Lockheed Martin has said that interns from its Centre for Innovation and Security Solutions (CISS) in the UAE will present an AI-powered robotic solution for aircraft engine bay inspections at the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) in Abu Dhabi from February 20th to 24th, 2023.
The CISS interns will showcase an automated prototype that includes a workstation for the Foreign Object Debris (FOD) inspection system, a robotic arm equipped with a camera for inspection data acquisition, and a replica section of an engine bay for assessment purposes, the company said. Over 2,000 hours were spent by the interns to program, build, and test the solution, under the mentorship and guidance of engineers from the Quality Technologies team at Lockheed Martin’s Aeronautics division in the U.S.
The AI-powered system has the potential to streamline and improve safety and operational processes related to aircraft engine maintenance and FOD elimination. Gen. John ‘Mick’ Nicholson (U.S. Army, Ret.), chief executive of Lockheed Martin Middle East said:
“As part of our commitment to building the capacity of the UAE’s next generation of leaders, we at Lockheed Martin challenge our interns to solve real-world problems,” said. “We are confident that this AI-based solution, once further developed, will significantly address critical issues in the aerospace and defense industry, driving time and cost savings and improving quality-control processes in the long run.”
“Foreign Object Debris in engines poses a serious threat, and our interns demonstrated high levels of creativity and innovative thinking to deliver a working engine inspection prototype with a robust and reliable AI algorithm at its core,” said Hala Al Zargani, manager of Lockheed Martin CISS. “We are extremely proud to present this solution at IDEX, and thrilled that it has great potential to improve inspection processes for aircraft engines. This system is a testament to the capabilities of UAE talent.”
Over the years, the CISS has provided specialist training in areas such as robotics, AI, networked systems, and modeling and simulation exercises to hundreds of UAE students, resulting in employment opportunities for top performers within Lockheed Martin and other leading UAE defense entities.
Lockheed Martin has been present in the Middle East for more than five decades and has helped establish sovereign capabilities through industrial partnerships and human capital development initiatives in the region.