Artificial Intelligence Could Reduce CV-22 Osprey Maintenance

Raytheon’s pilot program with the U.S. military's joint program office focuses on using AI to keep the complex tilt-rotor planes flying longer.

(Image courtesy: U.S. Air Force/Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima)

The Raytheon Company  is testing a new artificial intelligence (AI) tool developed to help determine when the multi-mode radar installed on U.S. Air Force  CV-22 tiltrotor aircraft is in need of service. The predictive maintenance solution – already used in various forms on commercial airline fleets – provides maintainers with exact, real-time conditions of the multi-mode radar, along with recommendations for where and when repairs should be made.

The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey  has a rough history of reliability issues and different service branches are continuing to develop mitigation efforts. Last year, the U.S. Marine Corps condensed the number of MV-22 Osprey variants that the service operated down from 70 to 5 configurations, greatly reducing maintenance complexity in the process.

“Just like you get your car's oil changed every 5,000 miles, whether you need to or not, the military generally repairs parts on their planes on a set schedule,” says Matt Gilligan, vice president for Raytheon Intelligence, Information, and Services.

Using AI algorithms could reduce much of the unnecessary maintenance work performed out of caution and reduce the amount of time the aircraft is grounded.

William Kucinski  is content editor at SAE International, Aerospace Products Group in Warrendale, Pa. Previously, he worked as a writer at the NASA Safety Center in Cleveland, Ohio and was responsible for writing the agency’s System Failure Case Studies. His interests include literally anything that has to do with space, past and present military aircraft, and propulsion technology.

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