June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies
11.166.1 - 11.166.10
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.
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 . 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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