The test of Boeing’s interactive Augmented Training Operations Maintenance (ATOM) technology was conducted as part of the U.S. Air Force (USAF) Air Mobility Command’s ‘Mobility Guardian 2023’ exercise in July.
“Ordinarily, when a C-17 is away from a main operating base, operators don’t have access to Boeing specialist maintenance crews, grounding the aircraft for days longer than required,” said Lisa Sheridan, Boeing Defence Australia’s C-17 International Field Services and Training Systems program manager.
“ATOM can operate in areas of limited or poor network coverage and could significantly reduce aircraft downtime by quickly and easily connecting operators with Boeing experts anywhere in the world, who can safely guide them through complex maintenance tasks.”
During the exercise, a USAF maintainer was required to obtain virtual support to troubleshoot a C-17 Globemaster III thrust reverser fault in a simulated semi-contested environment.
Using Microsoft HoloLens augmented reality headsets, a Boeing Australia Field Service Representative (FSR) at RAAF Base Amberley, Queensland shared repair manuals and conducted engine diagnostics virtually with the USAF maintainer in Townsville, 1400 kilometres north.
In addition to the ATOM trial, Boeing C-17 FSRs and engineers from the US and Australia were deployed to provide maintenance support to USAF and RAAF crews in Cairns and Townsville, the first time Boeing Australia engineers have supported an international C-17 customer on a military exercise.
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