Flight delays are a common frustration for passengers, and safety concerns are often the cause. Minor damages caused by lightning strikes, ground equipment collisions, bird strikes, or inclement weather require thorough inspections before an aircraft can fly again. This manual inspection process can be time-consuming, leading to significant delays and disruptions in flight schedules. However, new technologies utilizing spatial computing are speeding up pre-flight damage checks, improving efficiency, and enhancing flight safety.
New technologies speed up pre-flight damage checks
Regional Jet Center (RJC), in partnership with IBM, has developed an aircraft damage assessment solution using augmented reality and digital twin technology, known as spatial computing. Spatial computing merges the physical and digital realms, enabling immersive and interactive experiences through augmented reality, virtual reality, or real-time 3D technologies. In the context of flight safety, spatial computing significantly expedites and enhances the accuracy of damage inspections, reducing inspection times from 30 minutes to just 3 minutes, improving efficiency by 900%.
The specialized application called Damage Assessment, designed for iPads, utilizes augmented reality to enhance aircraft inspections. Inspectors can precisely identify and assess damage by mapping the aircraft frame onto the actual aircraft in real-time. The application also allows ground engineers to access relevant damage history and engineering documentation to support the assessment process. Through spatial computing, all inspection data seamlessly integrates into the aircraft’s digital twin, ensuring accuracy, integrity, and compliance with industry regulations.
RJC and IBM’s spatial computing solution
While this technology has revolutionized RJC’s operations, it has the potential to transform airline safety practices globally. RJC aims to obtain widespread industry adoption of this technology, with approval from industry regulators. IBM, on the other hand, is seeking partnerships with organizations interested in spatial computing technology and its various applications. By adopting spatial computing, the aviation industry can benefit from improved safety, efficiency, and compliance with industry regulations.
What is spatial computing?
Spatial computing merges the physical and digital worlds using augmented reality, virtual reality, or real-time 3D technologies. It allows for immersive and interactive experiences, revolutionizing various industries, including aviation.
How does spatial computing improve flight safety?
By using spatial computing, aircraft inspections for damages can be carried out more efficiently and accurately. This technology reduces inspection times significantly, ensuring safer flights and stronger compliance with industry regulations.
Are other airlines using spatial computing for pre-flight damage checks?
While the industry-wide adoption of spatial computing for pre-flight damage checks is still in progress, RJC’s solution has the potential to benefit other airlines. RJC is actively working towards obtaining industry-wide approval, making it possible for other airlines to implement this technology.
How can organizations explore the possibilities of spatial computing?
IBM offers assistance to organizations, including those in the aviation industry, looking to adopt spatial computing solutions or explore its possibilities. They provide expertise and partnership opportunities to help organizations leverage spatial computing for their unique challenges.
Spatial computing, utilizing augmented reality and digital twin technology, is transforming pre-flight damage checks, reducing inspection times from 30 minutes to 3 minutes. This technology improves flight safety, enhances efficiency, and ensures compliance with industry regulations. While RJC and IBM have pioneered this solution, the industry-wide adoption of spatial computing for flight safety is on the horizon.