Sep 22

The US Airfoce has increased performance and reduced errors with augmented reality-based job instructions for aircraft maintenance

Technology Record Issue 18: Autumn 2020

Maintaining fleets for armed forces is an expensive task. In the USA, maintenance costs continue to increase as vehicles become more complex and are used well beyond their intended service life. The maintenance organisations are resource constrained, particularly for skilled personnel, which often results in understaffed and overworked maintenance crews. It can take years to adequately train new recruits while experienced personnel and trainers are stretched thin on good days. The most-skilled maintainers are in high demand but are often not available, nor are they always located when and where the need is most acute, especially in more distant locations like Japan or Guam. And even skilled technicians can lack confidence in per-forming complex, infrequently required tasks.

Improving organisational proficiency of maintenance teams is paramount. If training, job instructions, and maintenance assistance can be improved with augmented reality (AR), there is a strong case for deploying the technology. It is on this basis that Taqtile worked with the US Air Force to demonstrate the impact of Manifest, an industrial AR solution for skills capture and guided work instructions.