Aerolog Lab connects Brazil and Sweden in search of excellence in logistics support for aircrafts

The laboratory already has researchers who will receive degrees
from Brazilian universities and Swedish institutions

In 2014, the CISB launched a Call for Support to International Collaboration and one of the professors was Colonel Aviador Abrahão, an enthusiast from the aeronautical support area within the Technological Institute of Aeronautics (ITA).

During this trip, one of the institutions visited was the Luleå University of Technology (LTU), which for many years has held research in eMaintenance (Information Technologies and Communications in Logistics Support). The existence of this type of research encouraged Cel. Av. Abrahão "It was possible to see that there was a lot of complementarity and, thus, began the understanding of developing research and doctoral projects together," he explains.

On LTU’s side, Professor Dr. Diego Galar comments that the Swedish experience combined with the resources of the ITA "create a unique environment for the production of results in decision support systems (DSSs) in maintenance”.

Rapid evolution

After the perception of complementarity, the partnership began, with the creation of the Aerolog Lab, which is more than a simple laboratory, it is a study center that offers disciplines in a new area of ​​ITA.

"We fill an academic and market gap," says Cel. Av. Abrahão. The main idea is to have the capacity to generate new knowledge in an area - support - that does not have the same prominence as development and production. However, those who can innovate in it can also 'engineer' support, creating sustainable and extremely useful alternatives for companies and government.

It was then that, in the first half of 2015, the Laboratory of Logistics Engineering was born, called the Aerolog Lab. In just over two years, much has already been accomplished. There is ongoing research in areas such as Implementation of Logistics Systems (Deployment Logistics), Logistics in the Development and Acquisition of Complex Systems (ILS Engineering, Modernization and Mid Life Upgrade Logistics, Obsolescence Logistics, Dynamic Maintenance Plan (Dynamic Maintenance Logistics), Fleet Readiness Assurance and the already mentioned eMaintenance .

Two Brazilian students are expected to go to Sweden next year, to complement their doctorate and, at the end of the course, defend their theses in Brazil and in the Nordic country, thus obtaining valid qualification in both territories.

Business and academia integration

The laboratory’s main product is education and training. Training people to deal with support, which is an area often overlooked, including by industry. So, to a degree, the fact that most students are active in the market is surprising.

Among the companies, Embraer and Saab AB have shown great interest in the research conducted at the Aerolog Lab. "We have carried out studies related to Asset Management, Performance Based Logistics (BPL), Contracted Logistic Support (CLS), Sustainability, Key Performance Indicators (KPI), among other topics, which are of direct interest to the market." Dr. Galar.

"The biggest challenge met by the Aerolog Lab, besides international collaboration, is to generate knowledge and extract data from very sensitive sources", ponders Prof. Dr. Galar. "Aeronautical maintenance decisions involve multiple participants and often confidential equipment. We need to deal with a complex process that consists of data acquisition, transitions, mergers, analysis and information visualization."

For the future

LTU, ITA and Aerolog Lab’s ambition is to remain open and transparent, establishing relations with other academic institutions, both in Brazil and in Sweden. "We are looking for partners in different projects and initiatives", says Prof. Dr. Galar.

The Cel. Av. Abrahão reinforces that it will be possible to help train engineers on a consistent basis in support engineering and, in the same core, at the graduate level, perfecting this new area.