21 Jan 2017

IOT, Blockchain Proposed to Improve Aircraft Maintenance Process

A combination of the use of the Internet of Things (IOT), Blockchain and cloud-computing technology has been proposed by one of the world’s biggest technology companies as a way to improve the aircraft maintenance process for airlines. Flight operations performance monitoring, aircraft components and systems performance monitoring for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) providers could also benefit from the use of a technology that is new to aviation, while it has already gained popularity in other industries. 

In a newly released video, IBM focuses on how Blockchain can be used as a digital ledger shared by airlines, MRO teams and OEMs to record flight events, operations conditions and scheduled aircraft maintenance checks. 
Blockchain is best defined as a data structure that has the ability to establish a digital archive or to record blocks of data or transactions that can be shared and easily accessed by users across networks of different computers, according to IBM. While the technology and its applicable use is relatively new in the aviation industry, blockchain has already grown in popularity in the financial sector and is also well known for its association with providing a way of recording bitcoin transactions. 
Over the last year, IBM is among several companies that have explored the applicability of blockchain for various sectors of the aviation industry. For example, in September 2016 business and technology consultancy firm Capco published a report on behalf of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to optimize the flow of money between partners in the air travel industry value chain. Lufthansa Industry Solutions went a step further, launching an initiative last year known as Blockchain for Aviation (BC4A) to evaluate how the technology can be used to increase transparency within flight maintenance. The company believes potential participants in their initiative will include software developers, aircraft manufacturers, MRO service providers, logistics providers, lessors and even civil aviation regulators. 
“In the future, components could be registered in a blockchain after they are manufactured together with all relevant data – for example, serial codes.
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Source : Access Intelligence, LLC.

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