Deployed virtual consulting: the fusion of wearable computing, collaborative technology, augmented reality and intelligent agents to support fleet aviation maintenance
Nasman, James M.
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This thesis addresses the need of Naval Aviation Maintenance to streamline and more effectively manage the process of technical consultation aboard deployed aircraft carriers. The current process involves the physical transportation of an appropriate technician to the carrier to perform required maintenance and/or repairs. In light of the technology currently available this process becomes obviously obsolete, overly costly and needlessly time consuming. By implementing wireless technology in combination with advanced software allowing the virtual collaboration of parties widely separated by geographical distance the Navy can establish a "virtual technical presence" onboard aircraft carriers wherever they may be in the world. This thesis will describe how the fusion of wearable computing, augmented reality, intelligent agents coupled with CoABS, and a modern collaborative software application can revolutionize Naval aviation maintenance as we know it. The technology is there - it only remains for the Navy to leverage it and take advantage of the significant returns that it will provide. The implementation of this technology will allow maintainers onboard deployed aircraft carriers to consult in an augmented virtual environment with technical assets on the shore. These shore-based assets will then be able to "walk" deployed personnel through complicated repair procedures in a matter of minutes or hours as opposed to the previous need to wait for days for the technician to arrive. This is a bold and innovative new concept that will allow commands at sea to increase their levels of combat readiness and allow them the ability to respond to ever changing mission needs. Turn around times for the repair of critical parts and assemblies will be reduced and readiness levels elevated. The ultimate goal of any command is mission accomplishment. This system will aid commands in achieving that all important goal.
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