REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (June 2, 2017) -- Several employees with the Aviation Development Directorate were on a team recently awarded the American Helicopter Society International Harry T. Jensen Award. The team was comprised of personnel from Army, Navy, and Sikorsky.

The award recognized outstanding contributions to the improvement of vertical flight aircraft reliability, maintainability, and safety through improved design. ADD members recognized include Paul Pantelis, Treven Baker, Nathaniel Bordick, Christopher Lyman, and Bruce Thompson. Bordick and Lyman attended the AHS International Forum in Fort Worth, Texas to receive the award.

The team executing the Capability-Based Operations Sustainment Technology -- Aviation and Integrated Hybrid Structural Management System programs was recognized for their collaboration to research, develop and demonstrate diagnostics, prognostics, and system health management technologies that enable a shift in sustainment processes. These processes included comprehensive condition-based maintenance, reductions in maintenance burden and costs, and enhanced safety.

COST-A is a joint Advanced Technology Development program between the ADD and Sikorsky Aircraft to develop and demonstrate an integrated set of diagnostic, prognostic, and system health assessment technologies to support Army objectives and enable transition to a CBM based philosophy.

The program focused on developing an integrated set of technologies to allow reduction of inspections and preventative maintenance; expansion of serviceability criteria; extension of life or time between overhaul; and prediction of failure with sufficient fidelity to allow scheduling of maintenance.

"The COST-A program began in 2010; however, the strategic planning began years earlier," said Pantelis, ADD sustainment technical area lead. Over the course of six years, the COST-A team developed and matured more than two dozen aircraft health management technologies targeted at key maintenance drivers for six primary rotorcraft systems (propulsion, drive train, airframe/structural, rotor, electrical, and hydraulic), demonstrating technology performance within full-scale UH-60 system tests, culminating in a 2016 flight test of selected technologies.

At the conclusion of the COST-A program, a quantitative maintenance metric assessment was conducted to assess the potential benefit of all technologies that were successfully developed to TRL-6, using an Army Black Hawk helicopter fleet as the baseline.

The estimated improvements include a 27% reduction in inspections per flight hour, a 7% reduction in maintenance man-hours per flight hour, and a 10% increase in mean time between removal.

The developed capability significantly improves readiness by allowing many inspections to be deferred until triggered by system fault detections and leaving components on wing longer due to improved understanding of the component's actual condition.

"Winning the Jensen award was a great capstone to years of hard work developing & demonstrating innovative technology solutions capable of keeping aircraft in the fight and improving Warfighter safety," said Bordick, ADD structures technical area lead.

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U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center is operationally aligned to the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, and administratively aligned to the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command. This joint alignment established a closely woven research, development, acquisition, and sustainment team to provide increased responsiveness to the nation's Warfighters. AMRDEC has the mission to deliver collaborative and innovative aviation and missile capabilities for responsive and cost-effective research, development and life cycle engineering solutions.