Articles

Identifying Faults in Critical Aircraft Systems

September 23, 2019


the worst situation for a pilot to be in
is while he is in the weapon system to have some issue with the avionics that
causes the radar to lose lock the heads-up display to blink out the
onboard oxygen generating system cannot function properly to where he has to
either abort the mission or back off from the flight profile to get those
systems to come back to life tqs has looked at the problem in detail for many
many years we got involved in this by looking specifically at the maintenance
data and understanding the root causes why these line replaceable units that
provide key functions to the aircraft so we’re coming off the airplane we found
by tracing the LR used by serial number that we could positively identify where
there was a problem in the chassis that wasn’t being addressed the internet or
fault detection isolation systems a game changer and very unique is its
technology automatic test equipment in the depot test functionally it doesn’t
actually test every communication path with the chassis before it goes out
there can be a technician that spends hundreds hours trying to find all the
wiring in here that might be the source of one of those problems whether that
could take months hundreds of hours being able to do that within 15 minutes
sometimes or even if you run through the entire environmental profile two or
three hours to run through and find all the problems in here get that chassis
back on that airplane operational and instead of coming off in 12 hours it
takes 900 hours before it comes off that is huge for the warfighter from F
capabilities perspective of readiness supply chain costs onm expenditures and
all the time that takes you everything in between we stimulate this LRU based
on temperature and also vibration using this shaker in this environmental
chamber we can induce operational environments that discover those
intermittence that happen in flight that you can’t test anywhere else then the
seller yourself 8400 circuits that have to be checked it’s almost impossible do
that manually the intermittent fault detection and isolation system provided
by the universal synaptics a small business partner and what Utah now
provides capability fill that critical gap by returning LR used to service
extending their Taiwan wing it saved the government’s tens of millions of dollars
for just one LRU so the intermittent fault detection capability is delivered
in two specific packages you have the depo version or even an intermediate
level version which is the intermittent fault detection and isolation system
that utilizes temperature and vibration to wring out the intermittent to get
them to manifest themselves the other package that it’s deployed in is called
the Voyager intermittent fault detector or VI FD it’s a deployable hardened
hermetically sealed intermittent fault detector that can go to a Forward
Operating Base it can go under wing that can go on a carrier deck so that we can
get this capability that produces readiness closer to the warfighter
according to the GAO the Department of Defense owns and maintains about fifty
billion dollars worth of test equipment yet the Department of Defense still has
a massive readiness and availability issue they also have a two billion
dollar annual no fault found problem which is astounding when you consider
that the entire electronics maintenance budget is twenty billion so we’ve got
about a ten percent problem there that can be solved what makes us a
game-changer is that this 50 billion dollar suite of test equipment is not
solving this problem it is not addressing this intermittent
discontinuity problem that this tester addresses I have worked with if this for
many years and I have seen the technology work well I’ve seen it help
the technicians on the floor the frustration level goes down it also
helps when technicians have to train other technicians we’re not now looking
for something that isn’t there an intermittent fault is like finding a
ghost so technicians really appreciate the system when we have a good chassis
to work with now we just have to deal with the electronics and it takes the
chassis out of the equation the original small business innovative
research project that was funded by the air force current flow through aut began
taking the idea of if dis and making something of it
we now have multiple phase three small business innovative research projects
underway supporting the DoD by developing and delivering these if just
to those customers tqs has been working small business innovative research
programs for many years now this if this is one example of the ones that we’ve
gotten all the way to phase three if this is fielded by in the Air Force and
also in the Navy and is available to other DoD customers the Air Force SBIR
program has been instrumental and bringing together all the key
ingredients be it projects contracts funding to allow our company to expand
to grow to bring on additional technical people which those are well-paying jobs
I think it’s been great for the community I think it’s been great for
the state of Utah and I think it’s been great for the Air Force Total Quality
Systems has won a Tippit’s award from the Small Business Administration this
technology has been highly recognized highly decorated well received and
awarded for the tremendous results that it produces the people that work at
Universal synaptics and the people that work at Total Quality Systems recognize
that we’ve got young men and women putting their life on the line in
faraway scary places their equipment better work if you care about readiness
if you care about availability if you care about the warfighter you should
care about this technology

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