Drones Fly Past The Challenges of Human Guards
Words By: Tim Noye
Words By: Colin Nutton
Working closely with DE&S and the UAS Delivery Team to identify, report and manage airworthiness issues in unmanned aircraft
The implementation of tlmNexus’ tool Resolve was deemed essential to ensure that the airworthiness issues were correctly identified, reported and managed, in order to meet the UK Military Aviation Authority’s (MAA) Regulatory requirements.
From the outset we engaged and built strong relationships with key players in the customer’s organisation including the Type Airworthiness Authorities (TAAs) Engineering Authorities (EAs), Desk Officers, Safety Managers, Continuing Airworthiness Management Organisation (CAMO) staff and Industry Technical Managers. We co-ordinated all our efforts through a single implementation manager who was nominated by the DT to establish close collaboration and communications with us from the start.
We launched the tool for DE&S in stages. Starting with the most complex, we were able to establish user buy-in and refine the implementation process down to a lean 90 days.
User training was provided during a 4-week period prior to go-live. The training including interactive group and 1-2-1 sessions in the workplace and 100 users were trained at three different locations covering DE&S (Abbey Wood), Front Line Command stations and Industry sites. Now with Resolve users across the Watchkeeper community, airworthiness issues can be reported from the front line operational environments, whilst maintainers record data from Forward or Depth support areas and engineers issue approved technical information to operators in a controlled manner.
Migrating the Data
Over 6000 existing UAS airworthiness and safety records needed to be migrated into Resolve. With the assistance of the DT we completed a data capture, analysis and clean-up exercise to enable a frictionless transition to the new system while maintaining the continuity of airworthiness-related information. Records related to four ongoing Service Inquiries were migrated without any loss of configuration or impact on the operational effectiveness of a key UK military capability.
Preparation for both the final demonstration and go-live events included nineteen quality gates necessary to demonstrate confidence in Resolve to the TAA. As a result, when Resolve went live the customer was immediately able to continue management of their Airworthiness issues. The UAS implementation was declared a complete success by the TAA and we were highly praised by the DT for our professionalism, detailed planning, risk management, and willingness to collaborate and take ownership of the process. A test of the effectiveness of Resolve is when the MAA conducts an annual audit. The Watchkeeper MAA audit was facilitated using Resolve, demonstrating the value of a single source of the truth.
Photograph Crown Copyright 2020