Make maintaining of a F18 Fighter aircraft with augmented reality.

The Air Force order to the Tidop research group the development of the system.
Gets in 3D the aircraft parts and monitors its elements.


Make maintaining of a F18What until not long ago was regarded as fiction in some films today becomes a reality through the hard work of expert research engineers in different areas. Thanks to them, the impossible is becoming possible.

How else, imagine that could be realized that a mechanic who performs maintenance on the Air Force could have a replacement as qualified as him, but without much experience, thanks to a system of augmented reality composed by glasses like Google glass type, connected with a tablet with the size of a smartphone located in the wrist.

It is a virtual system that will assist the mechanic at any time by applying augmented reality technologies that will improve and save costs in the maintenance of the aircraft fleet. In this case the package brakes and landing gear of F18.

The project is called Cyber ​​Assistance System for Military Aircraft Maintenance (Siceman) and since 2013 they are working on it jointly with Industry of Turbo Propellers (ITP) and the research group on Information Technologies for 3D Scanning Complex objects (Tidop) at the University of Salamanca (Usal).

Led by Professor Diego González Aguilera, in the Department of Land and Cartography, this group has been advised of the Logistics Support Command of the Air Force, whose leaders were those who spoke of the “clear need” in aerospace starting a virtual assistance system mechanic.

All this, considering that the Air Force is also suffering cuts in its workforce and there is a need for saving budget as “the cost in the aerospace industry is very high”, as explains González Aguilera.

All these factors are pushing to present a project that won the national competition supported by European funds. The overall budget amounts to 2.5 million euros, financed by the Ministry of Science and Innovation and the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Of this, research is carried half a million, which means hiring four people within a team with ten members.

Due to the complexity of maintaining the F18, the Air Force shows the need for a virtual system that can assist the mechanic technologies based on virtual and augmented reality, as is being done in United States, while trying to improve.

“From the Army invites us to do,” says the head of Tidop who graphically explains the purpose of the project: “Let a mechanical provided with glasses like Google glass type and a CPU that he can carry in a backpack or a belt, even a smartphone or tablet computer, to be able to know what to do, although not expert on aircraft maintenance.”. It is, definitely, that “can be made with this system,” rushing different tasks like changing a brake package, attend to the maintenance of landing gear door or any other laborious task requiring a manual “in many cases difficult to decipher. “

The project has two major milestones. The first is to obtain in 3D the parts and objects of the F18 that will be employed in the maintenance. In total, between the brake package and the landing gear can be around 200 rendered objects in the inside the airbase with the mechanics that disassemble and assemble them. That way, you can take data with photos, different sensors and lasers, for “capture that reality and get these 3D objects,” which are those that will “feed the recognition system and augmented reality.”

This is where the second project milestone occurs, since this system is that “support” the glasses that the mechanic gets when he is monitoring the plane. Once you have told the system to the specific task that has to be made, the glasses will recognize the package brakes or landing gear with the help of the tablet, because that have previously been modeled.

Through this smartphone located in the forearm, the operator can follow through glasses steps that he must take to resolve any problem. All this in a simple way, since this is a system that is not necessary to interpret visual or spatially where and how is that piece. The augmented reality glasses lead the mechanic to it.

According to Diego González Aguilera, all “results in an absolute efficiency in maintenance and training.” In addition, the system shall include voice commands, as the operator, when he is doing his job, usually have his hands busy or stained.

The Siceman project, which began in 2013 and end in 2016, culminating in the realization of a prototype for the Air Force, with the intent to “extrapolate to the fleets of Colombia and Brazil”, as military air within the consortium, these systems “can be very well received.”

Furthermore, it is not ruled out that this new system can be oriented to the market, not only for maintenance and repair of military aircraft, but also of civil and possible applications in the automotive field.

Make maintaining of a F18

Análisis termográfico de edificios


El uso de la termografía infrarroja comMapaEnergeticoo técnica sobradamente provada para la inspección de edificios y localización de patologías como fugas de aire, humedades, etc. Nos permite realizar un examen visual “in-situ” de calidad de los objetos de estudio gracias a la posibilidad de visualizar en tiempo real los resultados pudiendo detectar sin dificultad los desperfectos o elementos característicos de estos. Estas técnicas de medición cualitativa nos proporcionan la posibilidad de realizar inspecciones rápidas y eficaces sin contacto directo con el objeto y de forma no destructiva, lo que disminuye tanto el riesgo de incidentes para los operarios como los daños producidos en los propios objetos de estudio ocasionados por otras técnicas intrusivas. Además, también se ha demostrado la utilidad de la termografía infrarroja como técnica puramente de medida a través de su utilización para el cálculo de propiedades termofísicas de materiales tales como difusividad y transmitancia térmica.

En el caso de termografía cualitativa, las publicaciones existentes tratan de estudios realizados in-situ, principalmente en edificios históricos o elementos del patrimonio cultural, mientras que los estudios cualitativos se realizan, en la mayor parte de los casos, en laboratorios sobre muestras de tamaño limitado. En aquellos casos en los que se han realizado estudios termográficos cuantitativos sobre edificios in-situ, los valores de temperatura son empleados con el objetivo de obtener propiedades termofísicas (conductancia térmica) reales del cerramiento, sin embargo su distribución espacial no es considerada.

Conjugar ambas aplicaciones permitirá la automatización del cálculo de pérdidas de calor a partir de las temperaturas medidas con una cámara termográfica. De este modo, no solo se usa la termografía para representar el estado de la pared, sino que también se usan los valores de temperatura contenidos en la termografía para la extracción de parámetros métricos del edificio en estudio, por lo que la hibridación de la información termográfica con el material cartográfico de precisión permitiría extraer la geometría real del objeto de estudio con textura termográfica, pudiendo así realizar mediciones precisas de los elementos de interés directamente sobre el resultado obtenido.




Estudios como el publicado por EuroACE en 2010 colocan la mejora de la eficiencia energética en edificación en cabeza de las acciones necesarias para la reducción de emisiones de gases del efecto invernadero y gasto energético, así como para servir de empuje a la generación de empleo. Especial es el caso del parque de edificios ya construidos, la mayoría procedente de los años 1940-80, con normativa inexistente y recursos escasos. En ellos las obras de rehabilitación energética pueden suponer un ahorro de hasta el 75% en consumo de energía. En España existen 13 millones de viviendas susceptibles de intervención, cuya rehabilitación energética supondría una reducción de las emisiones del sector del 34% con respecto al año 2001.

Building thermographic analysis



The use of infraMapaEnergeticored thermography as a widely tested technique for building inspection and location of pathologies such as air leakage and moisture allows the performance of  quality “in-situ” visual examination of the objects under study due to the possibility of obtaining real-time results, being able to detect without difficulty damages or material characteristics. This qualitative measurement technique provides the capability of doing quick, effective and non-destructive inspection without direct contact with the object under study, decreasing the risk of incidents to operators and the damage of the objects comparing with other intrusive techniques. Furthermore, the utility of infrared thermography as a measurement technique has been proved by its use for the determination of the thermophysical properties of materials such as diffusivity and thermal transmittance.

In the qualitative approach, some authors have performed in-situ studies, mainly in historical buildings or cultural heritage elements, whereas quantitative studies are performed mainly in laboratories with limited size samples. In those cases where quantitative thermography studies were performed in-situ, temperature values were employed in order to obtain the real thermophysical properties (thermal conductance) of the building envelope, but their spatial distribution is not considered.

Combine both applications will enable the automation of the heat loss computation from the measured temperatures with a thermographic camera. Thus, the thermography is not only used to represent the state of the wall, but also temperature values represented on the thermography for extracting the metric parameters of the study object so the hybridization of the thermographic information with precise cartographic material would  allow to extract the actual geometry of the object of study with thermal texture, being able to make accurate measurements of the elements of interest directly on the obtained results.




Studies such as the one published by EuroACE in 2010, places improved energy efficiency in building construction at the top of the list of actions that need to be taken to reduce greenhouse gases and energy costs, in addition to acting as a stimulus to generate employment. In particular is the case of existing buildings stock, most of which dates back to the period 1940-80, constructed using non-existent standards and scarce resources. Here, energy refurbishment works could represent a saving of up to 75% in energy consumption. In Spain there are 13 million homes that could be the subject of intervention, where energy refurbishment could result in a reduction in sector emissions of 34% compared to 2001.


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Mobile Laser System (MLS) applied to urban tree inventory

In urbanized Western Europe trees are considered an important component of the built-up environment. This also means that there is an increasing demand for tree inventories. Laser mobile mapping systems provide an efficient and accurate way to sample the 3D road surrounding including notable roadside trees. In this research line, a processing chain aiming at the extraction of tree locations and tree sizes from laser mobile mapping data is reached.

  • Vegetation extraction


  • Tree parameter extraction



Such steps, in combination with code optimization are expected to be sufficient to reach the final goal of automatized estimation of features sampled by mobile mapping at a rate that matches the acquisition speed and at a quality that matches the result of a human operator.