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Wearable computers open a new era in support resource management

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2 Author(s)
Greene, S.R. ; Informed Maintenance Group, Boeing Co., St. Louis, MO, USA ; Fiske, C.F.

Our aerospace customers are demanding that we drastically reduce the operating and support costs of our products. In today's aerospace maintenance environment, the vast majority of maintenance technicians are using paper technical publications, with fixed troubleshooting trees, and manual or semi-automated post maintenance documentation. Interactive Electronic Technical Manuals (IETMs) are at this time being deployed with portable maintenance aids, often an electronic notebook-sized data presentation system, some with expert system based troubleshooting aids. Many of the IETM based systems still require post maintenance documentation and, the maintenance control function is at best, updated when each maintenance task is completed and the vehicle departs. Advances in wearable computer technologies allow us to integrate the maintenance technician with a highly automated, tightly managed support system that will significantly reduce support costs and turn-around times while improving the quality of maintenance. A “Portable Maintenance Terminal” is a wearable computer configured to meet a maintenance technician's information and communication needs. The Portable Maintenance Terminal (PMT) will place the maintenance technician in the loop with the support system. Wearable computers are intended for use in locations where easy access to a desktop computer or laptop is not practical, or where operators are required to have their hands on the job rather than being busy with a computer. The wearable PMT can provide a hands-free, heads-up, networked computing environment

Published in:

Aerospace and Electronic Systems Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:14 ,  Issue: 11 )