OUSD (R&E) CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Human-Machine Interfaces
The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts 730-774, which controls dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or work permit possessed, and the statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with the Announcement. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws.
OBJECTIVE: Implement AR and VR technology to improve efficiency and reduce error in equipment maintenance
DESCRIPTION: Preventative maintenance and corrective maintenance are two different approaches to equipment maintenance. Preventative maintenance involves regular upkeep and scheduled inspections to prevent equipment failure before it even happens. On the other hand, Corrective maintenance is reactive since it is done after a piece of equipment has broken down. Maintainers continue to rely on conventional maintenance resources, which communicate increasingly complex instructions and processes using images and text, even with increasingly complex machineries. Currently, technicians must duplicate the equipment's operation as it was prior to the problem developing. Each technician's effort is different and takes time. Advanced tools, machines, knowledge, and skills are needed to resolve maintenance issues in order to address and reduce equipment failures that eventually cause aircraft maintenance to be delayed. Additionally, training new technicians requires hands-on experience and depends on the workload that is available. AR can be used to diagnose equipment problems by overlaying diagnostic information on top of live video feed of the equipment. This can help technicians to quickly identify and troubleshoot issues. VR can provide simulated training environments that allow technicians to practice maintenance procedures on virtual equipment models. This can help to reduce the risk of damage to actual equipment during training, while also providing a more realistic training experience. By leveraging AR & VR technology, organizations can improve equipment uptime, reduce maintenance costs, increase the overall safety and reliability of their operation, enhance the efficiency and accuracy of equipment maintenance.
PHASE I: As this is a Direct-to-Phase-II (D2P2) topic, no Phase I awards will be made as a result of this topic. To qualify for this D2P2 topic, the Government expects the applicant to demonstrate feasibility by means of a prior “Phase I-type” effort that does not constitute work undertaken as part of a prior SBIR/STTR funding agreement. To demonstrate the requisite feasibility 1 requirements, applicants should be able to demonstrate an understanding of the maintenance groups' needs and potential use cases for AR in equipment maintenance. This may be demontrated by citing prior work including feasibility studies or interviews with key stakeholders. Applicants should be able to evaluate available AR & VR technologies and develop a detailed plan for implementing AR in equipment maintenance.
PHASE II: Pilot Phase: This phase involves testing the AR technology in a small-scale pilot project to evaluate its effectiveness and identify any issues. This may involve training technicians on the use of AR technology, monitoring performance metrics, and gathering/analyzing feedback from stakeholders, evaluating the effectiveness of the AR technology and identifying areas where the technology can be optimized.
PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Implementation Phase: This phase involves rolling out the AR technology across the organization. This may involve scaling up the pilot project to a larger deployment, providing training to technicians, and ensuring that the technology is integrated with existing systems and processes.
- https://www.ge.com/news/press-releases/ge-renewable-energy-debuts-high-speed-blade-inspection-system-advancing-performance ;
- https://www.boeing.com/features/2018/01/augmented-reality-01-18.page ;
KEYWORDS: Augmented Reality for Equipment, AR for Equipment, Augmented Reality, Augmented Reality in factory maintenance, AR in MRO