Implementing Tool Control to Reduce FOD

Taking Control of Tooling: Reducing Foreign Object Debris Damage in Aerospace

Aerospace organizations worldwide are beginning to implement comprehensive tool control practices to effectively mitigate the risk of Foreign Object Debris damage. Aerospace companies are investing in this FOD management method to prevent equipment damage, production delays, and compromised civilian safety.

The Consequences of FOD

In the safety-critical realm of aerospace manufacturing, tool control and the prevention of Foreign Object Debris incidents are of paramount importance. The devastating crash of a Concorde passenger jet in July of 2000 serves as a haunting reminder of the severe consequences that FOD can inflict. The incident occurred when the aircraft ran over a piece of titanium debris thinner than a centimeter on the runway, causing a catastrophic chain of events in which the tire exploded and flew upwards through the wing and ruptured a fuel tank. Less than 2 minutes later the plane crashed and the lives of all 109 passengers were lost. FOD, including tools and components, poses a safety risk for aircraft passengers and a costly threat to airlines and aerospace companies, with the aerospace industry estimated to lose billions of dollars annually due to FOD-related damages. Aerospace organizations must prioritize tool control to protect the integrity of their engines, aircraft, and reputation. By implementing and maintaining rigorous tool control practices, utilizing advanced storage management solutions, and deploying foolproof tool management systems, companies can mitigate FOD risks and optimize operational efficiency.

The Importance of Tool Control

Tool control is of utmost importance in aerospace manufacturing and maintenance processes. By implementing appropriate tool control systems such as shadowboards, point of use carts, and assembly carts, organizations can effectively track tools and parts, improve efficiency, and ensure quality. These storage management solutions allow line personnel to manage the extensive equipment required for their tasks more effectively.

Custom storage solutions are particularly valuable, enabling teams to easily place tools back in their designated locations. These systems ensure accountability for every tool or part used, promoting organization, and preventing items from being left behind.

Foolproof Systems for FOD Mitigation

To ensure proper FOD mitigation, it is essential for teams to identify every tool used in manufacturing and maintenance processes. Foolproof tool control systems play a crucial role in this effort. Implementing visual tool management systems enables quick and accurate visual inspections to determine if every tool and part is in its proper place.

Shadowboards with 3D cutouts in the exact size and specifications of tools, parts, or components necessary for specific jobs provide clear visual organization and safe handling. Point of use carts can be customized to fit specific needs, while assembly carts ensure the right products are available for each process, minimizing errors, improving quality control, and allowing for safe and easy transport of heavy-duty tools.

Best Practices for Effective Tool Control

As organizations strive to improve tool control and prevent FOD incidents, certain best practices should be followed:

Firstly, it is crucial to implement and maintain tool control protocols to prevent tools and parts from being left in or around the shop floor and production lines. This helps ensure that all tools are properly accounted for and reduces the risk of FOD accidents.

Creating a formal process for tool control is also essential. This process should adhere to manufacturing principles and strict FOD control policies. By establishing a structured approach, organizations can ensure consistency and efficiency in tool control practices.

To reinforce the importance of tool control, employees should be provided with comprehensive training. This training should emphasize the risks associated with misplaced tools and the critical role that tool control plays in FOD prevention. By ensuring that employees understand the significance of tool control, organizations can foster a culture of responsibility and accountability. See fodcontrol.com for more about employee training.

By utilizing smart tool control solutions, the standard methods can be technologically improved. These solutions can include technologies such as RFID tracking, automated inventory management systems, and digital tool check-in/check-out systems. Implementing such systems streamlines tool control processes and reduces the chances of human error.

As manufacturing requirements evolve, it is important to adapt tool storage needs accordingly. This includes accommodating new product line expansions and changing manufacturing needs. By regularly reviewing and modifying tool storage arrangements, organizations can ensure that tool control practices remain efficient and effective.

To foster continuous improvement, open communication should be encouraged by employees. They should feel empowered to provide feedback on additional or improved tool control equipment that aids their work. Employee input can greatly contribute to the refinement and effectiveness of tool control processes. It is often the direct users of the tools who are the most familiar with them.

Original Article: Aerospace Manufacturing

Unnoticed FOD Leads to Costly Engine Damage

Forgotten Flashlight Causes $4 Million in Damage to F-35 Engine

A lost flashlight left inside an F-35 engine during maintenance work resulted in the engine being rendered unusable, causing millions of dollars in damage. It was discovered that the aircraft maintainers failed to perform a standard inventory check after routine engine maintenance.

Tool Control Failure

According to a Ground Accident Investigation Board report released by Air Force officials, a flashlight left inside the engine of an F-35 during routine maintenance caused significant damage, totaling $4 million. The incident took place at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona. The investigation identified the mistake as a failure by a maintenance team to properly account for all their tools after performing maintenance on the aircraft.

Neglecting Established Procedures

The incident report highlighted two crucial errors made by the maintenance team. Firstly, they failed to follow an established Air Force directive to check the engine before running it. Secondly, they disregarded the protocol to avoid wearing loose items while working on the engine. These oversights prove the importance of following standard procedures in aircraft maintenance.

The Aftermath

Fortunately, no injuries were reported in the incident. However, the engine sustained irreparable damage, thus rendering it unusable. The flashlight caused $3,933,106 in damage, as confirmed by the report. The maintenance work was conducted by the 56th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron within the 56th Fighter Wing at Luke Air Force Base.

The grievous mistake is a reminder of the critical role played by maintenance crews in ensuring the safe and efficient operation of military aircraft. The incident occurred just a month before Luke Air Force Base celebrated a milestone: graduating its 2,000th F-35 pilot in April. The commitment to training and qualifying personnel on the F-35 makes Luke Air Force Base a vital hub for the Air Force.

As of now, it remains unclear whether any disciplinary actions have been taken against the maintainers involved in the unfortunate incident. The Air Education and Training Command, represented by Captain Scarlett Trujillo, spokesperson for the command, declined to comment on any administrative actions related to the accident.

The simple yet devastating mistake made by the 56th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Luke Air Force Base serves as a glaring reminder of the importance of meticulous attention to detail during aircraft maintenance. The costly damage caused by a lost flashlight emphasizes the need for strict adherence to established protocols and procedures. Maintainers play a crucial role in ensuring the safety and reliability of our military aircraft, and incidents like this highlight the consequences that can arise from not following established guidelines.

Original Article: Task & Purpose

Sydney Airport Updates Drivers on Safe Practices

Sydney Airport Calls for Drivers to Maintain Safe and Clean Environment

Sydney Airport has recently taken an important step to ensure a safe and clean environment within its taxi holding bays. Acknowledging the ongoing challenges of littering despite regular cleaning services, the airport released an update urging taxi drivers to be mindful of safety hazards they could be causing on the airport premises.

Littering Concerns in the Taxi Holding Bays

Sydney Airport has issued an important update to taxi drivers, urging them to play their part in maintaining a safe and clean environment within the taxi holding bays. The airport management has been actively working towards ensuring a pleasant experience for all passengers, staff, and visitors, and is now emphasizing the importance of responsible habits among taxi drivers.

Responsible Waste Disposal to Prevent Hazards

One of the issues that continue to persist despite regular cleaning services and the provision of waste bins in the taxi holding bays is littering. Some drivers have been observed leaving waste behind, which not only poses a cleanliness issue but also leads to the accumulation of foreign object debris (FOD). This debris can be hazardous to aircraft and airport personnel. In light of this, Sydney Airport is calling on all taxi service providers to educate their drivers and reinforce the significance of proper waste disposal within the premises. By adopting this simple yet crucial practice, drivers can contribute to creating a clean and safe environment for everyone.

Avoid Bird Feeding to Reduce Strike Risks

In addition to littering concerns, Sydney Airport has also addressed the matter of drivers feeding birds in the taxi holding bays. While feeding birds may seem harmless, it can interfere with the airport’s bird management program and potentially result in bird strikes. These strikes pose a serious safety risk to both aircraft and passengers. Hence, Sydney Airport urges all drivers to refrain from engaging in bird feeding activities and actively inform others about the associated risks. By doing so, drivers play a vital role in ensuring the safety of everyone within the airport premises.

Mandatory Speed Limit for Enhanced Safety

Ensuring safe driving practices is another vital aspect highlighted by Sydney Airport in this update. The airport strictly enforces a maximum speed limit of 20km/hr around the terminals to ensure the safety of pedestrians. It has come to the attention of the management that some drivers have been exceeding this limit, potentially endangering passengers and airport staff. To address this concern, Sydney Airport has notified drivers that exceeding the speed limit may result in being blacklisted and denied entry to the taxi ranks. Dedicated traffic management teams will be actively monitoring and enforcing the speed limit to maintain a safe environment for all.

Sydney Airport is committed to creating a seamless and secure experience for passengers, personnel, and drivers alike. By addressing these concerns and reminding drivers of their responsibilities, the airport hopes to foster a clean, safe, and efficient atmosphere within the taxi holding bays. It is through the collective effort of all stakeholders that Sydney Airport can maintain its reputation as a trusted and reliable aviation hub.

Original Article: NSW Taxi Council

Flight Disruption at Airport in Houston

Private Jets Collide at Houston’s Hobby Airport, Prompting Grounding of Flights

An incident involving two private jets caused temporary flight grounding at Houston’s Hobby Airport.

Collision Halts Flights at Hobby Airport

Houston’s Hobby Airport experienced a disruption in its operations after two private jets collided on the tarmac. The incident occurred around 3:30 pm CT when a twin-engine jet took off without permission from the runway and collided with another twin-engine jet that was in the process of landing, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Preliminary Investigation and Passenger Safety Status

Fortunately, there were no injuries reported as a result of the collision, and it is unclear how many people were onboard each aircraft, as stated by the FAA. The two planes involved were identified as a Hawker H25B, a corporate aircraft model, and a Cessna C510, a business class jet. Both planes sustained damage to their wings when they clipped each other on the airfield.

Following the collision, Houston’s Hobby Airport implemented a ground stop while crews worked to clear the debris from the tarmac. The airport reported that the debris had been successfully removed, and flight operations resumed just after 7 pm.

Ongoing Investigation into the Collision

The FAA, in coordination with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), launched an investigation into the collision to determine its cause. The focus of the investigation is to uncover the events that led to the departure of the twin-engine jet without proper clearance, leading to the collision on the runway.

Houston’s Hobby Airport, located 7 miles from downtown Houston, serves as a major hub for both domestic and international flights. The airport continues to prioritize safety and is working closely with authorities to prevent similar incidents in the future.

As the investigation progresses, more details will emerge, shedding light on the factors contributing to the collision and potential measures to enhance airport safety procedures.

Takeaways From the Incident

Finally, the incident involving two private jets at Houston’s Hobby Airport serves as a reminder of the importance of effective safety protocols that minimize the risk of aviation accidents. Despite the temporary flight disruptions and damage sustained by the aircraft, it is fortunate that no injuries were reported. The airport authorities are working closely with relevant agencies to determine the cause of the collision and implement measures to enhance airport safety. Houston’s Hobby Airport continues to prioritize the safety of its passengers and personnel and remains committed to preventing similar incidents in the future.

Original Article: CNN

ClearSpace-1 Mission Hindrance

Space Debris Targeted for Orbital Cleanup Struck by Unknown Object, Raises Concerns

An ambitious plan to clean up the growing problem of space debris has faced a setback. The space debris, intended to be captured and removed by the ClearSpace-1 mission, has been hit by another unidentified object, causing damage, and complicating the cleanup mission.

Space Debris Struck by Unknown Object

In an unexpected turn of events, the space debris known as VESPA, originally launched in 2013, has been struck by an unknown object. The debris, weighing 113 kg and measuring two meters in diameter, has been in orbit between 660 km and 790 km above Earth.

According to a recent press release by the European Space Agency (ESA), VESPA was slated to be captured and removed as part of the ClearSpace-1 mission, an “active debris removal mission” announced in May 2023. The plan was for ClearSpace-1 to rendezvous with VESPA, seize it, and then burn up during reentry, taking both the debris and itself out of orbit. This collision with an unknown object has introduced complications to this mission and throws its feasibility into question.

ClearSpace-1 Mission in Doubt

The ESA’s Space Debris Office received information from the United States 18th Space Defense Squadron on August 10, 2023, stating that new objects have been detected near the payload adapter of VESPA. This news raises doubts about the viability and timeline of the ClearSpace-1 mission.

The ESA is still in the process of collecting additional data on this unforeseen event, a process that will take several weeks. However, the agency remains committed to the ClearSpace-1 mission despite the setback. The collision underscores the relevance of actively addressing the growing issue of space debris.

A Hypervelocity Impact and New Fragments

Preliminary analysis suggests that the collision was caused by the hypervelocity impact of a small, untracked object, resulting in the release of new fragments from VESPA. The nature and origin of the object remain unknown, leaving experts uncertain whether it was a natural meteoroid or a piece of human-made space debris.

The incident draws attention to the need for comprehensive tracking and monitoring systems for the thousands of tracked debris objects and millions of untracked fragments present in Earth’s orbit. Currently, more than 34,000 debris objects are being tracked, with an estimated 130 million untracked pieces of debris ranging in size from a millimeter to a centimeter.

Despite the collision, the ESA reassures us that the primary VESPA object remains intact and exhibits no significant alteration to its orbit. Moreover, the increased collision risk posed by the new fragments is considered negligible for other ongoing space missions.

Urgent Action Needed to Address Space Debris

The space debris issue is one that demands urgent attention. Avoiding collisions with satellites and tracked space debris has forced the International Space Station to perform 32 course-correction maneuvers since 1999.

The recent fragmentation event has only reinforced the ESA’s determination to pursue initiatives like the ClearSpace-1 mission. Larger objects of space debris pose a significant threat as they can break into smaller fragments, each capable of causing substantial damage to active satellites. This incident underscores the importance of reducing the creation of new debris and actively mitigating the impact of existing objects. As the ESA continues to gather more data on the collision and evaluate its implications, planning for the ClearSpace-1 mission will proceed. The incident has underscored the critical need to address the growing problem of space debris and take proactive measures to minimize its impact on our satellite infrastructure. For more information about space debris: Space Debris – Facts, Removal, and Examples.

Confronting the Challenge of Future Space Debris

The collision between the targeted space debris and an unknown object emphasizes the pressing need for action to tackle the escalating problem of space debris. As space exploration and satellite deployments continue to rise, so does the risk of collisions and the proliferation of fragments.

Initiatives like the ClearSpace-1 mission highlight the importance of active debris removal in mitigating the hazards posed by space debris. Although setbacks such as this collision may temporarily hinder progress, they serve as a reminder of the complex nature of space debris mitigation and the crucial development of comprehensive strategies to safeguard our space activities.

Continued international collaboration, investment in tracking technologies, and the adoption of responsible space practices are indispensable steps to ensure the long-term sustainability of space operations.

Original Article: National Post

Promoting Safety Through Vigilance: Community Joins Hands to Keep the Skies Clear

Community Collaboration for Aircraft Safety: People Team Up to Search for Debris at Naples Airport

At the Naples Airport, members of the community are invited to join airport staff for their routine FOD inspection. By participating in these inspections, individuals gain a rare opportunity to witness the inner workings of an airport and develop a deeper understanding of the importance of a debris-free environment.

Discovering the Hidden Risks: Community Participation in Naples Airport’s Debris Search

At Naples Airport, a diligent team tirelessly conducts rigorous inspections of the runway, taxiway, and ramps to uncover any potential threats to aircraft safety. Beyond mere compliance with regulations, this collective endeavor embodies a shared dedication to ensuring seamless air travel operations. In an exceptional move that promotes community engagement, the airport extends a unique invitation to local residents twice a year, granting them the opportunity to actively assist in this crucial mission. As participants gather firsthand knowledge on airport operations and walk the runway, they gain a new perspective on the significance of maintaining a debris-free environment.

A Unique Perspective on Airport Operations

For those who participate, the chance to walk a runway and observe the inner workings of an airport from up close is a rare and exciting experience. Neetu Jagasia, an employee at the Naples Airport, eagerly looks forward to the semi-annual searches. She commented, “Not everybody gets an opportunity to do that and be up close and personal to the runway and actually see what’s going on.” The firsthand exposure serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of maintaining a debris-free environment.

Uncovering Unexpected Finds and Promoting Awareness

The Naples Airport has encountered various items during these searches, ranging from misplaced restaurant menus, iPads, garment bags, to even children’s toys. While the most recent inspection yielded only nuts and bolts, it exemplifies the significance of these collective efforts. Even seemingly insignificant debris can pose a risk, potentially leading to damage or compromise in airplane operations. One interesting tradition at Naples Airport is the plan to decorate a Christmas tree with the items found throughout the year. This unique gesture showcases the commitment to raising awareness about FOD (Foreign Object Debris) and reminding everyone that even the smallest objects can have significant consequences in aviation settings.

Original Article: FOX4 News

Strengthening Safety Measures in Aviation

Assam’s LGBIA Launches FOD Walk-Through Campaign to Promote Safety Awareness

Assam’s Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport (LGBIA) has initiated an important walk-through campaign aimed at raising awareness about the risks associated with Foreign Object Debris (FOD) and its impacts on aircraft operations.

LGBIA takes a proactive approach to aviation safety by launching a FOD walk-through campaign.

This important initiative aims to educate individuals about the potential risks associated with FOD and its implications for aircraft operations. FOD refers to any stray objects or debris that could pose a threat to flight safety during landing time. Recognizing the seriousness of this issue, LGBIA has engaged all stakeholders, including CISF, Air Traffic Control, Ground Handling Agencies, Fueling Agencies, and airport staff in Guwahati. The walk-through campaign focuses on comprehensive cleanup efforts throughout the airside, inspecting and removing debris from critical areas such as runways and aprons.

Promoting Safety Awareness

The LGBIA has taken the responsibility to educate and engage all stakeholders, including the CISF, Air Traffic Control, Ground Handling Agencies, Fueling Agencies, and airport staff in Guwahati. The campaign draws attention to the fact that even seemingly insignificant items like nut bolts, tissues, and other small objects can pose serious threats to passenger safety, crew well-being, and aircraft operations.

Thorough Inspection and Cleaning Efforts

To ensure a safe environment for aircraft operations, the FOD walk-through campaign involves meticulous inspections and the removal of debris from various areas on the airside. Trained personnel carry out comprehensive assessments, focusing on runways, aprons, and other critical areas of concern within the airport premises. The goal is to identify and remove any potential foreign objects that could jeopardize the safety of flights.

Collaboration for Enhanced Safety

LGBIA is committed to developing and implementing policies that reduce potential threats to air travel. It emphasizes the importance of the participation of all airport staff, airline staff, and other relevant authorities in the walk-through campaign. Additionally, passengers are urged to remain vigilant and report any FOD findings to the concerned department. By fostering collaboration among stakeholders, the campaign aims to create a safer and more secure aviation environment in Assam. For more details about FOD programs: Establishing a FOD prevention culture – FOD Control

The launch of the FOD walk-through campaign by Assam’s LGBIA is a commendable step towards enhancing safety in aviation operations. By proactively addressing the risks associated with Foreign Object Debris, LGBIA demonstrates its commitment to promoting safety awareness and creating a hazard-free airport environment. The thorough inspections and cleaning efforts, coupled with the collaboration of all stakeholders, contribute to a more secure aviation environment in Assam. Through this campaign, LGBIA sets an excellent example for other airports to prioritize safety and security. The commitment to education, engagement, and collaboration ensures that Assam’s aviation sector operates smoothly while prioritizing the safety and security of air travelers.

Original Article: Hub News

Analyzing the global sweeping machine market

Global Sweeping Machine Market: A Comprehensive Overview and Forecast 2023-2030

The Global Sweeping Machine Market is experiencing substantial growth rates in recent years and is projected to continue expanding significantly between 2023 and 2030. As sweeping machines play a vital role in maintaining cleanliness across various sectors, their global demand is expected to rise across municipalities, commercial facilities, construction sites, transportation hubs, and residential areas. 

Exploring the wide-ranging applications and growing market trends of sweeping machines worldwide.

The Global Sweeping Machine Market encompasses a diverse range of industries and applications where effective outdoor surface cleaning and maintenance are essential. While the term “Global Sweeping Machine” lacks a precise definition in the context of a well-established product or industry, it generally refers to vehicles or equipment designed to clean streets, roads, parking lots, and other outdoor surfaces efficiently. 

Sweeping machines are specifically engineered to collect debris, dust, leaves, litter, and other unwanted materials from the ground. These machines find extensive use in various sectors globally due to their ability to maximize cleanliness, reduce overall time spent cleaning, and most importantly, increase the safety of various workspaces and public areas. 

Scope of the Global Sweeping Machine Market

Municipalities and City Maintenance:

Global Sweeping Machines are highly utilized by municipalities and local authorities to maintain clean streets, roads, and public spaces. By effectively removing litter, leaves, dust, and debris from roads, sidewalks, and parks, these machines help preserve a tidy environment for residents and visitors.

Commercial and Industrial Facilities:

In commercial and industrial settings, such as warehouses, manufacturing plants, and distribution centers, sweeping machines play a crucial role in maintaining clean and safe working environments. By efficiently removing dust, dirt, and debris from floors and outdoor areas, they contribute to enhanced productivity and employee well-being.

Construction Sites:

Construction sites often generate various types of debris, such as gravel, sand, and concrete dust. Global Sweeping Machines are employed on construction sites to ensure a clean work area and prevent pollutants from spreading to surrounding areas. This not only supports a safer work environment but also contributes to environmental preservation. See why: The Importance Of A Clean Construction Site | RBC Cleaning.

Airports and Transportation Hubs:

Maintaining cleanliness in airports and transportation hubs is of utmost importance to ensure the safety of aviation operations and provide travelers with a pleasant experience. Sweeping machines are integral in keeping runways, taxiways, parking lots, and access roads clear of foreign objects and debris. Knowing FOD Prevention in Aviation | Airport FOD Program (fodcontrol.com)

Commercial and Residential Parking Lots:

Both commercial and residential parking lots require regular cleaning and maintenance. Global Sweeping Machines are commonly used to remove leaves, litter, dust, and other debris, improving the overall appearance and cleanliness of the parking areas.

Summary

With a wide range of sweeping machine types available, such as hand types, driving types, and sweeping robots, these machines can be tailored to meet the specific cleaning needs of different environments. Furthermore, the large variety of sweeper models has led to many large companies actively involved in the Global Sweeping Machine Market, ensuring a highly competitive landscape.

A comprehensive research study on the Global Sweeping Machine Market provided in-depth analysis of its size, regional and country-level market insights, projected growth rates (CAGR), revenue estimations, key drivers, competitive landscape, and sales analysis of major players.

Ultimately, the Global Sweeping Machine Market is poised for substantial growth in the forecast period, driven by the increasing need for cleanliness and maintenance across various sectors. As the demand for efficient outdoor surface cleaning continues to rise, the market presents numerous opportunities for both established players and emerging companies to thrive.

Original Article: Trending Market Ideas – LinkedIn

Woman killed by falling tool on Georgia highway

Deadly Debris: Unsecured Tool Causes Tragic Accident on Georgia Highway

Tragedy strikes as an unsecured tool falls off a truck, leading to a fatal accident

The Incident

On February 21, 2022, a tragic accident occurred on a Georgia highway when an unsecured tool fell off a truck and killed a woman. Lynn Fleming, a 57-year-old resident of Buford, was driving her car when a cargo winch bar, a tool used to secure loads on flatbed trailers, fell off a truck in front of her. The tool went through Fleming’s windshield, striking her and causing her to lose control of her vehicle. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Importance of Securing Loads

This unfortunate incident serves as a stark reminder of the importance of properly securing loads on vehicles, particularly on large trucks and 18-wheelers. Unsecured loads can lead to dangerous situations, causing accidents and even fatalities. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, unsecured loads contribute to more than 25,000 crashes and approximately 90 deaths in North America each year.

Drivers must ensure that their cargo is properly secured to prevent such accidents from happening. Truckers, in particular, should regularly check their cargo and use appropriate tools and equipment, such as cargo winch bars, chains, and binders, to keep their loads secure.

Preventing Accidental Deaths on Highways

Highway safety is a shared responsibility, and all drivers need to do their part to prevent accidents and fatalities. In addition to securing loads, drivers should also follow traffic laws, maintain a safe distance from other vehicles, and stay alert while driving. By taking these precautions, drivers can help reduce the risk of tragic accidents like the one that took Lynn Fleming’s life.

Original Article: Fox Illinois

Swiss Space Debris Startup Expands To USA

ClearSpace, a Swiss startup that specializes in space debris removal, is expanding to the United States.

The move will help the company address the world’s largest space economy.

ClearSpace’s expansion beyond Europe is driven by their desire to create “a safer, more sustainable, and more circular space ecosystem”.

ClearSpace’s Expansion to the United States

ClearSpace, the Swiss startup that won a prime contract from the European Space Agency worth almost $100 million to develop and conduct the world’s first orbital debris removal mission, is expanding to the United States. The company has announced its US subsidiary, ClearSpace Today, which will help it address the world’s largest space economy. With offices in the UK, Germany, and Luxembourg, ClearSpace is expanding beyond Europe for the first time.

“As a global leader in IOS, ClearSpace is in an excellent position to meet the needs of US customers in both public and private sectors,” said its Chief Strategy Officer and US General Manager, Tim Maclay. “Combining our experience in Europe with the broad supplier base and deep talent pool present in the United States creates a potent recipe for a safer, more sustainable, and more circular space ecosystem.”

ClearSpace’s Mission

ClearSpace’s mission is to remove space debris, which poses a significant threat to space missions and satellites. The company employs nearly 100 people and is working on an additional debris removal mission and a mission with Intelsat to extend the life of a satellite in geosynchronous orbit.

In September last year, the UK Space Agency backed ClearSpace and Astroscale to design missions to help clear hazardous space junk. Contracts worth £4 million were awarded following the completion of a feasibility study of the CLEAR mission to remove two UK-registered derelict objects from low Earth orbit.

Original article: https://www.electronicsweekly.com/news/swiss-space-debris-startup-sees-clearspace-in-united-states-2023-04/

Smart Hangars

Smart Hangars: The Future of MRO

What are Smart Hangars?

The aviation industry is constantly evolving, and one of the latest developments is the introduction of “smart hangars.” These innovative spaces are equipped with real-time location solutions (RTLS) that track and locate assets and people in complex environments, making maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) operations safer, more efficient, and cost-effective.

Smart hangars are equipped with RTLS technology that tracks and locates assets and people in complex environments, improving MRO operations.

How do Smart Hangars work?

Smart hangars use a product called SmartSpace, developed by UK-based company Ubisense. This RTLS system combines real-time location data with analytics and visualization tools to provide valuable insights that help improve MRO operations and increase efficiency. SmartSpace can track the movement of workers, ensuring they are following safety protocols and avoiding dangerous areas. It can also track tools and equipment, reducing the amount of time mechanics spend searching for items and eliminating foreign object debris (FOD) left inside airframes.

What are the benefits of Smart Hangars?

Smart hangars equipped with RTLS technology can help MRO providers become more efficient, better optimized, and safer places to work. By tracking tools and equipment, SmartSpace reduces downtime and increases productivity, while also eliminating FOD and preventing accidents and injuries. This helps MRO providers keep their costs lower, which is a significant benefit for airlines, and tighten their turnaround times.

The Future of MRO

The MRO market is projected to grow at a rate of 5% through 2030, reaching a revenue forecast of $119 billion[1]. As the industry continues to expand, MRO providers must work hard to keep a lid on their costs. Smart hangars equipped with RTLS technology provide a solution to this challenge, making MRO operations safer, more efficient, and cost-effective. With the help of companies like Ubisense, the adoption of RTLS solutions is expected to proliferate in the aerospace industry, making Smart Hangars the future of MRO

Web address of the original article: https://simpleflying.com/smart-hangars-the-future-of-mro/

Mars Ingenuity Encounters FOD

Foreign Debris Seen on Mars During Ingenuity Helicopter Flight

No Damage Detected, Investigation Underway

NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter, which has been exploring Mars since April 2021, encountered a small piece of foreign object debris (FOD) during its 33rd flight.

Foreign Debris Seen in Navcam Footage

During the 33rd flight of NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter on Mars, a small piece of foreign object debris was spotted in the footage from the navigation camera (Navcam). The FOD was not visible in the Navcam footage from the previous flight. It was seen in the earliest frames of the Flight 33 Navcam imagery and remained visible for about half of the video before falling from the leg and drifting back to the Mars surface.

No Indication of Vehicle Damage

Despite the presence of the FOD, all telemetry from the flight and a post-flight search and transfer showed no indication of vehicle damage. The Ingenuity and Perseverance Mars 2020 teams are currently investigating the source of the debris.

Ingenuity Continues to Explore Mars

Ingenuity has been exploring Mars since April 2021 and has completed 33 flights as of the time of this writing. Its primary mission was to demonstrate the viability of powered flight on Mars, but it has also been used to scout out locations of interest for the Perseverance rover and to gather data on the Martian atmosphere.

Original article: https://phys.org/news/2022-10-foreign-debris-mars-ingenuity-helicopter.html

FOD Dogs

FOD Dogs: The New Runway Clearing Solution

A Low-Cost, Robust Robot Platform for Runway Safety

The United States Air Force has signed a contract with Siemens Government Technologies to develop a new technology that aims to clear runways of hazardous debris. The technology is a four-wheeled robot known as a FOD Dog, which will be used to detect Foreign Object Debris (FOD) on runways and flight decks.

How the FOD Dog Works

The FOD Dog is a basic rugged chassis with an electric motor that scans runways for foreign objects using off-the-shelf laser sensors. The sensors detect anything projecting out from the surface of the runway. The scanner is simpler than a camera and works just as well in conditions of poor visibility like driving rain. The robot is equipped with a perception system developed by TurbineOne, which serves as the operating system to make all of these detections possible without an internet connection. The FOD Dogs start with a catalog of different objects but are able to learn new ones. They can even share information between pack members, so they will steadily become better at identifying specific types of FOD on a particular site.

The Advantages of the FOD Dog

The FOD Dog has great potential as a low-cost, robust robot platform for runway safety. The combination of a low-cost, robust robot platform and smart sensing has great potential, and the FOD Dog may be the forerunner of many breeds of helpful robots working in a variety of fields. The robots can ignore weather and carry a heavier payload of varied sensors, making them ideal for industrial inspection. The FOD Dog technology is also being developed for use in factories, construction sites, and other applications.

The Importance of FOD Detection

The FOD Dog is a promising technology that could revolutionize runway safety. By detecting FOD on runways and flight decks, the FOD Dog can help prevent foreign objects from damaging aircraft and causing catastrophic accidents. The FOD Dog is a low-cost, robust robot platform that has great potential in a variety of fields beyond runway safety. The FOD Dog technology is being developed under an Air Force contract signed with Siemens Government Technologies and subcontractor TurbineOne. A full working prototype system is expected to be demonstrated by next January.

Original Article: https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidhambling/2022/01/10/robot-dogs-to-keep-usaf-runways-clear-of-hazardous-debris/

FOD found in parked 737 Max jets

Debris Found in Fuel Tanks of Boeing 737 Max Jets in Storage

Latest Problem for Boeing 737 Max

Boeing faces another problem as it tries to get the 737 Max back in the air.

Boeing has found debris in the fuel tanks of several 737 Max jets that have been sitting in storage, according to a note to Boeing employees from Mark Jenks, vice president and general manager of the 737 program and the Renton, Washington, factory.

Foreign Object Debris Unacceptable

Boeing has called foreign object debris, referred to as FOD, “absolutely unacceptable” and vowed to eliminate it from the production system. The company plans to address the problem by updating instructions and required checklists for employees, along with additional verifications including inspections and audits.

Safety Threats on Planes

Debris on a completed aircraft is a serious quality problem that can pose significant safety threats on planes, including short circuits and fires. The note from Boeing did not say how many planes had debris discovered in the fuel tanks.

Debris Problem Not New for Boeing

This is not the first time Boeing has faced debris problems. The US Air Force temporarily halted deliveries of the KC-46 Pegasus tanker aircraft twice last year after debris was found in closed compartments of the aircraft. There were also problems with debris on the 787 Dreamliners built at a plant in South Carolina, according to a whistleblower complaint first reported in the New York Times last year.

Original article: https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/19/business/boeing-737-max-fuel-tank-debris/index.html

FOD News Roundup – July 3rd, 2019

Did a Bird Strike Crash the Boeing 737?

Investigators believe it “likely” that a strike led to the controversial crash of the Ethiopian Airlines jet in March.

Image Source: Bigstock


Air Force vs Gator

An alligator has made an unexpected appearance on the flight line at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida.

Image Source: US Air Force


Timelapse Cleaning an Auto Shop

Just for fun, watch a lone shop worker wash down and tidy up his company’s repair garage at superhero speed!

Image Source: YouTube Screenshot


Free Downloadable Resources

Train your staff and muscle up your FOD program with our free whitepapers, report forms and slideshows.

Image Source: Bigstock