Access to information is vital for mechanics doing maintenance on aircraft. Maintenance must be completed under time constraints, and a significant portion of a mechanic's time is spent looking for appropriate information from other mechanics or from paper documentation. Reports must be read and written, information sources queried and consulted, and information must be stored and organized. Not only does this take considerable time, it also results in inconsistent updates, ad hoc handwritten documentation, and lack of access to old but useful information sources. In order to address these problems, we have developed RETSINA agents for use in wearable computers for mechanics' decision support during aircraft maintenance.
In our agent supported process, a mechanic carries a wearable computer as he completes his maintenance tasks. When he encounters a discrepancy in his inspection, the mechanic fills out a form on his computer. The system analyzes the form and seeks out relevant information from agents. The system then displays the processed information recommendations and files the form for future use.