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Lockheed Martin Uses IIoT Technology to Maximize Aircraft Life

April 13, 2015

NGRAIN virtual damage assessment and repair tracking is put to use by Lockheed Martin to improve safety of military aircraft.

Seemingly small factors such as the depth of a scratch can be essential information when assessing the flight-worthiness, stealth capability and pilot safety of a military aircraft.

When Lockheed Martin delivers an F-35 Lightning II – a family of fifth-generation stealth aircraft – it also delivers sustainment support. This support includes training, prognostics and maintenance to help military customers improve on-the-job support, prolong equipment life, and maximize the aircraft’s operational availability.

Interactive 3D technology integrates into the existing information infrastructure for the F-35, and this needs to streamline a broad range of capabilities including operations, maintenance, prognostics, supply chain and customer support services data. To accomplish this while meeting the rigorous military requirements, Lockheed Martin chose to work with NGRAIN.

Lockheed Martin specified that the solution needed to provide accuracy within 1/10th of an inch, allow complex 3D datasheets to run interactively on tablets, and be user friendly for flight line maintainers.

Leveraging their virtual and augmented reality applications, NGRAIN transformed the aircraft damage assessment and repair system from line drawings and cumbersome spreadsheets to streamlined processes integrated with back-end software systems. The new virtual damage assessment software -- delivered on portable, ruggedized computers – works with other software applications to help maintainers quickly assess whether or not damages adversely impact aircraft mission capability and which damages need to be repaired to restore the aircraft to mission capability.

Information on how this software was developed and implemented can be found in NGRAIN’s case study, “Big Data in the Hangar.”