GPMS is a rotorcraft health monitoring company with a next generation, predictive HUMS called “Foresight”. Foresight pairs onboard sensor and avionics data with cloud based software to deliver a Rotor Track and Balance solution at the end of every flight; Component and Engine monitoring with predictive Remaining Useful Life estimates for all drives, shafts, and bearings; and Flight Data Monitoring capabilities with exceedance alerting. The system drives availability, optimizes maintenance, and enhances safety, helping helicopter operators to Know It Before It Matters.
Our founders, Eric Bechhoffer and Jack Taylor were involved in the development of early HUMS systems. They saw the positive impact these machine monitoring technologies had for larger aircraft, but also recognized that due to high cost and heavy weight the product was not accessible for light/medium helicopters and everyday operators. Additionally, they didn’t see the traditional players innovating and taking advantage of new ‘internet of things’ capabilities, including predictive analytics. So GPMS and the Foresight solution grew out of a desire to make the system more valuable and more accessible to all helicopter operators. We want to make HUMS the standard and a realistic best practice in the industry.
TOPS: How have you overcome the challenge or problems, what led to that solution, lessons/learnings, and why is this cool/valuable?
We think in this era of smart, connected to everything technology, that helicopters should be similarly networked. But that’s theoretical. What has been really exciting is watching companies like Duke Energy use the product and experience a change in the way they operate. Foresight has helped operators do the following:
- Reduce time associated with RTB from days to hours, as well as with more accuracy
- “See inside” the aircraft gearbox, catching issues before they have a negative impact on safety and performance
- Troubleshoot remotely when the aircraft is away from the base
- Perform predictive maintenance using the component “Remaining Useful Life” estimates
- Capture the type and depth of an exceedance automatically, guiding inspection activity
- Recreate flight operations in detail for training purposes and FOQA
TOPS: How is your business aligned with TOPS and/or why is TOPS a good fit for you?
Safety is a multidimensional challenge and the use of technology is only one piece of the puzzle for improving safety outcomes. But like TOPS which seeks to develop air tour safety standards and recommended practices that are progressive and best-in-class, we think that monitoring technologies like Foresight have a significant role to play in reducing risk. And by knowing not just how the aircraft was flown but also the health of the aircraft’s critical components, you get a more complete picture. That’s why we see Flight Data Monitoring and Machine Condition Monitoring working together to enhance helicopter safety. Thankfully, Foresight encompasses both functionalities in a total package!