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Category: Ideation

Maintenance Automation

Maintenance Automation
Team info
Jeltes de Weerd
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Maintenance Automation


The objective of MA is to reduce the risks to humans and the cost of inspections by designing a robot capable of moving through the fuel tank and performing visual inspections.

The challenge

Fuel tank inspections are done regularly during the maintenance of an aircraft to uphold the safety standards of the aircraft. Fuel tank inspections bring health risks for the maintenance engineers who enter the fuel tank. The inspection also takes up a signi cant amount of time and requires maintenance engineers to be trained extensively, which is expensive. Designing a method that reduces the human element in fuel tank inspections will reduce their exposure to hazardous environments and reduces the amount of trained personnel necessary, thus, decreasing costs.

The solution

The solution to this problem is a remotely controllable robot, certi ed for ATEX zone 0. This robot is capable of climbing through the ribs in the fuel tank and performing visual inspections. The visual inspections can be performed with the use of a camera providing a live feed, while manually inspecting the feed. Another method of inspecting is a fully autonomous way by scanning the interior of the fuel tank and comparing this to a previous scan of the fuel tank.

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