NAVAL AIR WARFARE CENTER AIRCRAFT DIVISION, PATUXENT RIVER, Md. –- The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) successfully developed and demonstrated an advanced logistics tracking system that could change the way Navy flight lines operate around the world.

Using mobile devices and specially designed software, the 5G Identification of Support Equipment (5GISE) system tracks and displays the location of equipment and aircraft using GPS tags to record data and support operations in real-time. The system drastically improves logistics efficiency and readiness, and was successfully demonstrated during a recent Advanced Naval Technology Exercise at Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia.

“Every moment a Sailor waits for a part, fuel truck or tool is time better spent on important priorities like aircraft prep or maintenance,” said NAWCAD systems engineer Kevin Larkins, the 5GISE system integrator. “Tech and data infusion is critical to modernization of naval logistics operations on flight lines.”

Rear Adm. John Meier, commander of Naval Air Force Atlantic, participates in an Advanced Naval Technology Exercise at Naval Air Station Oceana where engineers from the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division demonstrated a next-generation flight line tracking system. The 5G Identification of Support Equipment (5GISE) system tracks flight line assets like fuel trucks, tow tractors, and other support equipment in real-time on mobile devices via GPS to improve situational awareness and efficiency for naval aviation operations. (U.S. Navy photo)

NAWCAD developed 5GISE in-house in 2021 after Rear Adm. John Meier, commander of Naval Air Force Atlantic, approached NAWCAD to improve capability for flight lines at sea and ashore with technology that focuses on improving airfield and carrier-deck efficiencies. The system can operate on 3G mobile networks, and is being developed for use on 5G networks.

“The goal is to put the right equipment and Sailors at the right aircraft at the right time,” said Dan Bramos, NAWCAD’s maintenance and logistics experimentation team lead. “The demo showed how leveraging data on the flight line can improve scheduling and reduce aircraft turnaround time – ultimately increasing aircraft readiness while saving time and money.”

NAWCAD also installed sensors on deck equipment to understand how Sailors operate on flight lines. The resulting data will guide further development for improvements in deck operations. The test team is developing the system with visual tracking enhancements including sensors and cameras for experimentation throughout 2022.

“We want to track data like operational status, hours of service, maintenance intervals, and fuel and fluid levels,” said Ari Goodman, a NAWCAD artificial intelligence lead.

As a result of their innovative work, the 5GISE team earned a 2021 NAWCAD Commander’s Award for the technology’s potential to advance capability and operational readiness for naval aviation.

The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division is the Navy’s largest warfare center, employing more than 17,000 military, civilian and contract personnel. It operates test ranges, laboratories and aircraft in support of test, evaluation, research, development and sustainment of everything flown by the Navy and Marine Corps. Based in Patuxent River, Maryland, the command also has major sites in St. Inigoes, Maryland, Lakehurst, New Jersey, and Orlando, Florida.

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