Tips, deals, and advice on traveling the continent on a budget.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Robotic Aircraft Washing Equipment - Where Are We Today?

Is Robotic Aircraft Washing Equipment a viable industry to participate in? Are there any robotic aircraft washing systems out there? Well, there are several "Rinse Systems" that are used both by private and military sectors. In 1-1-1 of the Air Force Manual it states that an aircraft taking off over salt water 3 times to a full stop must get a fresh water rinse. Corrosion kills.

How does it work? Well, the aircraft will taxi underneath an arc which puts out sufficient GPM to rinse the aircraft and give it a fresh water wash. In Singapore there is a Lady who runs a huge company cleaning aircraft with a robotic arm device which is hooked up to a water tank and pressure washer but it puts out more in the neighborhood of a 2 inch fire hose when cleaning, not too dissimilar to De-Ice units.

Lately, I have seen huge advances in robotic aircraft washing units with rotating brushes, Also if you will look you will see that UUV underwater unmanned vehicles using similar technologies exist used by Military and Commercial Fleets. The scrub the bottom of the ships and some can look for "evil doer" devices which may have been attached too!

You will see these technologies advance using several different systems to maintain safety while washing to prevent damage, such a Lidar, Optical Flow Sensors, electronic eyes (car wash industry) and other sensors used to win the DARPA Grand Challenge like the superstar engineer kid from Stanford. Also you will see more unique devices for sensing. Such as "Stereo Sound" wave sensors of many different types of waves low to high frequency.

Haptics will also play a part in aircraft washing sensing how much pressure to place onto an aircraft as to not damage horizontal, vertical stabilizers, flaps, etc., which is very critical on Aluminum Aircraft of course. In the future with carbon nano-tube construction it will not be as critical yet the machine needs to be able to limit water flow in flap tracks, wheel wells as to not de-lubricate them.

I suppose as these robotic units get to be fully-autonomous, oh yes they will! That they will also be a street sweeper cleaning the ramp of any waste wash water. Any other questions along this line of thinking - well let me know on that, because I see a robotic aircraft washer in your future.



Post a Comment

<< Home