As the United States fleet of military aircraft age, the maintenance of aircraft electronic Line Replaceable Units (LRU) and Weapons Replaceable Assemblies (WRA) poses an ever increasing challenge. Much of the challenge is related to intermittent faults that occur because of aging wiring and connections. These intermittent problems manifest themselves as “Bad Actor” LRUs/WRAs or as repair shop No Fault Found (NFF) and Cannot Duplicate (CND) test results. Read more...
Following our attendance at the CEAS2009 European Air & Space Conference, CTL met with the team who run theUK’s Aerospace and Defence Knowledge Transfer Network (A&D KTN). The A&D KTN is managed by the A|D|S Group Limited (previously: Society of British Aerospace Companies), by an independent full-time staff dedicated to delivering the objectives of the A&D KTN. The key objectives of the A&D KTN are to
“deliver measurable improved industrial performance by facilitating the innovation processes and enabling the collaborative arrangements that will deliver the National Aerospace Technology Strategy; and to act as the coherent voice of the A&D community in informing Government and research funding agencies about science, innovation and technology issues relating to the sector”.
CTL have become a member of the A&D KTN and have also gone on to join its National Technical Committee (NTC) on Health Management & Prognostics (HMaP). The A&D KTN runs a number of NTCs, which have been set up to advise the KTN, Government and Industry on key technological themes, as well as the future research and technology priorities that should be invested in. Jim Cockram will be attending the next HMaP NTC on the 3rd of March at Rolls-Royce Bristol, and as part of the agenda he will be delivering a company presentation on CTL’s expertise and products to those present, who include representatives from BAE SYSTEMS, Airbus UK, Cosworth, QinetiQ, Messier-Dowty and academia.
We will provide news on the meeting in due course.
by Elizabeth Engler Modic, Senior Editor of Aerospace Manufacturing and Design
Intermittent Fault Detectors address the all too familiar No Fault Found and Cannot Duplicate situations within the avionics repair and maintenance business.
Aging aircraft electronic boxes often pose huge maintenance challenges, and maintenance cost management challenges, across all aviation operations. Subsequent to a malfunction during flight, an avionics assembly often tests "good" or "No Fault Found" when bench tested. The avionics repair and maintenance shop dispositions the box No Fault Found (NFF) or Cannot Duplicate (CND) during the ground test, and sends it back into service, only to have the intermittent malfunction reoccur. Read more...
As part of their activities to investigate the fullest possible market application of the Ncompass-4000 test set and of CTL’s wider range of System Integrity solutions, we exhibited at the MOD’s inaugural Test & Evaluation Communities Day (TECD) which was held at the UK Defence Academy, Shrivenham, Wilts, in October 2009. The event was organised by the MOD’s Test & Evaluation Co-ordination Cell (TECC). The TECD delegates were presented to by senior military, defence and industry figures with a common interest in the importance of T&E to Defence capabilities. The opening address was made by Rear Adml Amjad Hussain RN (Capability Sponsor Director, Precision Attack) and was followed by presentations on the user perspective of each of the 3 Services, as well as a number of industry presentations and an insight into the MOD’s thinking on future development of T&E policy.
We learned a huge amount about the MOD T&E requirements from the TECD’s presentations and from networking with the large attendance. Following this event CTL has submitted its details to the TECC for inclusion in the 2010 update of the MOD T&E Catalogue, which lists all suppliers of choice to the MOD for T&E services.
The Council of European Aerospace Societies (CEAS) organise a major conference every 2 years and in 2009 it was the turn of the UK’s Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) to host the event. CEAS2009 was the European Air & Space Conference, held in Manchester in October 2009, and CTL presented their latest technical paper at the event.
The central theme was ‘New beginnings: challenges for aerospace innovation’ and intended to offer the aerospace world – but in particular the European community – a comprehensive showcase for innovation, research, technical developments and studies across both civil and military air and space applications.
The conference offered the opportunity for a number of high level personalities within the industry to provide the attendees with an informed and learned light on the main challenges the aerospace profession has to take up. Some 100 technical parallel sessions were run, the programme for which had been designed and managed jointly by representatives from the CEAS Board and the RAeS Specialist Groups. In covering about fifteen disciplines in aeronautics and ten in space, it gave rise to approximately 350 papers presented by experts coming from various institutions and industrial companies. Included in this, CTL was represented by Giles Huby and Jim Cockram.
They attended the Civic Reception at the Palace Hotel where they met with current RAeS President, Dr Mike Steeden. The next day they attended the Airworthiness & Maintenance session of the conference, where they presented CTL’s latest technical paper entitled “No Fault Found (NFF) occurrences and Intermittent Faults: improving Availability of aerospace platforms/systems”. This was the first time that CTL had published and presented a technical paper based on its research and the experience was extremely worthwhile. The Paper was extremely well received and CTL made many new contacts. A good day’s work!
Follow this link to read the Abstract of the technical paper.
Follow this link to read the CEAS report on the CEAS2009 Conference
A key facet of CTL’s development as Europe’s pioneering supplier of solutions to electrical/electronic system integrity problems (such as No Fault Found, intermittent faults and ageing wiring integrity), owes much to the support they have received from Highland & Islands Enterprise (HIE). HIE is a regional development agency which, as part of the wider Scottish Enterprise organisation, and their objective is to identify and support those developing businesses which are seen to have significant growth potential and which could provide significant benefit the regional economy in due course.
HIE’s support has been provided in 2 main forms. Firstly, HIE are working with CTL on a long-term growth plan, to identify where HIE can support CTL in the key activities required to assure positive growth. Secondly, HIE provide a proportion of funding support to CTL to help those areas that specifically add value to CTL’s proposition and which help to pioneer leading innovations and bring them to market. Funding support is currently being provided against 4 major projects which are crucial to CTL’s business. These are:
• R&D to implement an upgraded user interface for the Ncompass-4000 test set. This interface - entitled NODES (Ncompass Operator’s Data Entry System) is not just about user friendliness, it is also a powerful database which is used to configure tests and record and trend test results.
• Completion of testing and qualification processes to enable the Ncompass-4000 to be sold to the European and Australian markets, especially to the Aerospace and Defence sectors in the short term.
• R&D to design and make production-ready the interface assemblies which can be used to connect the Ncompass-4000 to any customer’s ‘Unit Under Test’.
• The development and implementation of our branding and marketing strategies.
CTL’s relationship with HIE has been a vital factor in CTL’s establishment and growth and we look forward to continuing this exciting and productive relationship in the future!