Real-time failure detection sensor system used in Shadow UAV flight tests

DENVER, 28 Aug. 2010. In recent flight tests on the Shadow Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (TUAS), Rockwell Collins demonstrated a new technology that is able to perform real-time data monitoring and analysis while in flight to alert unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) operators of impending maintenance needs. The new capability, also known as the real-time Condition-Based Monitoring (CBM) system, is designed to improve UAS reliability, while reducing costs and extending the UAV life cycle.

Posted by John McHale

DENVER, 28 Aug. 2010. In recent flight tests on the Shadow Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (TUAS), Rockwell Collins demonstrated a new technology that is able to perform real-time data monitoring and analysis while in flight to alert unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) operators of impending maintenance needs. The new capability, also known as the real-time Condition-Based Monitoring (CBM) system, is designed to improve UAV reliability, while reducing costs and extending the UAV life cycle.

"The CBM system performed successfully in detecting and diagnosing a wide range of potential maintenance issues on the Shadow," says Dave Vos, senior director of UAS and Rockwell Collins Control Technologies. "This capability is critical in helping operators to not only maintain the Shadow and other UASs, but to help them predict future equipment failures and prevent them from happening."

The CBM application, which is implemented in the Rockwell Collins Athena 211e flight control system, utilizes data collected from existing sensors on the Shadow, including the propulsion system. In addition to conducting ongoing data collection, analysis and reporting to the UAV operators, the CBM system also sends emergency alerts and does offline data logging to support further analysis to schedule needed periodic maintenance.

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