SITAONAIR working with Rolls-Royce on cloud-based data

Toby Tucker, Portfolio Director, Innovation Programme, SITAONAIR.
Toby Tucker, Portfolio Director, Innovation Programme, SITAONAIR.

SITAONAIR is working with Rolls-Royce to create a cloud-based data store that can hold aircraft engine operational data.

Speaking at the 2016 Aircraft eEnablement Connectivity and IFE Conference, Nick Ward, Product Manager Engine Health Monitoring, Rolls-Royce, said: “Today’s aircraft, such as the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350, generate about 10,000 times more data than aircraft of the 1990s. The next generation will generate around 100,000 times more.

“In the future, the engines will become part of the ‘Internet of Things’ – the engines will talk to us and we will be able to talk to the engines.”

Ward said that it is working with SITAONAIR on how it can leverage engine data off an aircraft. Toby Tucker, Portfolio Director, Innovation Programme, SITAONAIR, said that the more data it can collect, the better the engine availability Rolls-Royce can offer its airlines.

“In the late 1990s Rolls-Royce had less than five percent of the global wide-body market,” said Ward. “But after the introduction of the Rolls-Royce TotalCare product it is now close to 50%, with about 14 million hours flown and five billion miles per year on our Trent fleet.”

Ward said: “As such, we care very much about keeping aircraft flying – the more hours they fly, the more we make. With TotalCare the uncertainty comes back to Rolls-Royce.

“More than 50% of our revenue comes from our services and the important thing is to define how we use the data that comes to us.”


Tucker said that 90+ airlines are now using SITAONAIR’s FlightMessenger product to collect data.

“In the past, data from airlines was in multiple formats with multiple different delivery protocols. Data could not therefore be put in a central repository.”

Tucker said that SITAONAIR has introduced a single cloud-based (SITA ATI Cloud) source of data and its FlightMessenger product converts the data into a standard format.

“If data isn’t being received, airlines get an automatic alert that there is missing data,” said Tucker.

In terms of its ecosystem, Tucker said that SITAONAIR has expertise in onboard systems and aircraft installations, with satcom, Gatelink, 3G/4G, plus its extensive experience in ACARS data, all available for the data transfer.

Ward added: “It costs money to get data off an aircraft so you need to know why you are getting it off. There has to be a collaboration.

“If the data has a value to it that justifies the return on the investment you’ve made.”

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