Boeing Designs and Maintains Next Generation Rotorcraft Drive Systems with DigitalClone® Prognostic Models

The U.S. Army was seeking technologies that could help more efficiently design and maintain their rotorcraft fleet. Boeing selected Sentient Science to provide prognostic life prediction models for the Apache gearbox. In design and testing, These models are used to quickly evaluate trade-off studies of reliability and performance. Once the aircraft are deployed in the field, the same models will interface with real operating conditions and sensors to evaluate how duty cycle or remanufacturing changes will extend life. By harnessing the DigitalClone application over the Industrial Internet, Boeing now has the most advanced prognostic health management and condition based maintenance program in the world.

  • $24MSmall Business Innovative
    Research (SBIR) Investment
  • 13Years of Development, Validation
    and Commercialization
  • $300BCombined Revenues of Sentient
    Science's Commercial Customers

The U.S. Army and Boeing are deploying new prognostic gearbox health assessment technologies to optimize life and performance while minimizing the maintenance burden on future and current fleet vertical lift aircraft.

The U.S. Army Aviation Applied Technology Directorate (AATD) launched the Autonomous Sustainment Technologies for Rotorcraft Operations (ASTRO) program to demonstrate technologies to more efficiently design and maintain their current and future vertical lift aircraft fleet. The critical gearbox components to improve were identified as the planetary gears and bearings.

Boeing selected Sentient Science to provide prognostic life prediction models for the planetary gearbox and its critical components. In design and testing, these models will be used by Boeing to give engineers much better knowledge and insight into the planetary gearbox’s reliability and performance under multiple sensitivity tests, often under multi-variable conditions. By interfacing these models with their actual operating conditions, Sentient can suggest life extension options, such as surface treatment options, duty cycle options, and remanufacturing overhaul options – and then simulate the performance
improvement of those options for the fleet.

For operations and maintenance, these DigitalClone models will then be interfaced into Boeing’s existing on and off-board processors (HUMS) for autonomous monitoring. With DigitalClone prognostic models and live operational data, the U.S. Army will be able to predict and control their helicopter’s gearbox life and ensure missions are completed safely. By interfacing the models through the Internet to improve the life of fielded assets, we are supporting what GE and others now call the Industrial Internet.

About Boeing

Boeing is the world's largest aerospace company and leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners and defense, space and security systems. Their products and tailored services include commercial and military aircraft, satellites, weapons, electronic and defense systems, launch systems, advanced information and communication systems, and performance-based logistics and training.

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