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Aircraft Maintenance Technology Education: Integrating Asynchronous Technology & Virtual Reality

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Conference

2006 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Division

Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies

Page Count

10

Page Numbers

11.166.1 - 11.166.10

DOI

10.18260/1-2--1427

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/1427

Download Count

1044

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Paper Authors

biography

Sajay Sadasivan Clemson University

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Mr. Sajay Sadasivan is a Research Assistant in the Department of Industrial Engineering at Clemson University, South Carolina, USA. He is currently pursuing his PhD degree and is focused on aviation inspection training and investigating the effects of visual and behavioral fidelity on human performance in virtual simulators.

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Deepak Vembar Clemson University

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Mr. Deepak Vembar is a Research Assistant in the Department of Computer Science at Clemson University, South Carolina, USA. He is currently pursuing his PhD degree and his research interests include graphics, haptics, virtual reality and human computer interaction.

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Paris Stringfellow Clemson University

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Ms. Paris Stringfellow is a Research Assistant in the department of Industrial Engineering at Clemson University, South Carolina, USA. She is currently pursuing her PhD degree and her research area is human factors focusing on visual inspection, training and ergonomics.

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Carl Washburn Greenville Tech

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Mr. Carl Washburn is currently the Director of the Aircraft Maintenance Program at Greenville Technical College. He has extensive aviation maintenance technology experience in developing curriculum material and his research interests include using technology/distance learning focused on improving classroom teaching and investigating the inclusion of advanced technologies in the curriculum at Greenville Tech. He has 24 years of experience as an aircraft maintenance supervisor and technician for the U.S. Air Force.

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Andrew Duchowski Clemson University

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Dr. Andrew Duchowski is an associate professor of Computer Science at Clemson University. He received his B.Sc. ('90) and Ph.D. ('97) degrees in Computer Science from Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada, and Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, respectively. His research and teaching interests include visual attention and perception, eye movements, computer vision, graphics, and virtual environments. He joined the Computer Science faculty at Clemson in January, 1998 and is currently investigating gaze-contingent perceptual graphics and collaborative virtual reality systems.

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Anand Gramopadhye Clemson University

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Dr. Anand K. Gramopadhye is Professor and Chair of Industrial Engineering Department and the Director of the Advanced Technology Systems Laboratory at Clemson University, South Carolina, USA. He is the editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics. He holds a Ph.D. degree in Industrial Engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo. His research is focused in the areas of modeling human performance in manufacturing and aviation systems, inspection, and issues related to the use of advanced technology in solving interesting human-machine systems design problems.

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Aircraft Maintenance Technology Education: Integrating Asynchronous Technology and Virtual Reality Abstract

This paper describes a research program with an objective to develop and implement an interactive virtual reality (VR) model of the aircraft inspection maintenance process for asynchronous delivery. Existing approaches have not been able to mimic accurately the complexity of the aircraft maintenance process, reporting limited transfer capabilities and student preparedness for the workplace. This use of virtual reality technology will enable educators to create and students to experience the complex aircraft maintenance environment in an educational classroom, a setting where it has not yet been successfully created using traditional multimedia-based technologies. This model will emphasize the curriculum development and workplace preparedness needed by modern aircraft maintenance technology for local, state and national audiences. The primary objectives of this research are curriculum enhancement and assessment of VR as a pedagogical tool. This innovative approach is the first effort to extend tested VR technology to the aircraft maintenance technology curriculum in a two-year college. The outcome of this research will lead to the following: an innovative, high-impact model for curriculum application in aircraft maintenance technology for college students and industry employees; an increased workplace pool of aircraft maintenance technicians prepared for the transition from learning to workforce; a program providing the use of VR technology as a pedagogical tool. The successful completion of this effort will fill a state and national need for well-prepared students entering the aircraft maintenance industry and will provide a better understanding of the use of VR as a pedagogical tool.

1. Introduction

Aircraft inspection is a vital element in assuring safety and reliability of the air transportation system. It is essential to detect defects in the aircraft as soon as possible, before they lead to catastrophic failure and loss of human lives. Some of the previous aircraft crashes have been attributed to faulty maintenance procedures. Visual inspection by a trained human inspector forms an important part of the maintenance procedure, contributing to almost 90% of the visual inspection of an aircraft. The inspector performs both scheduled and unscheduled maintenance of the aircraft and detects fault, defects and potential hazards. Traditionally, the aircraft inspector obtained on-the-job training (OJT), which helped bridge the gap from the classroom teaching to practical workplace environment. This, however, may not always be the best method of instruction [1]. Some of the limitations inherent to OJT include the lack of feedback, the high cost of aircraft exposure, and the limited defect exposure.

Older, more experienced maintenance technicians who typically have extensive Air Force experience are retiring from commercial aviation maintenance and are being replaced by a much younger workforce coming directly from schools. Often, these new graduates have not been exposed to the complex wide-bodied aircraft maintenance environment and, hence, face a steep learning curve because they are not fully prepared to make a smooth transition to the workplace.

Sadasivan, S., & Vembar, D., & Stringfellow, P., & Washburn, C., & Duchowski, A., & Gramopadhye, A. (2006, June), Aircraft Maintenance Technology Education: Integrating Asynchronous Technology & Virtual Reality Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1427

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