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Digital technology redefines the world of aviation

Digital technology redefines the world of aviation

Many of us have experienced “aviation”, but how is digital technology changing the industry?

By Roberto Malvaez, Sales Director (Digital) at GE Aviation

Globally, commercial airlines are expected to generate combined revenue of around 834 billion U.S. dollars in 2018.

Those who have spent time observing how an airport works have probably discovered numerous areas of opportunity.

The fourth industrial revolution is already taking part in building intelligent airports, as it facilitates the connection between ground equipment and operations personnel, between surveillance equipment and security personnel and businesses and frequent travelers.

Soon, as these technologies evolve, we will have autonomous vehicles working as a Formula 1 pit crew, assembling planes at their boarding gates and making sure that the plane takes off in time; there will be express security zones thanks to facial recognition and mobile devices. As passengers, we will have all the information of an airport in our hands (restaurants, shops, waiting times, boardings) and we will receive personalized offers (such as recommendations from a friend) of all these shops.

For some time now, General Electric Infrastructure Queretaro (GEIQ) has become the largest GE engineering center in the world outside the United States.

Approximately half of the almost 1,800 engineers on campus (almost a third with graduate degrees) focus on developing solutions for the aviation industry: turbine / engine design, navigation electronics, control subsystems, software for operators (airlines).

The team is responsible for digital solutions that support airlines around the world, particularly in Latin America.

Some developments in which GEIQ participates are:
  • FLIGHT ANALYTICS

An analysis platform for flight data, which helps airlines’ air safety departments to verify that pilots fly according to all safety instructions, and identify opportunities to reduce fuel consumption.

  • AIRVAULT

Living in the 21st century, the aviation industry has not been able to get rid of paper records, typically aircraft maintenance information is found in thousands of printed pages (which are difficult to find and data inaccessible for analysis). This is how GE’s AirVault and Configuration Data Exchange help airlines improve this situation.

  • FIX EFFECTIVENESS

Provides the probability that a specific action for future maintenance will be effectively resolved, by text mining descriptions of past maintenance actions and extracting specific data of success.

  • ENGINE DIAGNOSTICS

About 2/3 of the world’s commercial aircraft have GE engines / turbines. At this very moment, there are approximately 300,000 people flying who depend on the performance of the GE turbines. GEIQ engineers and data scientists are responsible for designing and supporting many of the necessary analytics to ensure the safety of each of these people.

With Predix, a platform designed for the creation and operation of applications for industrial internet developed by GE, any company can create customized applications according to the needs of their machines (ground equipment, aircraft, turbines) and access them from a computer or a tablet, transforming the operational data into insights (intuition based on analysis) in real time.

Consider that on average, every 2 seconds a plane with GE engines takes off somewhere in the world. So the applications and technology solutions that we are developing in Predix is ​​of great importance. Today we receive and analyze more information about how our planes operate and thanks to this, we can now find ways to fly more efficiently.

The technological development allows us to be more efficient every day and these examples are only the beginning for Mexico and the world.