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Aircraft fuselage inspection using drones

Grant number: 21/12115-3
Support type:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: March 01, 2022 - February 29, 2024
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Mechanical Engineering - Manufacturing Processes
Cooperation agreement: SEBRAE-SP
Principal researcher:Enivaldo Amaral de Souza
Grantee:Enivaldo Amaral de Souza
Company:Autaza Tecnologia S/A
CNAE: Fabricação de máquinas e equipamentos para uso industrial específico não especificados anteriormente
Fabricação de aeronaves
Serviços de engenharia
City: São José dos Campos
Assoc. researchers:Jorge Augusto de Bonfim Gripp
Associated grant(s):21/14937-0 - Aircraft fuselage inspection using drones, AP.PIPE

Abstract

During the years of operation of an aircraft, it periodically undergoes overhauls and maintenance, for the safety of the flight. These activities are known as MRO, which stands for maintenance, repair and overhaul. Aircrafts in operation are subject to damage, such as: lightning strikes, hailstorms and accidental collisions. Carrying out the inspection procedure can be a very complex task, taking considerable time. In a highly competitive market, the constant search for increasing aircraft availability and reducing maintenance costs has become essential for the survival of operators and manufacturers. This project presents an aircraft fuselage inspection solution using drones. The main motivation of the project is the potential reduction in the execution time of structural inspections of the external surfaces of the aircraft, especially in regions that require support devices in regions of difficult access, such as the upper parts of the aircraft that currently require the use of platforms or pantographic. In addition, the project aims to improve the quality, standardization and traceability of information related to visual inspections. In addition to the application in Service Centers (MRO) and Operators, the Drone Inspection technology can be used in the aircraft manufacturing process. This project has three differentials: i) the reduction of inspection time, by using a drone, ii) the automated flight of the drone, according to the flight plan that was created in the simulation environment, and iii) the inspection of visual defects in the fuselage using machine vision and artificial intelligence. The inspection results will be available for assessment of the human inspectors. Autaza Tecnologia S/A is a corporation headquartered in the Technological Park of the city of São José dos Campos, with clients in the Automotive, Aeronautical, Glass and Packaging industries, developing automatic quality inspection machines using computer vision and artificial intelligence. Founded on March 17, 2016, the company received support from Fapesp PIPE Phase 1, 2 and 3 projects for the development of its technologies. (AU)

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