What does upcoming technology hold for the Aerospace sector?
1. Zero-Fuel Aircrafts
There has been a recent surge of interest in the idea of zero-fuel aircrafts – one of the latest developing aerospace technologies. Gaining a lot of traction in both civil and commercial sectors, the concept can be used in all of the following: aerial photography, 3D mapping, agriculture and wildlife protection. It could also be used to provide internet access in remote places.
As a long-term development strategy, the zero-fuelled aircraft concept is set to drive market growth considerably. Zero-fuel aircrafts are said to use photovoltaic panels to utilise solar energy and provide thrusts in to the engines. The overall weight and body of the aircraft will be structurally reinforced with components made of nano carbon fibre, making them much lighter.
2. Artificial Intelligence
One of the biggest opportunities in aerospace technology involves AI and predictive maintenance. Predictive analytics can help optimise maintenance planning and capacity, which will help reduce the need for routine maintenance.
Helping increase fleet availability by up to 35% and reduce labour costs by 10%, AI invading the skies will transform the aerospace industry. Reports suggest that half of the airlines surveyed will invest in AI and cognitive computing within the next three years, with 37% identifying AI as a key area for investment.
AI is helping to predict delays and faults by using data from in-service aircraft - giving airlines, airports and MROs a better chance of avoiding the issues.
One of the latest aerospace technology improvements allow drones to perform maintenance checks and techniques during aircraft inspections – specifically, delivering the same tasks engineers perform on every day aircraft inspections.
Currently, a typical visual inspection of a commercial aircraft can take up to six hours when performed by an engineer. Cutting this time considerably and offering greater accuracy checks, drones free up engineers’ time, cutting maintenance costs and improving safety.
Workers will still control the flight of every drone, but are at an advantage due to the visual processing algorithms of the drone, combined with specialised IT systems, meaning that engineers can send work orders straight to the maintenance crew as soon as a fault has been identified.
4. Mobile Delivery
Cloud services go hand in hand with mobile solutions. Recent research has shown that mobile computing whilst in flight is one of the top five areas identified for investment – 30% of respondents identified mobile as being one of the key drives of digital transformation.
Airlines are now able to focus on the value they will receive from cloud-based mobile solutions, not the infrastructure they need, as it can be rolled out in the workforce with no physical installation required; previously, airlines and MROs were concerned about the amount of physical hardware needed to adopt new technologies.
Software as service solutions are helping drive new efficiencies into commercial aviation operations.