September 23, 2021 – GridRaster Inc., a provider of cloud-based extended reality (XR) platforms that power augmented, virtual and mixed reality (AR/VR/MR) experiences for enterprises, has recently announced that it has been awarded a SBIR Phase II contract by the US Air Force (USAF) to improve aircraft wiring maintenance. The project will support the USAF’s fleet of CV-22 Osprey aircraft (pictured above) by providing a precision augmented reality (AR) toolset.
According to GridRaster, the complexity of USAF aircraft wiring continues to increase with the fielding and deployment of advanced communications, integrated aircraft survivability systems, and aircraft data collection systems. As a result, maintenance technicians must maintain complex wiring installations and are required to know all variants of the systems they are working on. With V-22 variants of the Osprey aircraft expected to be in service beyond 2040, capability enhancements and readiness initiatives are program priorities, not only for the USAF, but also for the Marine Corps and Navy.
As part of the Phase II effort, GridRaster states that it will develop a high-precision AR Toolset prototype and test and evaluate the system’s ability to facilitate repair and maintenance of CV-22 engine nacelle wiring (an engine nacelle being essentially the housing). The company added that the USAF’s CV-22 nacelle wiring has been a major readiness degrader, accounting for approximately 60% of the overall maintenance effort. GridRaster’s proposed solution will enable CV-22 maintainers to troubleshoot, repair, and train more efficiently in an operational environment.
“We are excited to work with the US Air Force and specifically with the CV-22 Program Office at NAS PAX River,” said Rishi Ranjan, CEO and Founder of GridRaster. “We look forward to delivering an affordable AR Toolset built on an open system infrastructure, utilizing pattern recognition, and providing precise, intuitive visual overlays of complex wiring installations.” He continued, “With the proposed solution, our objective is to solve the CV-22 wiring maintenance mission need by reducing maintenance man-hours, eliminating errors, and improving installation accuracy of aircraft wiring harnesses in congested spaces of the aircraft by delivering a solution that can seamlessly scale to support other avionics systems and variants of the aircraft.”
For this effort, GridRaster will team with Avatar Partners, Inc. which specializes in development of military-grade, immersive XR training and job-aiding solutions, to provide an end-to-end solution. GridRaster will provide the underlying core software infrastructure, while Avatar Partners will design and develop an AR application for CV-22 Wiring Maintenance.
Image credit: US Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Nathan LeVang / Avatar Partners