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2018 Trends in Digital Services for Aerospace Operations

Key 2018 priorities for fixed-wing and rotorcraft operations, both civil and military, include: predicting and reducing the effects of unplanned aircraft maintenance; replacing legacy maintenance applications with next-generation ones; reducing time to correct aircraft on ground events; enabling multiple data sources to support fleet activities and maintenance; and enabling quick search of historical data to identify root causes of reported faults.

Sila sees the following specific trends in digital services impacting aerospace operations this year and beyond.

Predictive Maintenance is essential to improving operational availability. Operational availability is one of the greatest challenges facing both commercial and military aviation. Unplanned maintenance is a major contributing factor to this challenge. To combat this, commercial operators and defense agencies are turning to algorithms that use data collected from in-service aircraft to perform predictive analytics that help identify the right time to repair or replace a part—before an issue occurs, but after a significant operational life has been achieved.

Cloud Solutions promote scalability and empower deployment of mobile. Successful implementation of predictive maintenance requires the storage and analysis of large quantities of data. Cloud services offer an attractive way to easily scale IT capabilities to accommodate these needs. Storing and processing data in the cloud also allows for lightweight and ubiquitous mobile hardware to take the lead in delivering solutions directly to where they’re needed most on the front lines of maintenance execution and planning.

Something to keep an eye on...

Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Remote Support start to gain traction. Although still in their infancy, virtual and augmented reality technologies are starting to gain traction for training and line maintenance applications as the fidelity and durability of hardware continues to improve. Remote support solutions, enabled by ubiquitous cameras and wireless connections, will also start to be effective in mitigating the effects of unplanned maintenance through the rapid and direct application of subject matter expertise to problems as they occur.