Northrop Grumman has been awarded a contract by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop technologies and tools for predicting the near-term structural health and readiness of aircraft to carry out their missions.
According to Northrop Grumman, the Structural Integrity Prognosis System will give the US military the ability to monitor the effect of the stresses and strains of flight operations and combat and environmental corrosives on structural aircraft components. It promises to reduce aircraft maintenance life cycle costs, increase crew safety and enhance aircraft availability.
Northrop Grumman’s $14.1 million contract could be worth up to $32 million if all options are exercised. It is one of the largest non-product related research and development contracts won by the Airborne Early Warning and Electronic Warfare (AEW&EW) Systems business unit of the company’s Integrated Systems sector.
Under the Structural Integrity Prognosis System contract, an Integrated Systems-led team will research, develop and demonstrate a prognosis system for real-time or near real-time asset capability prediction, with specific emphasis on materials and structures.
The goal of the system is to provide military commanders with data and quantitative performance indicators that will allow them to get the best possible performance from their aircraft.