Network Centric Product Support

Network Centric Product Support (NCPS) is an early application of an Internet of Things (IoT) computer architecture developed to leverage new information technologies and global networks to assist in managing maintenance, support and supply chains of complex products systems, such as in a mobile aircraft fleet or fixed assets. This is Accomplished by Establishing digital threads connecting the physical Deployed subsystem design with ict Digital Twinsvirtual model by embedding intelligence through networked micro web servers That aussi function as a computer workstation Within Each subsystem component (ie engine control unitone year aircraft) or other controller and Enabling 2-way communications using Existing Internet technologies and communications networks – Thus Allowing for the extension of a product lifecycle management (PLM) system into a mobile product Deployed at the subsystem level in real time. NCPS can be considered to support the flip side of Network-centric warfare , as this approach goes beyond traditional logistics and aftermarket support functions by taking a complex adaptive systemmanagement approach and integrating field maintenance and logistics in a factory and field environment. CDN Dave Loda (USNR) from Network Centric Warfare-based fleet battle experimentation at the United States Naval Warfare Development Command (NWDC) in the late 1990s, NCPS in aviation at United States Technologies Corporation. Interaction with the MIT Auto-ID Labs , EPCglobal , the Air Transport Association of America ATA Spec 100 / iSpec 2200 and other consortium pioneering the emerging machine to machine Internet of Things (IoT) architecture contributed to the evolution of NCPS.


Simply put, this architecture extends the existing World Wide Web infrastructure of networked web servers down to the product at its subsystem’s controller level using Systems Engineering”system of systems” nested approach. Its core is an embedded dual function webserver / computer workstation connected to the product controllers test (as used in retrofit applications, or integrated directly into the controller for new products), , internet addressable node, which allows for local or remote access, and the ability to host remotely reconfigurable software that can collect and process data from its mated subsystem controller and other networks across the network. It can then be established on a world wide Web of the worldDigital Twins at the factory, connecting Deployed use product in the Product lifecycle with Constantly updated digital threads. This allows for an integrated approach that enables both offline and online updates to occur. Legacy systems usually require a human to PHYSICALLY connect a laptop to the system controller or a telematic solution to manually collect data and carry it back to a lease Where It Can Be later Transferred to the factory or to restricted webserver-based download site for offboard analysis .

The computer cluster (ie in an aircraft), or to higher level clusters (such as an internet gateway managed fleet and flight operations managers), engineers at remote office computers through the World Wide Web. As stated previously, the system operates asynchronously, in that it is not always connected to the World Wide Web to function; it is more easily accessible, then synchronizes two-way information to the subsystem, acting as a Gateway (telecommunications)on board with other gateways within the network, which can be airborne or on the ground, on an as-needed basis when communications is available. This can be accomplished through a Wireless LAN Network , satellite , cellular network or other wireless or wired communications capabilities.

Security of the network is critical, and the architecture can use standard web security protocols, from public-key cryptography to embedded hardware encryption devices.

Typical Usage

The extension of the world wide web architecture is important to understand, as all decisions for manufacturing of spare parts, scheduling for flights, and other factory OEM and airline operator functions, are driven primarily by what happens to the product in the field (rate of wear and impending failure, primarily). Predicting the rate of wear, and hence the impact on operations and forecasting for the future, is critical for optimizing operations for all involved. Managing a complex system such as a fleet of aircraft, vehicles or fixed rental products can be accomplished in this manner. For example, coupled with technologies such as RFID, the system could track parts of the factory to the aircraft on board, then continue to read the configuration of the subsystem’s replaceable tagged parts, map their configuration to hours run and duty cycles, then process the world through the world Web back to the operator or factory. In this way, it is possible to better understand the situation and the forecasting of spare parts. This is called PrognosticsHealth Monitoring (PHM), which has become possible in recent years with the advent of electronic controllers, and is a recent evolutionary step in aviation support and maintenance management. aircraft carrier fleets in the Korean War. Support for the mechanic comes in local wireless access to technical information stored and remotely updated on board the micro-webserver component of this product, such as service bulletins, factory updates, fault code driven, intelligent 3D computer game-like maintenance procedures, and social media applications for sharing of products and maintenance procedures in the field to include collaborative 2-way voice, text and image communications.

Background and Other Examples

The original micro-webserver component (ie the onboard unit) that was key to enabling the NCPS architecture was first prototyped and demonstrated in 2001 by David Loda, Enzo Macchia, Sam Quadri and Bjorn Stickling at United Technologies Pratt & Whitney Division on board at Fairchild-Dornier 328 (later AvCraft 328) regional jet in January 2002. It was introduced to the public and demonstrated at the Farnborough Air Show in July 2002 in prototype form and again in 2004 Technologies as the DTU and later FAST data management units for a number of aircraft and helicopter fleets.

A similar complex systems approach to an Eisenhower Interstate Highway System , although it is transported in NCPS is information, not cars and trucks. Network Centric Product Support, or net-centric product support, is an architectural concept, and only connects the major avenues already existing in global communications and the internet down to the mobile product, extending maintenance and supply chain processes to an integrated product centric system. a real time feedback loopto the designers, factory and maintainers as product performance and reliability. For example, to gain information about a mobile engine, it is most efficient to send information to the search engine, and to obtain information about it. queuing when the engine is not in communications. Other examples where these can be applied include shipping containers, automobiles, spacecraft, appliances, human medical monitoring, or any other complex product with sensors and subsystems that require maintenance support and monitoring.

Many organizations are beginning to see the value of a netcentric (also spelled “net-centric”) approach to managing complex systems, including the Network Centric Operations Industry Consortium (NCOIC), which is an association of leading aerospace and defense contractors in the Network. Centric Warfare arena. Network Centric thinking for aircraft operations, including Network Enabled Operations (NEO) demonstrations, also prominently featured in the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) approach being made by the US Government to revamping air transportation management in the 21st Century.


  • Flight Global Article, Farnborough Air Show, July 2002: Server is Like Having an Onboard Engineer [1]
  • Aviation Week Article, Farnborough Air Show, July 2004: Onboard Internet Microserver [2]
  • Aviation Today Article, Nov 2004: Right Hemisphere Pioneers “Just in Time” Training [3]
  • Desktop Engineering Article, April 2005: Interactive 3D Visualization Heats Up [4]
  • BNET Article, Oct 2006, Data Transmission Units on Falcon 2000EX and Falcon 7X Business Jets [5]
  • Air Transport World Article, June 2007. RFID: Ready for Industry Doubters? [6]
  • Network Centric Industry Association (NCOIC) [7]
  • AutoID Labs, Cambridge University June 2005: Networked RFID Research at Pratt & Whitney [8]
  • RFID Aerospace Alignment Minutes, Nov 2006 [9]
  • Consensus Software Awards, Right Hemisphere, 2006: Product Graphics Management [10]
  • NCOIC Report: Comparison of SESAR & NEXTGEN Concept of Operations [11]
  • FAA CRADA Award Oct 2008: Network Centric Airborne Web Server Test Capability on an FAA Technical Center Aircraft for use in NextGen [12]
  • Report to FAA May 2010: SWIMLINK Secure Airborne HTTP Data Communications [13]
  • Aviation International News Article, May 2014: Pratt & Whitney Canada’s Fast Systems Earns STC [14]
  • Related US Patents, filings / issued 2001-2014 [15]
  • Related European Patents, filings / issues 2001-2014 [16]
  • Jump up^ “Server is ‘like having an onboard engineer ‘ ” . . 2002-07-26 . Retrieved 2015-11-09 .
  • Jump up^ “Aviation Week” . Retrieved 2015-11-09 .
  • Jump up^ “Aviation Today :: Right Hemisphere” . . Retrieved 2015-11-09 .
  • Jump up^ “Interactive 3D Visualization Heats Up: Part 1 – Desktop Engineering” . Desktop Engineering . Retrieved 2015-11-09 .
  • Jump up^ “Pratt & Whitney Canada to Install Altair Data Transmission Units on Falcon 2000EX and Falcon 7X Business Jets” . Marketwire . Retrieved 2015-11-09 .
  • Jump up^ “RFID: Ready For Industry Doubters?” . . Retrieved 2015-11-09 .
  • Jump up^ “Network Centric Operations Council Industry Interoperability – NCOIC” . . Retrieved 2015-11-09 .
  • Jump up^ “Auto-ID News” . . Retrieved 2015-11-10 .
  • Jump up^ RFID Aerospace Alignment Committee Minutes
  • Jump up^ ConsensusSoftware Awards
  • Jump up^ NCOIC Report SESAR &NEXTGEN
  • Jump up^ “Federal Laboratory News” . . Retrieved 2015-11-10 .
  • Jump up^ FAA SWIMLINK Report
  • Jump up^ “Pratt Canada’s Fast System Earns STC for Dash 8-200, -300” . Aviation International News . Retrieved 2015-11-09 .
  • Jump up^ Related US Patent Search Results
  • Jump up^ Related European Patent Search Results

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