British defence, security and aerospace company BAE Systems is working on a innovative system that will act as a round-the-clock health check for military vehicles.
The system, named integrated vehicle health management (IVHM), is being developed in partnership with Rolls-Royce, Thales, Boeing and Cranfield University and will join together a chain of maintenance and support ideas for military vehicles.
The IVHM is designed to be able to detect faults in military vehicles before they cause damage and will save billions of dollars spent on the vehicle maintenance every year.
The system features built-in-sensors to monitor engines and vehicle structures and will identify faults using mathematical reasoning to establish a diagnosis and report the problem to the maintenance crew.
BAE Systems executive scientist Peter Foote said the current system of replacing parts on a rolling basis is no longer the safest and most efficient way.
"For some time now we have wanted to make the identification, diagnosis and repair of problems in vehicles more efficient and IVHM holds the key to this," he said.
Testing has already begun on key elements of the IVHM. This includes trialling fault diagnostic tools in the Tornado fighter jet, using acoustic sensors to detect fatigue cracks in Hawk aircraft.
Basic health and usage monitoring systems are also already fitted to both Bulldog and Panther vehicles to provide vital information to support availability.
The company is expecting the system to be fully operational within five to ten years.