Augmented Reality in Aviation Industry – how does it work?
The aviation industry has always been on the forefront of technology and innovation. That is no surprise: Considering how highly complex the construction of aircraft and maintenance, training, and operations is.
The use of augmented reality in aviation is therefore a natural fit. It can significantly reduce human error and improve safety and productivity. Today, we will dive deeper into the how’s and why’s of AR in Aviation. And its impact on the industry will be evaluated as well.
Why is Augmented Reality used in the Aviation Industry?
The aviation industry is highly competitive: Any technological advantage is quickly welcomed by companies involved in building, maintaining or operating any aircraft. Augmented Reality offers exactly this kind of advantage.
Through augmented reality glasses, the wearer can see information as a digital overlay in the physical world. A good example here is TeamViewer Frontline. While other devices exist, the use of AR glasses has proven to be the most useful. This applies to multiple industries. On a smaller scale, hand-held devices like phones or tablets are also a viable option.
The benefits for the industry
AR technology is part of smart manufacturing/industry 4.0 ecosystem and can simplify and optimize complex processes. It highlights important parts or adds information to the field of view. Through the use of sophisticated AI technology, the device can check for potential risks. It can advise the best course of action or simply add useful information.
Augmented reality for aircraft maintenance training and operations support offers more efficient training. A fact that becomes more important because of the high demand for skilled experts and other challenges, also in IT support. Together with the increase in productivity and a reduction of human error, work processes become faster. They are also much easier to plan and manage. AR in aviation therefore provides a significant competitive edge to the companies involved.
Main uses for Augmented Reality in the Aviation Industry
One of the most important use cases for augmented reality is certainly the training for pilots. But also for ground crew, mechanics and other people involved in the operation or maintenance of aircraft. Virtual reality flying and training are still more common than augmented reality at this point. The latter is cutting out its own niche, however, it can seemingly integrate with remote management.
While an immersive virtual reality training can be an excellent way to acquire or practice one’s skills: AR and mixed-reality devices like Frontline Spatial offers useful real-world application. It can act as “training wheels” for professionals. It is helping them improve their professional knowledge and acting as a safety net.
Augmented reality for aircraft maintenance training and operations support is particularly important. It significantly reduces human error through devices like the xInspect. The importance can not be stressed enough: in the aviation industry, mistakes can be extremely costly and could potentially endanger hundreds of lives.
TeamViewer Frontline Success Story
With paperless inspection, Airbus Helicopters is taking digitalization to the next level.
Airbus Helicopters Inc. in Dallas, Texas has worked diligently to determine the best way for helicopter assembly and maintenance inspections to be documented. The meticulous documentation, components, and steps are to ensure the safety of both passengers and the public. When maintaining and overhauling gearboxes for Airbus helicopters, workers were challenged with taking pictures, uploading images to a computer and documenting each step.
How Augmented Reality in the Aviation Industry helps staff and pilots with Aircraft Maintenance
Virtual reality flying has become a standard in pilot training and will not be replaced anytime soon. Augmented reality does not aim to change this, but rather bring additional value through its real-world application. AR glasses can significantly decrease the time necessary to familiarize oneself with a new aircraft, for example.
They also offer additional information, analysis and recommendations, which are extremely handy during unusual or stressful situations. Augmented reality glasses can significantly increase safety. A benefit from which flight deck crew and cabin crew profit alike.
The important role of the cabin crew for safety can not be overstated. AR helps them fulfil that role. Through additional, real-time information they can improve safety and service quality alike. This information includes data about passengers, the aircraft or correct procedures.
AR can even make the work of the ground crew easier: the glasses offer better and faster communication than the traditional, hand-held devices, for example. The extra information and real-time data allows for streamlined processes, optimized way finding and higher overall precision.
Simplifying Aircraft maintenance
Aircraft maintenance is notoriously difficult. After all, the airplanes, helicopters and other vehicles are highly complex and technologically advanced. During inspections or repairs, mechanics profit immensely from AR glasses.
The devices can locate and highlight parts in the field of vision. Or they can provide explanations and information, show next steps and much more. Real-time diagnostics and data from the aircraft’s internal sensors can further improve the work quality and safety. Same applies to large-scale IT management frameworks.
Conclusion: The future of Augmented Reality in the Aviation Industry
AR has become a common addition in many industries, providing work-optimization, better training and reducing human error. It’s hard to find a more attractive use case for augmented reality than the aviation industry: technical complexity and high safety requirements make it an ideal field for AR.
All professionals involved in aviation can profit from augmented reality: from pilots and cabin crew to ground crew, mechanics, engineers and even air traffic controllers. Especially in the manufacturing of aircraft, augmented reality has become a common sight.
Most of the industries giants have already adopted the technology. And they are planning to significantly increase their use. The additional information, real-time data, instruction and communication provided is simply too useful to miss.