Health Condition Monitoring, new online service launched by “SafeDrone by Lufthansa Technik”
“SafeDrone by Lufthansa Technik” is on the verge of launching a new online service, Health Condition Monitoring (HCM), allowing manufacturers and users to monitor the technical condition of their drones after a mission is completed. This proven procedure from manned flight is now also available for unmanned aircraft. Initially, data-driven post-flight analysis is available for such critical drone components as batteries, flight controllers, motors and propellers.
Beginning 4 October 2017, it is planned to have the platform operational. The in-house “SafeDrone” development is initially available for new models of drone manufacturers Aerialtronics, germandrones, Matternet as well as from end of October for the H520 from YUNEEC. Other manufacturers will follow in the coming months. The flight controllers read and standardize the flight and sensor data needed for status-dependent fault analysis, sending this information on to the HCM platform. Component run-times will be measured and system-specific analysis can be carried out. The complex vibration patterns of a quadcopter, for example, can be determined throughout the life-cycle, and specific fault types can be recognized. An imbalanced propeller can be clearly identified – as can a loose screw between the motor and the casing.
Drone operators benefit from status analysis, and repairs can be carried out at the optimal time rather than either too early or in reaction to a critical situation. Servicing programs will be more effective, making drone operation more reliable. Over the medium or long term, the pre-flight check for unmanned aircraft may become unnecessary. HCM is also of interest for the further development of drones. Manufacturers can use the analysis for quality control and for industrial benchmarks as they design future models.
“With the HCM platform, we have made a great step forward for status-dependent fault analysis on drone components, and this will benefit all involved,” says Philipp Koehler, HCM Project Leader in the “SafeDrone” team.