COPENHAGEN â€“ 5 July 2007. The National Institute for Aviation Research is using Milestone Systems open platform IP video management software with Axis network cameras to increase visibility in tests, provide remote access to monitoring tests, save on night staffing needs, and improve personnel safety.
The National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) at Wichita State University integrates academic, government and business entities in cooperative efforts to advance technologies for aviation and other industries. It is a high-tech research, development, testing, certification and learning center. The Institute employs a full-time staff of more than 200, plus nearly 100 student and graduate research assistants. The Aircraft Structural Testing and Evaluation Center at Hawker Beechcraft has about 45 staff, who now enjoy the benefits of using IP video surveillance technology to improve their work.
NIAR's Aircraft Structural Testing and Evaluation Center located in the Hawker Beechcraft plant is a huge site - the size of football field. It is time consuming to run around the entire location to keep track of the tests in progress, and costly to keep staff working during the night to monitor the tests. There are also safety issues with large equipment, high structures and dangerous pressure testing of windshields or other elements.
NIAR found a solution for these challenges with networked surveillance. Milestone XProtect Enterprise IP video management software is controlling Axis 213 network Pan/Tilt/Zoom cameras and Axis 210A fixed network cameras strategically installed throughout the test hangar.
Now, both time and money are saved while visual access is vastly improved. It is much faster to check on test activities and progress without having to run throughout the big building. Remote access from home reduces travel time to the site during off-hours, and allows system viewing for NIAR staff at the school campus across town or for customers in other cities. Personnel no longer have to risk unsafe test situations to monitor their work, as the camera views provide it to them in visually improved zoom views from the software user interface, on monitors in the office. The images can also be exported for test reporting purposes.
"The primary purpose of the IP video surveillance at NIAR is to monitor the aviation tests. The secondary goal is to make the surveillance remotely available to customers worldwide. This saves them the expense of sending people to watch the tests," says Larry Braden, Manager/Senior Research Engineer in the Full Scale Structural Test Facility at NIAR. "I appreciate the Milestone-Axis IP video surveillance solution because it is a 300% improvement on the visual monitoring capabilities in our work. The off-shift test monitoring is the number one usage for us. It can also be dangerous for the operators when they are looking at windshields or fuselage under pressure. So instead of risking injury to people in such situations, we now can safely look at it on the video system."
In total, the 120,000 square foot facility in Wichita, Kansas, is home to more than a dozen labs with capabilities in advanced joining, aerodynamics, aging aircraft, fatigue and fracture, crash dynamics, composites and advanced materials, structures, environmental testing, human factors, virtual reality, computational mechanics and more. NIAR is one of the few state-of-the art aviation research centers in the United States, recognized for their contributions to aviation safety and performance, and an important part of the continuing research, technology and education available today.
NIAR is a non-profit organization, and many of the test studies performed are Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) projects based on grants for continuing industry aviation research and initiatives. NIAR customers include Airbus, Boeing, Cessna, Bombardier/Learjet and Lockheed Martin.