CSIRO to equip aircraft technicians with wearable tech

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CSIRO to equip aircraft technicians with wearable tech

Signs licensing deal with TAE.

Australia's peak science and research organisation will license its wearable technology to aerospace service provider TAE in an effort to reduce aircraft downtime and maintenance costs for operators.

CSIRO's guardian mentor remote (GMR) technology will be commercialised by TAE under the new licensing agreement, which will make it available to commercial, regional and defence aircraft operators around the world.

The GMR connects an onsite operator to an offsite "helper" technician via a wearable computer with a helmet-mounted camera and a near-eye display.

The display allows the offsite technician to demonstrate to the tech in the field what needs to be done, using a pair of virtual hands.

It means companies can forego the costs and time involved in sending out a specialist engineer or mechanic.

TAE managing director Andrew Sanderson said costs associated with aircraft downtime were a critical issue in the aerospace industry.

“If a plane’s not operational, it can cost a company up to $12,000 per hour," he said in a statement.

"Therefore, any technology that makes maintenance easier, and helps bring down repair times is a valuable investment.

“Using the GMR system, it is just like the expert is in the room with you, even if they’re in another state or even another country."

The CSIRO technology has previously been trialled by Boeing and Aviation Australia, the organisation said.

The deal with TAE means the system will be available to aerospace companies globally later this year.

TAE's main business is providing gas-turbine engine maintenance, repair and overhaul services to the aerospace industry. It also offers services in aerospace engineering, advanced manufacturing, avionics, fuel and electrical component maintenance, aircraft wheels and brakes and materials sales.

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