Latest News | 27 March 2024

Research collaboration set to improve aircraft inspections

Bloc Digital
University of Derby
Share this post:

Bloc Digital and the University of Derby are working together on a project which could improve the inspection of aircraft.

The pair are collaborating on research involving cutting-edge 3D imaging technology called NeRF (Neural Radiance Fields).

They will explore the use of NeRF to transform imagery and videos of advanced aerospace parts into high-quality 3D digital representations.

These can be used to track the condition and degradation of such parts over time in order to improve efficiency and decision-making within quality inspection and airline fleet management.

Bloc Digital has supported the aerospace sector for over 20 years and is a specialist in developing operational and data-driven solutions that help to streamline and improve processes.

The company’s new “Inspector” product is already helping to turn manual visual inspections into intelligent data.

The tool enables users to capture, track and manage the current and historical states of components through images, video or voice notes.

It collates and analyses results across an entire fleet to give a complete understanding of performance and common part faults.

The new study, which is being funded by the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) and the National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP),  will make creating high-quality 3D content within the application quicker, easier and more intuitive.

This will enable aerospace inspectors to create their own 3D digital representations of parts without the need for CAD models – instead using only a smart device’s camera.

Frank McQuade, director of products at Bloc Digital, said: “Bloc’s Inspector product is currently enabling aerospace companies to revolutionise quality checks and how they utilise such data to both avoid expensive repairs and improve asset lifespan, safety, and performance.

“The enhanced ability to create and visualise the history of parts in 3D will provide an additional layer of intelligence that will further bolster preventative maintenance and NeRFs will be key.”

Dr Harry Yu, senior lecturer in computer science and academic lead of the project at the University of Derby, said: “It’s truly exciting to be at the forefront of this project, where we’re blending cutting-edge 3D imaging technology with practical aerospace applications.

“At its heart, what we’re doing with NeRF isn’t just about the tech—it’s about how we can enhance these AI algorithms to make a real difference in aerospace inspections.

“This collaboration really exemplifies the synergy between academic research and industry innovation.

“As we dive deeper into this project, I’m convinced that the insights we’ll uncover could fundamentally change how we approach aircraft maintenance, making it smarter, safer, and much more efficient.”

Related Articles...

This will close in 0 seconds