QCM has been shown to be a formidable technology for real-time early detection of anomalies, even of hidden anomalies in brand new systems and mobile platforms. But, like in most things in life, there are pros and cons. When it comes to early detection of anomalies or malfunctions in, say, tanks, aircraft or submarines, how could there be cons? Well, believe it or not, there are, and quite a few. But let’s see the pros first (remember, we’re talking of expensive complex military equipment):
- Detecting an anomaly before it materializes can help save lives. Imagine you are in a tank in hostile territory and you get an indication that the engine turbocharger is going to fail.
- Detecting an anomaly before it materializes can help reduce or even prevent further damage. Some components can lead to massive cascading failure of subsystems or other components. Knowing that in advance can be quite helpful, especially if some bad guys are shooting at you.
- Early anomaly detection can be immensly useful in terms of condition-based maintenance or even in the context of the less modern preventive maintenance.
- Early anomaly detection can help redesign and/or improve existing platforms or simply design new and better platforms.
- Systems with an on-board anomaly detection capability will eventually lead to less headaches and any customer (Army, Navy, Air Force) will only be thankful. Their business is to protect, not to be a maintenance and repair shop.
- Manufacturers of military equipment could, eventually, produce less spare parts, require less warehouse space, and sell higher quality products at a higher price. Who wouldn’t want to manufacture products that don’t brake? Think of the gains in terms of reputation.
How could there be any cons to any of this? Why would anyone be contrary to Early Anomaly Detection? Well, there are those who will object. Who this is and why will be discussed in an upcoming blog.