Could the Implementation of Smart Systems Transform Military Vehicle Maintenance?
As shifting theater requirements and increasingly harsh budget realities continue to influence the roles of US tactical military vehicles, it is becoming increasingly essential for vehicles to maximize their longevity and effectiveness.
One way for that maximization to occur is to develop systems that don’t merely report when a vehicle has a maintenance issue, but to predict when those issues might occur and prevent them.
Extensive research is currently being done in this area by Dr. Jay Lee, Director, NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center on Intelligent Maintenance Systems (IMS) for the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Lee’s work focuses on designing smart prognostics with the ability to predict maintenance issues that might arise in military vehicles.
The systems Dr. Lee is working on “can predict potential failures,” he said. “If you look at major military defense vehicles and equipment, they aren’t able to do that.” He noted that even those vehicles that are equipped with smart sensors don’t yet have these kinds of prognostic abilities.
According to Dr. Lee, the primary question that needs to be addressed is how to predict the degradation of a system, including potential degradation of the sensors themselves.
“The traditional approach is to detect when there’s a problem, and react then—we say predict and prevent,” he said. “Maybe the system isn’t working, or the sensor itself is degrading. With our approach, eventually you can predict the ‘health’ drop, and monitor how ‘healthy’ the component is.”
Dr. Jay Lee is Director NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center on Intelligent Maintenance Systems (IMS), for the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Lee will be speaking at IDGA’s 5th Annual Tactical Vehicles Summit, to be held from April 23-25, 2012 in Washington, DC. For more information on the event, visit www.TacticalVehiclesSummit.com or call 1- 800-882-8684. For comprehensive defense and government news and information, visit www.idga.org