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Airbus launches new open aviation data platform to support digital

Posted 22 June 2017 · Add Comment

Airbus has launched a new aviation data platform in collaboration with Palantir Technologies – pioneers in big-data integration and advanced analytics. Skywise aims to become the single platform of reference used by all major aviation players to improve their operational performance and business results and to support their own digital transformation.

Skywise is already improving industrial operations performance throughout Airbus’ industrial footprint and allows now to deliver enhanced aircraft and equipment designs, better service and support offerings based on deeper in-service data insights.

Skywise will provide all users with one single access point to their enriched data by bringing together to aviation data from multiple sources across the industry into one secure cloud-based platform. These airline sources include: work orders; spares consumption; components data; aircraft / fleet configuration; on-board sensor data; and flight schedules. Additional data sources which are traditionally shared with Airbus and hosted only on isolated servers will also be integrated into the platform to help operators conduct their own analyses and make decisions based on the full scope of their available data. These shared sources include: operational interruption history; parts replacements; post-flight reports; pilot reports; aircraft condition monitoring reports; complete on-board aircraft data; technical documentation; technical requests; and service bulletins (SBs). 

Examples of how Skywise could help airlines to support and shape their business models include:

          Improved fleet operational reliability through predictive & preventative maintenance;

          Improved operational efficiency for legacy fleets;

          Rapid root-cause analyses of in-service issues;

          Optimising each aircraft’s performance through flight operations data analytics;

          Tracking maintenance effectiveness over time;

          One-click reporting workflows, including complex reporting to regulatory bodies.

By combining Airbus’ intimate aerospace expertise with Palantir’s know-how in deploying data platforms, Skywise will empower end users to gain new insights from their own data. Furthermore, the platform will allow airlines and other aviation stakeholders to enhance their operations through access to OEM expertise and global fleet context. The unique combination of global data and aerospace experience deliver business value in the following key areas: reducing flight disruptions; decreasing maintenance cost through predictive maintenance; optimising flight operations; transforming cabin and ground operations; making faster decisions to cope with unexpected events; and optimising fleet management by interpreting high volumes of fleet and flight operations data – even if it resides on legacy information systems. 

With Skywise, operators of Airbus aircraft will be in a position to leverage the cumulative knowledge of the 20,000 Airbus engineers who have tracked the performance of each individual aircraft over its entire operational life. Until now, this deep reservoir of expertise was accessible only during the years of development and flight tests through the aircraft Entry-into-Service.

Moreover, by integrating their operational, maintenance, and aircraft data into a secure and open platform, airlines will be able to store, access, manage, and analyse selected Airbus data together with their own data and global benchmark data without the need for additional infrastructure investments. This resulting value will soon give Airbus’ customers new insights at aircraft, fleet, company, and global level.

Marc Fontaine, the Airbus Digital Transformation Officer, said: “Together with Palantir, we are already realising major business value from data previously hidden within our own operations. Now with Skywise we are taking this relationship to the next level by offering its advantages to the aviation industry. We’ve seen its power in our own operations, and Airbus is convinced of its huge potential to bring value to our customers and industry partners, as the new ‘beating heart of aviation’.” 

Dr Alex Karp, CEO of Palantir Technologies, said: “Our relationship began with a focus on Airbus-internal operations – manufacturing, engineering, services – and we’re expanding now to bring this same analytical acumen directly to airlines. The potential for collaboration between the world's top engineering firm, Airbus, its airline customers, and Palantir's software is unprecedented.”

The deliverables will be tailored for each user and will include scalable services (such as analytics, apps and APIs) which can be used by Airbus, customers, and suppliers – ensuring complete data continuity with benefits across the entire value chain.

The technology powering the data platform is designed to interoperate seamlessly with customers’ existing IT infrastructures and deliver capabilities beyond what is possible with standard ‘open source’ software. At its core, Skywise helps better manage complex data environments with many interdependencies so that users can unlock data in service of business outcomes.

Today, several major airlines around the world are already Skywise early adopters. Examples of the projects undertaken with these airlines include: events tracking and resolution; turnaround-time analysis; operations analytics; predictive maintenance; reliability analysis and benchmarking; maintenance decision support. Moreover, in the near future, the benefits of Skywise will also become available for Airbus helicopters, military aircraft, and other products operators.

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