Optech4D Partners with Purdue University’s Hangar of the Future

Students and Faculty Seek to Solve Challenges of 21st Century Air Transportation

Optech4D, a leading provider of 3D virtual and augmented reality technologies, today announced a partnership with Purdue University’s Hangar of the Future Research Laboratory, the research arm of the Aerospace and MRO Technology Innovation Center in the School of Aviation and Transportation Technology housed in the Purdue Polytechnic Institute.

The student-led, faculty-mentored program will leverage Optech4D’s SaaS-based augmented reality solutions to support research on its innovation project to solve critical challenges facing the aviation industry. During the spring 2017 semester, students will use Optech4D’s Vision4D platform as a way to improve air vehicle maintenance and ramp operations.

“Imagine a technician walking up to the aircraft and having access to current maintenance records, repair guides, work instructions and other relevant data specific to the aircraft through augmented reality technology – that’s what Vision4D provides,” said Vincent Higgins, chief executive officer of Optech4D. “We’re excited to partner with Purdue University to solve the aviation industry’s most urgent needs and bring solutions to market with next-generation technologies.”

Maintaining aircraft equipment is crucial, and access to relevant data and documentation is often not available when technicians need it most thus potentially increasing costly downtime.  Optech4D’s Vision4D technology:

  • Promotes process compliance and reduces operator error by ensuring that relevant data is available in real-time;
  • Utilizes tablets and next generation smart glasses that allow the technician to work hands-free to access relevant documents, work instructions;
  • Captures on-site images and videos that can be uploaded to the Optech4D’s Cloud for access worldwide;
  • Provides access to 3D models that can be viewed on a mobile device, to educate users on disassembly methods and parts identification;
  • Enables quick and easy viewing of customized inspection checklists; and
  • Provides real-time access to remote expertise directly from the hangar via Remote Expert video call. 

“At Purdue, our vision for the ‘Hangar of the Future’ program is to develop our students beyond just their core degree areas,” said Timothy Ropp, director of the Aerospace and MRO Technology Innovation Center at Purdue University. “They are the true power behind the technologies we work with. We want to continue to generate that ‘pioneering’ spark in them – to be thought leaders who change the world of aviation, as so many Purdue graduates have done in the past. They are the brightest minds that represent the future of aviation and apply innovative solutions that help people in real-world situations for meaningful and impactful change.  A shared commitment to leveraging technology to advance aviation makes our partnership with Optech4D a very natural fit.”

“A primary goal of both the School of Aviation and Transportation Technology and the Purdue Polytechnic Institute is to incorporate real-world, project-based learning experiences in all of our programs and plans of study,” said John H. Mott, interim head of the School of Aviation and Transportation Technology. “The Optech4D partnership, in conjunction with our AMTI Center’s current work, helps us to do just that. This partnership allows our students to help develop the cutting-edge knowledge and skills sought by the aviation and aerospace industry.”

Ropp added that this collaborative project also demonstrates the very practical nature of his lab’s existing work in the virtual air vehicle maintenance and ramp operations workspace.  “It demonstrates our ability to collaborate quickly to be able to serve students and industry as an agile R&D testbed.”