Safety issues are omnipresent in aerospace and concern manufacturers, operators, pilots and passengers. Three important trends are extremely relevant to cables: fire and toxicity, synthetic vision in the cockpit, and overall airplane health management, which concerns maintenance.
- Fire and toxicity
Aviation regulations around the world are changing, requiring smoke detectors in lavatories, automatic fire extinguishers, in-cabin fire enhancements, fire-blocking seat materials, emergency track lighting, etc.
“Survivability” also impacted aircraft cabling standards, since one possible cause of fires in airplanes is wiring problems that involve intermittent faults, such as wires with breached insulation touching each other, electric arcing (flashover), or short circuits.
- Synthetic Vision Systems (SVS)
Since loss of control has been highlighted as the major cause of fatal accidents, Synthetic Vision Systems (SVS) offering “virtual reality” will be increasingly deployed in commercial flight decks within the next five years. Once installed in the global airline fleet, it could significantly reduce loss-of-control risk.
Evolving systems like SVS confirm the need for more data capacity in tomorrow’s airplane, which means light and reliable cables, Wifi capability, and a host of data, communication and sensor cables of all kinds. When it comes to flight safety, the right cables provide an imperative “nervous system” to heighten awareness, detect danger, and enable appropriate intervention.
- Airplane Health Monitoring (AHM)
Technological advances and massive global fleet renewal by 2025 will completely reshape the Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) business. More onboard data will power predictive maintenance to minimize unplanned work on next-generation aircraft.
Data is thus rapidly becoming the primary driver of maintenance programs, and onboard wires and cables are key to this information highroad.