June 6, 2016: Intelligent aircraft–systems that communicate more fully within the aircraft
and between the aircraft and the ground–is increasing and it requires more and more power to achieve, says Mauro Atalla, vice president, engineering and technology-sensors and integrated systems of UTC Aerospace Systems.
Intelligent sensors on an aircraft have been reduced in the number on board an aircraft even as the needs greatly increase, he said. There has been a reduction of more than 50%, providing a 50% weight reduction.
Sensors for icing detection have advanced to provide future avionics systems will provide minute detail to understand the type of icing, the number of particles and more to provide enhanced safety, Atalla said,
More intelligent sensor systems for wireless communication and data acquisition is being developed to provide continuous connectivity of aircraft systems and to the ground.
The system can also be connected to the pilot tablets and electronic flight bag, allowing them to further compute ways to reduce fuel consumption.
While aviation geeks have been well aware of wireless connections between the aircraft and maintenance personnel for commercial aircraft, Atalla also explained the similar uses for military aircraft.
“We’re on almost everything that flies,” says Ajay Agrawal, vice president-Aftermarket, for UTAS. Providing aftermarket support for 1,500 customers flying 70,000 aircraft in 150 countries for 120,000 parts is “paramount,” he said.
There are more than 6,000 people in UTAS focused entirely on customer service. Customers are increasingly looking for more value and more responsiveness, Agrawal said. Customers also want more technology support in the field because there is more technology on the airplanes.
Of course, they also want cost reduction, too, he said.
Four years ago 30% of customers were under long-term service agreements. Today this is 50% and in two years, this number is expected to rise to 60%.