A United Technologies Corp. unit has begun flight trials of a vehicle health monitoring platform to assess the airworthiness of sensors onboard the U.S. Air Force's C-5 Galaxy aircraft.
The flight tests on the UTC Aerospace Systems-built Pulse Health Monitoring System are part of a contract awarded by the service branch to Metis Design, UTC said Thursday.
The Lockheed Martin-built C-5 Galaxy military transport aircraft is designed to carry up to 270,000 pounds of cargo.
Metis Design's MD7-Pro structural health monitoring tool for aircraft inspection, which has been licensed to UTC, is also part of the Air Force flight trials.
Pulse HMS works to collect data on an aircraft's performance and condition through the use of a remote sensor interface, wireless communication tools and analytics software modules and is linked to UTC's Pulse ground stations that offer operators and maintenance personnel with ground analytics platforms for use in aircraft assessment.
“This is like monitoring systems found in modern automobiles that evaluate tire pressure, fuel consumption, oil condition, drivetrain performance or other aspects, and they provide the driver or mechanic with the necessary information to assist in keeping the vehicle well maintained,” said David Larsen, prognostics and health management systems program chief engineer at UTC Aerospace Systems.
UTC's aerospace systems unit will manufacture and provide aftermarket support for the Pulse system through its Vergennes, Vermont-based facility.