How the Internet of Things is poised to change the Aerospace Industry

January 2,  2018

The frequently heard ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT)—a network of all uniquely identifiable devices embedded with electronics, sensors and network connectivity, enabled to connect and exchange data to operate within a vast, existing Internet infrastructure—offers us a new perspective into how we look at electronic objects. The plethora of applications this inter-connected network offers us is endless. The moment is ripe for the aerospace manufacturing industry to harvest these endless opportunities by inculcating the IoT framework at each step of the process.

The showcasing of Bombardier’s C series jet at the Paris Air Show 2015 created ripples in the industry. The Pratt & Whitney’s Geared Turbo Fan (GTF) engine it carries is fitted with 5,000 sensors that generate an overwhelming 10 GB of data per second.  The engine utilizes this data to build artificial intelligence and understand the requirements of the engine at various stages of its flight. The result, a 10 to 15 percent reduction in fuel consumption, lower engine noise and lower emissions.

Moving past the aircraft, the IoT can be leveraged to enhance its business value through changing day-to-day aerospace manufacturing operations.  The entire aerospace manufacturing supply chain can benefit from the IoT data. This can help enhance coordination, quality control, better manage materials and improve scheduling, safety and compliance.  IoT can increase the efficiency of the supply chain. Through a more transparent mechanism, manufacturers, vendors and buyers can gain visibility of the inventory, plan the procurement of parts in advance and reduce or even remove the incidents of delays.