The Internet of Things has been revolutionising how the world works, with business and industry at the forefront. IoT technology is known for its ability to increase efficiency and effectiveness, assist with safety and delivery ultimately decreasing long-term costs.
We work on projects in a wide range of industries, however, one of our most exciting projects as of late has been with Defence Innovations. On their military aircraft monitoring system. NIFTI stands for Non-Intrusive Flight Test Instrumentation, and that is exactly what it is. We have been working closely with Defence Innovation for some time now helping to change the way they monitor their aircraft. Reducing costs, minimising time drastically and helping create more accurate monitoring systems.
This isn’t the first time IoT has revolutionised the defence force. This connected technology ranges from wearables, vehicles, ships, predictive data analysis monitors, unmanned systems and rugged sensors. Allowing for more secure first responders, more insightful and accurate decision making, better surveillance and increased in safety and minimization of collateral damage.
The world of IoT isn’t just about automated systems and efficiency, there is a huge market for monitored systems, big data collection and analysis! This is where NIFTI sits.
Prior to the NIFTI system flight testing instruments were extremely intrusive. Workers would need to take apart an aircraft, have kilometres of heavy wires run through it and then connect sensors to monitor the aircraft’s performance. This process could take many months for installation and many to uninstall, not counting the testing period. Putting an aircraft out of service for an extended period of time.
There were clearly a few issues with the process… These aircraft are exposed to -45-degree weather, extremely high altitudes and can hit air speeds faster than Mach 1.2 (1482 mph). It is safe to say that these heavy wires and intrusive system were adding some variables to the results of these supersonic flights.
We worked with Defence Innovations to create a rugged sensor that could not only withstand those harsh conditions but more incredibly cut down month-long installation, to hours/days. By example on a flight test campaign, the whole process together taking a max of 72hours! Saving the airforce 4380 hours! The best part about it is that this technology has the potential to be applied to other military vehicles including tanks, ships or submarines.
Although this was no walk in the park the sensors have been praised by many on their incredible ability and extreme ease of use. All the results are transmitted across to the NIFTI application for real-time recording. The modular aspects of the NIFTI system allow you to add or remove monitoring areas as you please. For example, if you want to monitor the aircraft’s GPS capabilities you can simply add that component of the system. (taking a look at the image below, each of the sectors is systems that can monitor different aspects of the aircraft – removal or addition of one means more/fewer data recorded & reported).
With easily replaceable nodes and sensors that can be easily placed anywhere inside or outside the aircraft, safe to say that the NIFTI system will revolutionise the industry!
NIFTI was recently won the National Defence Innovation Award at the Australian International Airshow (Avalon), with the award presented by Hon Steve Ciobo MP, Minister of Defence Industry.