Aircraft Fuel Cell Maintanance

Safe / Reliable / Hands-Free
CON-SPACE communication equipment was designed with considerable input from aircraft maintenance personnel to provide a reliable, continuous and safe method of communication between safety attendant(s) and Fuel Cell Technicians. Users can con-verse freely, like a conference call. Conver-sation is totally hands-free and without delay. Users have NO buttons to push or bulky belt packs to wear. The clarity of communications, allows the safety attendant to immediately detect a problem with the entrant such as erratic breathing or slurring of speech, etc. and significantly reduces any stress, confusion or panic that can result from working in an aircraft fuel cell.

In addition to the inherent safety provided by the equipment it also addresses many practical concerns. In maintenance work where time is of the essence, no longer does the entrant have to crawl back through a cell, scream through a face mask, or learn elaborate tapping codes to communicate with personnel outside the space. CON-SPACE equipment does not emit potentially dangerous EIRP (Effective Isotropic Radiated Power) like radio equipment and is not subject to minimum separation distances from open fuel cells. Unlike radio equipment
dead spots, delays or interference from barriers or heavily shielded areas are not a problem when using CON-SPACE equip-ment. The intercom is a completely private network allowing workers to concentrate on there task without outside interference or monitoring. It also provides valuable link through which maintenance person-nel can discuss alternatives without leaving the space. Users of CON-SPACE equipment are finding numerous areas in which the equipment can be utilized to save time. For example, Boeing estimates a 20% increase in productivity and a signifi-cant improvement in quality by utilizing CON-SPACE equipment to provide real time communication between Buckers and Riveters manufacturing wing sections. Other maintenance activities include; 747 Pylon Modifica-tion, DC-10 Tail Stab repair, Sheet metal installation and repair and a variety of Inspection and Training activities.

Numerous accessories have been developed to allow the users to easily integrate the equipment into their daily routines. When working in high noise or a hazardous environment requiring breathing apparatus, CON-SPACE has developed a series of Face Mask Communication Sets. A Face Mask Communication Set consists primarily of an newly designed Throat Mic for voice and a variety of Speaker styles to hear. These accessories can be used in conjunction with any type or style of full face breathing apparatus. The triple shielded and Skydrol resistant cable can be joined together with a supplied air line to create an easily managed single entrant umbilical.

Another commonly used accessory is the CSI-2130 Talk Box, a CON-SPACE exclusive. The Talk Box is a two-way proximity communication device. When lowered into or taken into a fuel cell the Talk Box can provide full two-way communication within a 6 foot radius without the entrant having to wear any accessory. It is designed to work in moderate to low noise environ-ments when the entrant does not have to wear breathing apparatus.

Emergency Alarm
All CON-SPACE Confined Space communication systems have an emergency alarm capability. This provides Confined Space entrant(s) with the ability to initiate a continuous audible alarm outside the space in the event that the safety attendant removes his communication headset or is absent from the hole's entrance. The alarm, in conjunction, with continuous communication provides an added measure of safety, security and peace of mind to anyone working in Confined Spaces.

Anywhere / Anytime
All system modules are completely water and dust tight. Furthermore, a complete system for fuel cell use fits neatly into a rugged carrying case and is powered by standard alkaline batteries, so it can be quickly and easily deployed anywhere aircraft maintenance must be done.

Intrinsically Safe
Intrinsically Safe Approvals
U.S.A.- Fac-tory Mutual, Class I,II,III Div 1&2, Groups A,B,C,D,E,F,-G, T3C
CANADA - CSA, Class I Groups A,B,C,D; Class II Groups G & Coal Dust, Class III, T3C

Confined Space Rescue
CON-SPACE equipment is widely used by FEMA USAR Teams, Airport Authorities, and Industrial, Civil and Military Fire Departments. Numerous rescue references are available. Call us for complete information on our rescue kit configurations and a copy of a report titled "Hardline Communication Equipment for Confined Space Rescue".
Communication Ties It All Together

Communication equipment for Fuel Cell Maintenance is as important as Personal Protective Equipment, Breathing Apparatus, Gas Detectors, Photo Ionization Detectors, and Ventilation equipment and is the one piece of equipment that ties the whole operation together and allows personnel to work together as a cohesive unit. Following are some examples of how communication equipment can be applied, to maximize the safe use of other equipment common to fuel cell entry.


Communication & Gas Detection
Monitoring for explosive or poisonous environments is common practice in fuel cell maintenance. The space is continuously monitored prior to and during entry. Atmospheric monitoring equipment generally stays with the safety attendant on the outside of a space. When an alarm sounds the possibility exists that entrant might not hear it. When entrants are working in high noise, at a distance or out of sight, the attendant must have a means to tell the entrant of the alarm and to evacuate the space immediately.

On the other hand, small, portable gas moni-tors can be carried by entrants and sample gases in which they are actually working. This type of gas monitoring complements monitoring at the point of entry. For this type of program to work properly and keep permit documentation current the attendant should have a means of receiving periodic readings from the entrant's monitor and note them on the permit. If an entrant monitor sounds an alarm and the distance is significant and/or ambient noise levels are high, entrant(s) must have a means of immediately notifying the safety attendant of the change in atmosphere and coordinating corrective ventilation and/or the egress from the tank.
Communication & Breathing Apparatus
Fuel Cell entry requiring the entrant to use Breathing Apparatus is greatly enhanced by an easy method of continuous communica-tion. Apparatus common for Fuel Cell entry is a Supplied Air Respirator (SAR). This equipment has the advantage of being able to provide workers with a virtually unlimited supply of air. In addition to the physical size and weight advantages (i.e. No large air tank to carry).

CON-SPACE communication equipment provides a valuable link if there is a problem with breathing apparatus and/or an alarm sounds. Any one who has ever experienced a loss of breathing air can tell you the immediate reaction is one of panic and confusion. Being able to immediately call for help or just having a voice in your ear can do a lot to calm these fears and reduce the possibility of mistakes made during a period of confusion or panic.

During entries where more than one tech-ni-cian is "on air" it can be difficult to communicate with others working in the same space due to the face mask obstructing conversation. CON-SPACE equipment provides fully open communication and is compatible with any type of face mask.

Communication & Ventilation
Ventilation equipment is used widely in Fuel Cell maintenance. If a problem with the air flow occurs or airborne hazards (i.e. carbon monoxide from vehicle exhaust or fumes from chemicals), are accidentally introduced into a space, the communication system allows the attendant to inform the entrant(s) of a potential problem. In addition the attendant can continuously monitor the entrant(s) for any behavioral or adverse affects caused by a change in atmosphere within the Fuel Cell. Also the entrant(s) have the ability to immediately notify the attendant of any strange smells or changes that may not be evident to the attendant located outside the space.


Response Time
Time is critical in any rescue operation but in a Confined Space Rescue it is even more precious. Continuous communication between a fuel cell worker and a safety attendant can save valuable time in the recognition of a problem and subsequent notification of a rescue team. Any reduc-tion in the amount of time it takes to recognize a problem and shorten the rescue team's response to the scene could mean the difference between "retrieving" or "recovering" a worker from a Fuel Cell.

Reasons to use CON-SPACE Communication Equipment


Worker Reasons

- Reliable and easy to use. Completely Hands-free Operation.
- Not subject to dead spots or intermittent communication.
- Built to take a beating. Won't melt in Skydrol.
- Entrants can speak to each other easily even when using breathing apparatus or in high noise.
- Allows workers to simply ask for tools, parts, etc., without having to move or exit the space.
- Does away with shouting, complicated hand signals, tapping and rope tugs.
- Portable, self-powered, deploys anywhere. Adaptable for a variety of tasks.
- Comm wire can be joined together with a breathing air hose to make a single entrant umbilical.
- No bulky belt packs to wear.
- All CON-SPACE accessories are interchangeable.

Safety Reasons
- Safety Attendant can continually monitor activities both inside and outside the space.
- Safety person can immediately terminate the entry should unsafe conditions arise.
- Continuous entrant monitoring allows the safety person to immediately recognize behavioral signs of overexposure to chemicals. (i.e. slurring of speech, abnormal breathing, etc.).
- Reduces rescue response time.
- Exceeds requirements for compliance with OSHA 29 CFR 1910.146 & USAF T.O.1-1-3
- Intrinsically Safe Approved - For any atmosphere
- Reduces accidents caused by misunderstanding or conflicting information.
- The Alarm capability provides an additional measure of entrant safety.
- The Attendant can instantly notify workers of any ventilation or breathing apparatus problems.
- Rescuers can use the system to monitor for life signs (ie: breathing, movement, etc.) to assess a victim's condition prior to and during a rescue .
- Workers will use the equipment and as a result are safer.

Management Reasons
- Reduces down time for repairs.
- Equipment is durable and built to last.
- Compatible with any make of breathing apparatus.
- Reduces time off due to stress. Reduces the accident/incident rate.
- Compliance with Confined Space Safety Regulations.
- Easy to use and personnel training is minimal.



AOG Tank Tigers, Air Canada, Air New Zealand, Aircraft Tank Services, American Airlines, Boeing, British Airways Canadian Airlines International, China Airlines, Commodore Aviation, Delta Airlines, International Aircraft Tank Services, Lockheed, Tramco/ B.F. Goodrich Aerospace, Transworld Airlines, North American Aircraft Services, Northwest Airlines, United Airlines, Qantas Airlines,


United States Air Force; Andrews AFB, March AFB, Patrick AFB, Seymour Johnson AFB, Wright Patterson AFB, Hickum AFB, Randolph AFB, Dyess AFB, Pittsburg ARS, Dover AFB, Peterson AFB, Charleston AFB, Howard AFB, Hill AFB (P.O.L.), Lackland AFB (P.O.L.), Kelly AFB (P.O.L.)
Royal Canadian Airforce; CFB Greenwood, CFB Bagotvile, CFB Trenton, CFB Comox, CFB Cold Lake, CFB Winnipeg. Royal New Zealand Airforce

Fuel Cell Rescue

Dulles Airport, Washington Nat'l Airport, Washoe County, San Francisco Int'l, Little Rock AFB, NAS Moffett Field, Brooks AFB,
For More Information - In North America call (800) 546-3405 - International (604) 244-9323

CON-SPACE, and Safety in Communication are
registered trade marks of CON-SPACE COMMUNICATIONS Ltd.

Copyright © 1997 CON-SPACE Communications Ltd.