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Aviation Technology

Faced with the need to maintain the combat readiness of a rotorcraft fleet that is seeing more frequent deployments at higher Op tempos in harsh environments, U.S. Army Aviation is investigating ways to streamline maintenance practices and logistics support.

To accomplish this mission, Tec-Masters, Inc., has been instrumental in working with U.S. Army Aviation on the concept of Condition Based Maintenance for Prime Mission Equipment, or "P-M-E". Because of its heavy workloads and constant use in harsh environments for critical flight and logistics missions, the UH-60 Blackhawk combat helicopter is considered an ideal candidate for Condition Based Maintenance.

Condition Based Maintenance for the UH-60 P-M-E is demonstrated through the use of the On-Board Health Utilization Monitoring System, or "HUMS". The HUMS On-Board System establishes a common data collection system for all aircraft performance and maintenance data, to include C-V-F-D-R data. The HUMS conducts high-speed data collection of aircraft flight systems, engine data, and the caution/advisory panel. This data is automatically processed to identify operational usage, flight exceedances, and flight regimes.

In addition, the HUMS automatically analyzes rotor vibration data on every flight to support rotor-balancing operations. Finally, the HUMS automatically collects diagnostic information from vibro-acoustic sensors located throughout the aircraft drive train. This vibration data is then processed using advanced mechanical diagnostic algorithms developed in conjunction with Tec-Masters to continuously assess drive train health.

By accurately diagnosing the condition of all key pieces of equipment through the analysis of post-operational usage and flight data, the U.S. Army sees Condition Based Maintenance as a way to reduce high Operational and Maintenance costs for its aircraft fleet.

Weapon Systems
Contact: Carol Frazier 256.721.6639

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