Augmented and Virtual Reality Step Up for Military Maintenance
The CV-22 Osprey is a perfect example of a military aircraft that is both revolutionary and complicated to maintain. First put into service in 2007, it can act as both a helicopter and an airplane. In addition to being really amazing to watch, its versatility in nearly any environment has put it into heavy service with the Air Force and Marines. Ospreys have been on combat missions in Iraq, Libya, Kuwait and Afghanistan. But it also has had a fair number of problems because of the difficulty in maintaining the aircraft. According to a report in Seapower Magazine, in 2019 four out of every 10 CV-22 Ospreys in active service were not available for combat. There were a variety of reasons cited, but maintenance issues were a primary cause.
A company called GridRaster is trying to help improve the situation using both augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) programs designed for maintenance crews charged with maintaining the aircraft. They are working with the Air Force Special Operations Command on this effort.