The concept of ‘conscious aircraft’ is emerging. Using an understanding of human consciousness plus the latest developments within the fields of integrated vehicle health management (IVHM) and artificial intelligence (AI), a ‘conscious aircraft’ can be conceived. Such an aircraft would monitor current platform health, reliably predicting the remaining useful life of components and systems, then automatically reconfiguring them to optimise remaining life. Data would be further synchronised with ground-based systems to optimise how the aircraft is managed through its lifecycle. Future Maintenance Repair Overhaul and Logistics (MROL) actions would be minimised thereby reducing operational costs and moving towards a ‘zero maintenance’ platform within a ‘hangar of the future’ with no surprises for the operator.

The development of the conscious aircraft concept and DARTeC has enabled international engagement with Boeing resulting in the signing of strategic collaboration agreements at executive level and direct investment from Boeing in Cranfield including the establishment of a unique Digital MRO Lab ‘Line Station’ to enable single aircraft MRO support capability.

Integrated Vehicle Health Management Centre

The Integrated Vehicle Health Management (IVHM) Centre at Cranfield delivers generic IVHM solutions from our research. We support commercialisation, reducing time to market and combine technology, business and technology transfer solutions. Read more on the IVHM Centre web page.