The Israeli air force's unit 108 is developing health management systems for unmanned air systems, in a bid to detect potential issues before they become critical in flight.
Half of the service's operational flight hours are being accumulated using UAS, with several having been lost in recent years – in most cases as a result of mechanical failure. With UAS becoming bigger and carrying a wider variety of payloads, each crash can represent the loss of a large sum of money.
The commander of the air force's electronics-specialist unit 108 – who can be identified only as Col E – says his staff have the knowledge to develop such a dedicated health system for UAS. "We are now focusing our effort on where to put the sensors to get the right outputs in time," he adds.