Around 60 manufacturers involved in a research project to halve aircraft maintenance costs over 20 years plan to publish a preliminary list of current failings by the middle of this year.

The TATEM (technologies and techniques for new maintenance concepts) project is a four-year effort funded by the European Union under its 6th Framework research programme. The project, led by Smiths Aerospace, involves 60 companies from Europe, Israel and Australia.

Nine teams are focusing on maintenance-free avionics; signal processing techniques to convert data into information about system health; onboard sensor technology; diagnostic methods to identify and reduce malfunctions; prognostic methods for preventative maintenance; decision-support techniques; and human-interface technologies.

Martin Worsfold, TATEM project director, says it is too early in the project, which started in March last year, to draw any conclusions, but adds that a list of shortcomings of current maintenance practices will be agreed by all parties around March. "We will then begin to downselect what future scenarios of research might look like," he says.


Source: Flight International