Rolls-Royce has developed an app which will allow users to track and record foreign object debris (FOD), a common cause of engine damage, straight from their smartphone.

Rolls-Royce has developed an app which will allow users to track and record foreign object debris (FOD) – a common cause of engine damage – straight from their smartphone.

The “first-of-a-kind” research contract, awarded by the United States Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) and funded by the US Marine Corps (USMC), aims to help avoid future FOD costs – potentially amounting to billions of dollars, Rolls-Royce says.

The app enables Marines to report FOD found across their sites more quickly and efficiently. Using a smartphone, users will be able to scan objects to capture high-quality imagery, GPS location and size details. These are then sent for analysis in a central database.

Paul Craig, President of Defence Services at Rolls-Royce said: “This is a first for our business and demonstrates our ability to develop pioneering technologies that will enhance safety, efficiency and deliver a cultural change for our customers. Our focus on FOD and our customers doesn’t stop for a moment and this milestone not only demonstrates the value of the app itself but provides a platform for us to springboard into other services.”

Automated analysis

Developed at Rolls-Royce, the new FOD App is the first of its kind to be purchased by NAVAIR.

The automated analysis of debris location data and development of FOD ingestion avoidance initiatives are the first steps in offering an integrated range of digital services for NAVAIR’s future FOD vision.

Jonathan Sides, Senior Design Engineer, United States Naval Air Warfare Center, Aircraft Division, said: Foreign object damage, or FOD, is a top removal driver for naval aviation, costing the enterprise over $100 million per year. The introduction of the Rolls-Royce FOD app to aid maintainers, inform decisions, and reduce workload is a critical step forward in the Navy’s collaborative strategy toward eliminating FOD.”

Rolls-Royce Defence has teamed up with Calvium Ltd, a Digital Technology Agency based in Bristol, UK, to deliver the FOD App into USMC operations.

Jo Reid, Managing Director, says: “Calvium are proud to have co-created this innovative digital app, which improves FOD operations for Rolls-Royce’s customers. We are excited to continue to aid the Rolls-Royce mission to tap into the disruptive potential of digital technologies and create the solutions of tomorrow.”

NAVAIR supports the United States Marine Corps across a range of capabilities and functions. The FOD App will be configured for Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona.

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