The Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) has developed, prototyped, tested, and patented a software system backbone to facilitate aircraft diagnostics, to monitor repairs, and to readily share this information across maintenance levels. Originally developed for use on avionics components of the Navy’s F/A-18 jet aircraft, NAVAIR’s Net-Centric Diagnostics Framework (NCDF) has applications for other aircraft, vehicles, and hardware systems. NCDF interfaces directly with test equipment, captures test data, and guides maintenance based on current and historical test results for the particular piece of equipment. The data is shared throughout the maintenance network to facilitate faster and more effective troubleshooting. Data generated during repair and re-testing flows back down the system to the field as the equipment is returned to service. The result is the automatic creation and flow of a complete data record from the field diagnostic personnel to the highest echelons of maintenance/repair and back again.
NCDF adheres to pertinent IEEE standards, such as Automatic Test Markup Language (ATML), for maintenance information collection and analysis so it can be used as a standardized platform for a variety of maintenance applications. The software has been field tested on F/A-18 avionics and is being adapted for additional avionics packages and other aircraft, including the V-22 Osprey. NCDF has potential applications for the maintenance of other military and civilian aircraft, vehicles, and various additional hardware platforms. The US Navy anticipates that NCDF will save the F/A-18 program several million dollars per year in repair costs, significantly reduce the number of false alarms encountered, and increase maintenance and repair efficiency through better data flow.
- Efficient: Data is synchronized automatically throughout the maintenance regime, reducing paperwork and data input errors
- Cost Effective: Different echelons of troubleshooting and repair have ready access to test data from other levels, lowering false positives and reducing the need for redundant subsequent diagnostic testing
- Broadly Applicable: NCDF adherence to IEEE standards for maintenance information ensures the software is compatible with a wide array of diagnostic, repair, and maintenance regimes
- US Patent 8,306,689 is available for license and commercialization
- Potential for collaboration with NAVAIR research team