The Israeli air force plans to equip large unmanned air vehicles with a total health and usage monitoring system (T-HUMS) that uses vibration analysis. The aim is to minimise crashes and the loss of advanced, high-cost payloads. T-HUMS is being fitted to the air force's Boeing Apache anti-tank helicopters with its Sikorsky CH-63s to follow.

The system, developed by Israeli company RSL, monitors vibrations of critical engine parts and detects developing malfunctions at an early stage. Engine in-flight shutdown is the main cause of UAV failures.

The Mini T-HUMS is capable of providing early warning before a failure occurs, alerting the operator to recall the UAV before engine shutdown, or providing post-landing advice that a degradation has occurred.

Source: Flight International