July 15, 2020 – Design Interactive, Inc. (DI) has recently announced that it has won a Phase I Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) Small Business Innovation Research grant (SBIR) for ‘Autonomous and Intelligent Aircraft Maintenance Technologies’, for the company’s proposed Augmented Reality Technician Inspection for Surface Anomalies and Noncompliance (ARTISAN) Solution.
DI states that ARTISAN will provide crucial operational support for Naval aviation corrosion and non-destructive inspection. According to the company, corrosion alone is responsible for more than 20% of the U.S. Navy’s maintenance costs, accruing more than USD $8.5 billion annually. Currently, every fleet is required to perform pre and post-trip inspections in addition to performing routine preventive maintenance on all assets. The company’s new AR inspection feature will help to standardize the inspection process while providing the end user with step by step procedural support documentation for historical reference.
ARTISIAN is the latest award that will allow DI to expand upon its AUGMENTOR product line. AUGMENTOR is an augmented reality maintenance and repair software solution for fleet technicians, providing end users with an authoring platform to create spatially placed procedural guidance of processes and procedures. ARTISAN helps to take this a step further, and will provide AR-based operational support regarding non-destructive inspection processes to aviation maintainers.
Additionally, the company states that its solution will also allow for real-time capture of corrosion data to be used as cataloged historical data, via AR devices. The AR captured material will then be stored within a repository for expert maintainer review, verification, and logging. Over time, the process will help to create an organized catalog of historical data that can be used as refresher training content, job performance aids, and/or the input data needed for predictive modeling and analyses, according to the company.
Awarded as a Phase I SBIR with the US Navy, DI states that it will deliver a prototype system in December 2020. If selected for Phase II, DI anticipates that ARTISAN will help to increase work efficiency and decrease time for inspection by providing a solution that will allow maintainers to identify the severity of corrosion more quickly and accurately.
According to the governmental SBIR program’s website, SBIR Phase I awards are generally for USD $50,000 – $250,000 for 6 months. The company has not disclosed the exact amount of the SBIR awarded.
Image credit: Design Interactive