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The Compliance Relevant Data Exchange - eLogbook ES bundle supports the maintenance of aircraft according to legally required schedules. For aircraft, maintenance is often driven by the number of flight hours or, in the case of other components such as landing gear, the number of takesoffs and landings.

This ES bundle provides the necessary enterprise services to support integration between electronic flight bags (EFBs) and the SAP ERP Logbook function.

Electronic flight bags are replacing the paper documents pilots have to carry and process before and after flights. Maintenance crews also enter data into these devices when inspecting aircraft, ensuring that the aircraft is safe before its next flight and addressing any critical maintenance issues as needed. Furthermore, EFBs capture data automatically, such as the number of miles flown, takeoffs and landings, and other events that can be communicated directly to the EFB without human intervention. Such system-assisted data entry reduces the time that a pilot spends to writing entries in logbooks since most of the data is captured automatically.

EFBs communicate with a server on the ground, referred to in this document as the ground server. The EFB, ground server, and SAP ERP exchange data according to an Air Transportation industry standard XML dialect that was established in 2007. Since the standard is so new, the enterprise services in this bundle are designed to be extended with particular features that may be needed by various customers and for various brands of EFBs.

The ground server records data from the individual EFBs, and according to FAA rules, it must keep a ground repository of all the messages sent and received by the EFB and must update the repository at least once every 7 days. Using the enterprise services in this ES bundle, relevant data is propagated from the ground server to SAP ERP's Logbook component for the tracking of maintenance activities in SAP ERP. Additionally, SAP is supplying SAP NetWeaver Business Intelligence (SAP NetWeaver BI) content to allow SAP NetWeaver BI serve as the repository of all the messages required by the FAA. This content will be available for data mining and analysis via SAP NetWeaver BI.

The Compliance Relevant Data Exchange E-Logbook ES bundle leverages enterprise SOA by supporting the sending data from EFBs to the Logbook function in ERP according to the ATA Industry Standard for the exchange of EFB data.

Compliance Relevant Data Exchange - eLogbook (click to enlarge)

Audience

Airlines and their engineering and maintenance organizations, as well as military aviation teams and third-party and OEM Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) organizations, will all find this ES bundle of value for maintaining and managing a fleet of aircraft using data from EFBs. This ES bundle will also benefit SAP hosting solution providers aiming at small to medium enterprise (SME) markets, such as low cost carriers or airlines/MROs requiring outsourcing models.

Roles that will use this ES bundle include:

  • Pilots
  • Cabin crew
  • Line maintenance technicians
  • Line maintenance mechanics
  • System administrators (implementer)
  • Quality control (for reliability reporting)

    For details on Service Operations, Business Objects and Process Components, please check the ES Workplace.


How To Use This ES Bundle

Capturing aircraft logbook information has always been a manual process. First the Pilot in Command entered details into the aircraft paper log after each flight and then the data from the logbook was entered into SAP. When defects are rectified or deferred by maintenance crews, the data was entered in SAP and the paper logbook was manually updated.

Now all data will be captured electronically by the pilot and the maintenance crews, and the data will be synchronized between the Electronic Flight Bag, the associated ground server and SAP ERP.

Originally, EFBs were only available as an aftermarket extra, but the devices are to be standard on all new large new generation aircraft, like Boeing 787, Airbus A380 and as options on B777 and B737 NG. EFB systems are being retrofitted to narrow body and wide body aircraft currently in use, and are also available for regional aircraft, business jets, and a large range of military aircraft.

EFBs contain the necessary navigation charts and can download weather information for a flight. Plugged directly into an aircraft's computer, EFBs also perform as the Flight Logbook, capturing flight information data that represent the utilization of the particular aircraft including the flying hours and the landing cycles of the aircraft; and as the Technical Logbook, recording defects picked up either by the pilot or by the aircraft's computer systems. Defect and utilization information will be synchronized between the EFB, the associated ground server and the SAP ERP system, and then transmitted to the maintenance technicians and mechanics, system administrators, and the quality control personnel who maintain reliability reports.

This bundle has the flexibility to adapt to changes in the standards and can be extended to support specific requirements from individual EFBs. For example, AIRMAN 9.2 (from Airbus) provides an additional message for the A380 to report structural defects that includes graphical details of the damage. This can be in the form of diagrams, pictures or photographs. The enterprise services in this ES bundle can be easily extended to support these new message types.

This ES bundle will ensure that the data in SAP ERP and the EFB will always be in sync, speeding the exchange of data for all parties and increasing logbook data accuracy. Currently, the manual administrative process to distribute paper records from a flight data takes up to 3 days to complete.The following series of use cases for the Compliance Relevant Data Exchange E-Logbook ES bundle show how different outcomes can be achieved by using the enterprise services in different combinations. While these examples illustrate a few of the ways that this ES bundle could be used, the intention is to show the flexibility and reusability of these business objects and enterprise service operations so that you will have a clearer understanding of how to best deploy them in your own environment. This wiki is also a space for you to share knowledge and collaborate with others who are implementing the Compliance Relevant Data Exchange E-Logbook ES bundle.

Use Case 1: Capturing the Flight Log

Each flight must be recorded in the EFB. The EFB captures the bulk of the data that's needed automatically, such as the length of the flight (captured from the aircraft computer system). The pilot's work is now greatly reduced; she neters information such as the flight number and additional details, such as departure station, where is he flying to, and any additional information that the EFB does not record automatically. The pilot enters the required details in the EFB. The EFB communicates this information to the ground server, which invokes the Change Asset Maintenance Log Entry Basic Data enterprise service operation, which sends the relevant data to SAP ERP.

To record events such as landings and the number of touch-and-goes (in which the airplane stops on the runway but hasn't taken off or landed per se), the pilot records these events in the EFB, which sends the information to the ground server. Upon receiving this data, the ground server invokes the Create Measurement Reading enterprise service, which sends the data to SAP ERP. The relevant data is fed into SAP ERP in order to properly manage the maintenance of the aircraft.

Use Case 2: Capturing a Flight Delay

Flight delays occur for a variety of reasons that are ripe for later analysis. The EFB captures the timing of any flight delay automatically and the pilot enters the reason for the delay in the EFB, which uses standardized codes to record the details. The flight might be delayed because a passenger is missing, something is wrong with the aircraft, or for weather-related reasons. After the pilot enters the reason for the delay, this information is communicated to the ground server, and the ground server invokes the Change Asset Maintenance Log Entry Maintenance Notification enterprise service to send the flight delay information to SAP ERP.

Use Case 3: Capturing Information about Defects

Defects that affect an aircraft's airworthiness are normally captured in the Aircraft Technical or Maintenance Log. A separate log of defects that affect passengers or cabin crew, but not the aircraft's airworthiness, is normally maintained as the Cabin log or Cabin Discrepancy Log. Should the aircraft have an in-flight entertainment system, any defects are entered in the CMIV log.

Pilots may enter information about defects, referred to as pilot reports or pi-reps. The maintenance crew or cabin crew may also note defects in the EFB or in a similar device that communicates with the ground server. The party that notes the defect is recorded as a notification type on the enterprise service. For example, if the cabin crew notes a defect in the cabin, they note it in the electronic flight bag, which sends the information to the ground server. The ground server then invokes Create Asset Maintenance Log Entry Basic Data with a notification type indicating who recorded the problem. Once the defect is fixed, the person who fixed the defect enters the information about fixing the defect into the EFB, which communicates this information to the ground server. The ground server then invokes Change Asset Maintenance Log Entry Basic Data, which uses the Asset Maintenance Log Entry business object. The EFB itself, through its sensors, may also report defects directly to the ground server, which marks such reports with a notification type and uses the same enterprise services to record the status of the defect notification in SAP ERP.

Use Case 4: Clearing the Maintenance Log

Aircraft line maintenance personnel are responsible for clearing the maintenance log before the next flight. This can either be done by correcting the defect or by deferring it for later correction (depending on the nature of the defect).

When correcting the defect, the process normally requires spare parts to issued, time to be confirmed, and certification that the job is done by certified staff in accordance with approved maintenance standards.

It may also be necessary to replace controlled parts on the aircraft. These are called Line Replaceable Units (LRUs), and configuration checks are performed to ensure that the new part is an approved replacement for the defective part.

The process begins with the line maintenance technician enters data about any defects in the aircraft in the EFB, which sends the data to the ground server and invokes Create Asset Maintenance Log Entry Basic Data (with unique notification type) to note the defects in SAP ERP.

If the defect is to be repaired, the line maintenance engineer creates a maintenance order, which the ground server communicates to SAP ERP by invoking the Create Maintenance Order enterprise service operation.

The part must be removed (which entails invoking Dismantle Individual Material) and then replaced (which requires the Install Individual Material enterprise service). Finally, the line maintenance technician enters the time and materials for the job by invoking Change Maintenance Order, followed by Technically Close Maintenance Order to indicate that the job is done.

Not all defects must be corrected on the spot. If the part is nonessential (such as a defective reading light in the cabin), its replacement can be deferred. In this case, the line maintenance technician enters the decision to defer replacement in the EFB, which sends the information to the ground server. The ground server in turn invokes Change Asset Maintenance Log Entry Maintenance Notification Deferral to communicate the decision to defer the repair to SAP ERP.

Future Directions

This ES bundle implements the ATA XML standard for communications with electronic flight bags. The services in this ES bundle will be enhanced as changes to the standard are released. SAP also plans to work with ISVs and EFB suppliers to provide out-of-the-box composites to support the implementation.

System Requirements

Related ES Bundles

SOA Homepage on SDN

Advanced Data Research electronic flight bags
Nav Aero electronic flight bags
Flight Deck Resources electronic flight bags

1 Comment

  1. Hi,

    I'm convinced that this product can deliver a solid SOA based elogbook solution, on the other hand I've never seen or heard any SAP-customer's success story on this subject.

    Can anyone share information or a presentation of a successful on their fleet?

     

    Regards,

     

    Bas