GE Aviation has been awarded two contracts from Gulfstream Aerospace to provide Integrated Vehicle Health Management (IVHM) technology for the Gulfstream G650 business jet. IVHM will power Gulfstream’s PlaneConnectHTM (health and trend monitoring) system as it continuously manages and analyzes data throughout the flight, logging health information for engines, avionics, power, cabin and other aircraft systems. Wireless connectivity links every aircraft to a ground services network, which will provide a Web-based service delivering a real-time picture of aircraft health.
Both GE Aviation (Booth No. N1833), and Gulfstream are showcasing IVHM capabilities here at the NBAA show. GE is running video that addresses the advances in predictive data analysis and anomaly detection. Meanwhile Gulfstream, at its display, is providing a walk-though demonstration and video of the PlaneConnectHTM process.
Norm Baker, GE Aviation director of vehicle health products and services, explains what is billed as the first comprehensive health management system for business jets, which Gulfstream and the operator can access 24/7 from anywhere in the world. GE’s IVHM technology will be included in the G650 type certificate when the aircraft enters service, expected in 2012.
One of its main advantages, Baker says, is that the IVHM can predict maintenance issues, turning unscheduled events into manageable scheduled maintenance before a part or system becomes an issue. As a recent example, Baker says, an operator was trying to solve an aircraft system issue. “There were about 16 days’ worth of indications - but within limits - on the systems that could have helped them understand what was happening. On the16th day a light went on, the system was squawked, but nothing out of line was found. The aircraft was dispatched. After another three days the light went on again. The assumption was a false sensor. This was a typical situation. Until a fault actually happens you don’t know. Our system predicts an incipient failure before it actually manifests. Where is the aircraft system–as a system, not just a discrete component–moving away from normal? We actually showed that 16 days earlier they had an issue with that system, and pinpointed it to a faulty valve.
“The IVHM on board looks at influence factors; how the system interacts with itself. It will point you right where you need to look,” said Baker. GE’s IVHM, predictive rather than reactive, simplifies the troubleshooting procedure. With an open standard architecture it can bring consistency to a mixed fleet, minimize non-critical maintenance and, allow quicker return to service.
GE has also developed technology with prognostic capabilities that will become the future of health management in business and general aviation. The system leverages GE’s extensive experience in aircraft health diagnostics and prognostic analytics dating back to 1991 when GE developed the world’s first certified health and usage monitoring system (HUMS) for helicopters.