The Last Mile for Digital Aviation
Every industry has thought long and hard about how to leverage IoT to create value for customers and to generate new sources of revenue. Two industries that come to mind are automotive and public sector with concepts such as Connected Car and Smart Cities. In aviation we often hear the terms Connected Aircraft or Digital Aviation to define the IoT vision for our industry. This vision has been described on multiple occasions across blogs and articles for the past several years. The nirvana scenarios describe situations where parts, tools and mechanics sit waiting at a gate to respond to a fault code that was transmitted by an inbound aircraft two hours earlier. Or a situation where a statistical algorithm running behind the scenes in an aircraft health monitoring system finds correlations in streaming telemetry data (OT) to predict a failure days in advance, avoiding an AOG situation for an airline or a cancelled mission for a military operator. It seems that there is no disagreement around the potential offered by IoT in the context of Digital Aviation. The challenge is no longer the technical capability to make these scenarios a reality. The hardware, software and connectivity are now available to achieve these scenarios in the majority of the cases. I do believe that we have crossed the tipping point from a technology point of view. So what are the challenges that hold us back? The attached document provides some clues.