The aerospace and defense (A&D) industry is increasingly turning to artificial intelligence (AI) to address challenges and secure a promising future. The adoption of AI has become a cornerstone for managing this sector, especially considering recent disruptions caused by the pandemic, productivity bottlenecks and a shortage of skilled talent.
Unlike traditional programming, AI harnesses data to create advanced software functions and applications. This shift from coding to data-driven intelligence is revolutionizing every facet of the industry, from enhancing fuel efficiency to optimizing part design, streamlining inspection processes and improving maintenance and repair procedures.
One of the frontiers in A&D is the development of autonomous aircraft. Drones and small planes are now equipped with AI-driven vision systems and sensors, enabling them to monitor critical flight data, navigate through challenging conditions and even execute autonomous takeoffs and landings. These innovations promise safer and more efficient aerial operations.
Furthermore, self-flying air taxis are poised to revolutionize passenger and cargo transportation, representing a significant advance for the industry. Companies like EHang, Wisk and Reliable Robotics are actively exploring autonomous air taxis that could soon transport passengers and goods with unparalleled efficiency and safety.
Aurora Flight Sciences, a subsidiary of Boeing, stands at the forefront of AI applications in the A&D sector. Its projects range from optionally piloted aircraft systems to AI-enabled counter-unmanned aircraft systems, showcasing the diverse potential of AI in the field.
By emulating human behaviors, these AI-powered systems enhance decision-making during flights, enabling aircraft to adapt to turbulence, weather fluctuations and unforeseen challenges. AI's impact on A&D is transforming the role of aerospace engineers. By reducing the need for certain design work, AI empowers engineers to concentrate on more critical aspects of aircraft development.