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Robotic Systems for Aircraft Servicing/Maintenance

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1 Author(s)
Schultz, Edwin R. ; Air Force Wright Aeronautical Laboratories (AFWAL/FIER), Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio

This paper explores concepts which apply emerging ground support technology (GST) to the rapid turnaround of tactical aircraft. This technology has the potential to reduce manpower requirements for ground servicing, increase sortie generation rates and expose fewer ground personnel to the lethal agents anticipated during biochemical warfare. The near term approach examines automated systems for refueling and rearming tactical aircraft assuming the returning aircraft suffer no disabling malfunctions or battle damage. In the far term, it is proposed that additional maintenance and servicing functions be performed by GST systems. Consideration is given to linking diagnostic computers on tactical aircraft with future robotic systems for direct repair and maintenance. It is concluded that GST systems, including robotics, provide the opportunity for revolutionary changes in aircraft servicing and maintenance and provide a viable option for generating sorties during and immediately following biochemical attack.

Published in:

Aerospace and Electronic Systems Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:1 ,  Issue: 12 )