UV - Unmanned Vehicles

RAAF uses UAS for routine C-17A checks

28th November 2018 - 07:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Amberley No 36 Squadron is using a DJI Phantom 4 UAS to support the routine servicing on the C-17A Globemaster military transport aircraft.

Home station check servicing is conducted on each C-17A every 180 days. The UAS is being used to inspect hard-to-reach areas of the Globemaster aircraft for surface damage, reducing height risks to crew members. This includes surveying the tail section which, until now, has been carried out by the maintenance team using elevated platforms or climbing through a small tunnel inside the stabiliser.

The Phantom 4 system provides high-resolution images and videos that can be provided to agencies, including the Heavy Airlift Systems Program Office, Boeing and the Defence Science and Technology Group. By archiving this imagery, the squadron can chart an airframe’s history of paint degradation or surface damage, or compare across the fleet.

The squadron is also investigating the use of multi-spectral cameras, including thermal imagery, to enhance the capability and enable the detection of less obvious paint defects, where non-uniform emissivity results from changes in surface roughness.

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