How Raytheon Technologies is starting to bring the entire aviation ecosystem together to make it predictable

Now under one roof, the various divisions of the Raytheon Technologies group attended this week’s Farnborough Air Show. The American group, the result of the merger of United Technologies (UTC) and Raytheon in April 2020, is a new giant in both the civilian and defense markets. The first synergies are now tangible, and cross-comparison of data between different organizations promises a real revolution in improving the efficiency of commercial aviation in general.

Because, as Jen Chauffer, president of Connected Aviation Solutions at Collins Aerospace, points out, aviation generates a phenomenal amount of data, and equipment supplier Collins Aerospace is now automating the collection of its data to make it useful and offer it to useful people. place and at the right time to make the right decisions. This gives airlines and airports the ability to analyze this data to increase production and ultimately optimize their operations. she explains.

Jen Chauffer points out that at the connected cockpit level, it all starts with the Airborne Interface Device (AID), which enables real-time connectivity to access critical data, such as status monitoring or in-flight location updates. She also cites FlightHub, EFB (Electronic Flight Bag), which improves crew efficiency by integrating a range of processes to make it easier for pilots on the ground and in flight, whether it be weather, theft plan, or theft analysis to better understand choices. , focused on the strategy of consumer benefit. He also announces that Collins Aerospace has just released a new product called Flight Profile Optimizer (FPO), which is integrated with FlightHub and which, as its name suggests, allows real-time trajectory optimization to reduce flight time and hence fuel consumption. . Thus, the FPO software allows you to earn a profit equivalent to 1% in fuel consumption per year, and this argument is far from negligible.

In flight, only Collins Aerospace avionics represent billions of data points, improving efficiency and reliability for customers. Here, the American equipment manufacturer relies on Ascentia, its data analysis tool linked to PHM (Prognostic & Health Monitoring) solutions, which aims to turn unscheduled maintenance into scheduled tasks. Ascencia is currently used on more than 3,000 aircraft worldwide by approximately sixty airlines.

Another recent move by the American hardware maker in the connected tools space is last year’s acquisition of FlightAware, an activity that will remain as active and public as it has been on the web, but which is also beginning to fuel a host of applications. Collins Aerospace through real-time aircraft tracking and data analysis algorithms. We now use FlightAware at Collins to improve our products, for example with our teams in Wheels & Brakes with an app called BrakeAware to better understand and improve brake life for operators. explains Jen Chauffer.

Closer collaboration between Pratt & Whiney and Collins Aerospace

For Pratt & Whiney engines, we apparently no longer introduced the EngineWise predictive analytics solution, a solution that accompanied the engine manufacturer’s strong growth in the global GTF (geared turbofan) market share and in particular with the PW1100G-JM on aircraft of the Airbus A320neo family. The American engine manufacturer is already collecting performance data for more than 10,000 of its engines, including older jet engines, but is clearly intent on going further.

Dave Emmerling, vice president of commercial engines for Pratt & Whitney, announces that he will work more closely with Collins Aerospace on data from now on. At the moment, the information collected is mainly about vibration, exhaust gas temperature, pressure and temperature data at various stages of engine operation, and operators save hundreds of thousands of dollars per aircraft per year by avoiding unplanned fixed assets. he explains. But the most interesting thing is that we are already seeing the next step, with what we call full flight data.. So Pratt & Whitney intends to collect data more frequently, but especially new types of data, such as engine oil levels. He also recalls that the engine manufacturer’s team of experts is already working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, studying what is happening on each flight, analyzing the data collected using algorithms and, if necessary, contacting operators to prevent a negative trend, which he must know or organize service plans.

But, according to him, Complete flight data will take a new step forward and provide customers with more powerful preventive maintenance solutions. Dave Emmerling also announces an agreement with Collins Aerospace Farnborough to combine information from thousands of additional sensors across multiple aircraft systems. Pratt & Whitney will enhance EngineWise Insights+ flight data collection and analysis with Collins GlobalConnect. The general idea is to optimize customer service by generating more knowledge and faster than in the past. Pratt & Whitney and Collins have already collaborated in many areas, but this new approach will allow us to work even closer in the future. he rejoices, also specifying that a single source of data can be especially useful for large aircraft manufacturers.

Raytheon Intelligence & Space Contribution to Countering Expected Increases in Traffic

But another important area of ​​cross-collaboration between the different divisions of the Raytheon Technologies group in commercial aviation is made possible by the Raytheon Intelligence & Space division with its many sensors focused on situational awareness, radar, communications. analysis processes and even precise navigation.

Denis Donoghue, president of Raytheon Intelligence & Space’s Surveillance & Network Systems division, explains that a significant portion of his division’s activities are airspace management, with advanced tools and capabilities, and a presence that directly links two-thirds of global traffic. . Clearly, the United States represents the bulk of it, with only the needs of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). We are especially present in the busiest airspaces in the world, and in particular in the terminal phase, with a lot of work devoted to this single segment with communications, surveillance radars, end radars. he explains. Thus, Raytheon Intelligence & Space has deployed more than 900 radar systems for air traffic control in about thirty countries.

Automation is also a very important area because we also provide air traffic controllers with a very large amount of information that is difficult to digest and use. There are weather information, traffic information, surveillance and monitoring tools. And we need to bring all this data into a form accessible to the user so that he has time to make a decision, because this is a really important issue regarding the safety, security and efficiency of air traffic. .

Denis Donoghue, of course, points out that the trend towards new growth in air travel is returning with the end of the pandemic and that this trend will become exponential in the next five to ten years.

Connecting the entire aviation ecosystem

Thus, airspace congestion will further intensify, and this phenomenon will be further exacerbated with the emergence of new entrants such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAS) in the transport of goods, and then the announced boom in advanced air mobility (air taxis), first manned and then , probably one day completely automated. Many of our solutions are now focused on this new complexity. he specifies, with even greater requirements at low altitude.

As you may have guessed, the various divisions of the Raytheon Technologies group will bring together their vast array of data to better prepare for the future of air transport. Jen Chauffer explains this very well, recalling the group’s new and completely unique position in the global aviation world. Together with Collins Aerospace, Pratt & Whitney and Raytheon Intelligence & Space, we have a unique opportunity to connect to this ecosystem, using all of our digital capabilities from airports, airline operations, air traffic control to all the content we have are on board the aircraft themselves, with our equipment and our engines she announces. In conclusion; By combining all this data with big data, we can help our customers improve efficiency and make air travel greener, more enjoyable for passengers and, above all, more predictable..