Air Force uses Google Cloud for aircraft maintenance system
The Air Force Rapid Sustainment Office (RSO) announced an agreement with Google Cloud to create a globally open, agile and scalable system for aircraft maintenance.
Announced on July 16, the initiative, known as Project Lighthouse, will allow RSO to optimize maintenance readiness, increase staff productivity and reduce costs. Project Lighthouse creates a unified ecosystem that helps the office accelerate its goals and digitize for the future.
“This project simplifies the integration of digital technology and creates a solid foundation for the scalability of the business,” wrote Allen McCormick, head of strategic communications and engagement at RSO, in an email to GCN . “The sustainment mission has long been subject to slow innovation cycles, disparate legacy maintenance information systems… and reliance on outdated processes. This technology accelerates this cycle of change to make aircraft maintenance more responsive, efficient and profitable. “
This new aircraft maintenance system will provide seamless integration to all Air Force technology vendors, including those who provide predictive maintenance software, manufacture robotics and augmented reality headsets and other hardware. Apigee, Google Cloud’s API management platform, and Anthos, its managed applications platform, will power the system. The aircraft maintenance system will be prototyped, validated and tested for scalability in the Air Force technological environment prior to launch.
“The technology enables rapid integration of RSO’s technology pipeline into a single ecosystem,” said McCormick. Imagine a maintainer using a maintenance point data capture system linked to an augmented reality headset during hands-on maintenance, feeding leadership with situational awareness of the squadron’s mission capability and allowing synchronization of live data with existing maintenance systems. Traditionally, this would be done through multiple radio calls, manual data entry, and lots and lots of paper. This technology enables this capacity in real time with the least possible redundant manual actions. “
He declined to disclose the terms of the contract, including a timetable for the deployment of the project.
The Secretary of the Air Force created the RSO in 2018 to increase mission readiness by identifying, applying and rapidly evolving technology essential to the operation and sustainment of the service. RSO has more than 329,000 people in active service and more than 170 operational sites around the world.
In a press release, Nathan Parker, deputy to the RSO program executive office, called the partnership with Google Cloud “an important step for RSO on our journey to adopt Industry 4.0 technologies.”
Stephanie Kanowitz is a freelance writer based in Northern Virginia.