE and Boeing have together designed and implemented these key system-enabling technologies under shared funding," says Peter Lawrence, Boeing Research & Technology director of Support Services. "This architecture allows aircraft and major-aircraft-system manufacturers to economically design and deliver health management capability within their fleets. The OSA-CBM framework provides a standard for systems to share health information, and the binary implementation delivers this efficiently."

Laboratory testing in December 2008 validated the specification's operation in embedded and PC-based environments, across several computer operating systems. The aim of condition-based maintenance (CBM) is to maintain the correct equipment at the right time.

For more information contact GE Avionics online at www.geaviation.com.

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