Aircraft technicians these days are as likely to use a laptop as a printed manual and logbook, and to turn to the Internet for the latest job-status reports and technical information.
Engineers from the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) are assisting them, using current computer and database technology to help military aircraft maintainers get their work done more efficiently. A team from GTRIs Electro-Optical Systems Laboratory (EOSL) has been developing and improving maintenance software for the U.S. Navy since 2000.
Called the Maintainers Electronic Performance Support System (MEPSSTM), this software was initially developed for the Navys P-3C Orion patrol aircraft. A more recent version is now helping maintain the RQ-2 Pioneer Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, and portions of the GTRI software are being used in other aircraft maintenance programs.
Hall recalls that the aircraft maintainers used to carry individual "wheel books," which they used to make paper notes about important points and problems. The problem was, sharing information between the individual wheel books wasnt automatic. Now, she notes, being able to enter such information into a linked computer system makes it much easier to share.
Trouble-shooting tips are among the most important capabilities the system offers, Hall believes. When GTRI researchers interviewed maintainers, they learned that knotty maintenance problems can sometimes take a week or more to solve. Now maintainers can share these hard-won solutions with their coworkers via MEPSS.
"When we were designing the system we asked, How can we help them save money and time by documenting these kinds of issues? " Hall said. "Now the system lets them keep track of things that are not easy to figure out."
John Toon | EurekAlert!
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Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
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Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
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Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
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For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
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