Rolls-Royce has secured a research funding contract with the US Navy to develop digital foreign object debris (FOD) detection technology.

Valued at $1m, the one-year research contract will allow the company to advance its FanSense debris monitoring system development and certification.

The FanSense debris monitoring system is currently used on the Pegasus engine.

Rolls-Royce Defence Services president Paul Craig said: “FanSense is an innovative and revolutionary Rolls-Royce digital technology being packaged and applied to our products.

“The research funding granted by the US Navy will allow us to further enhance and build upon our pioneering technologies that will enhance safety, efficiency and deliver a cultural change for our customers.”

FanSense is designed for use on an engine to examine the shaft speed signal and detect disruptions, which are caused due to the presence of objects like a small stone or screw.

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According to the company, such small debris often remain undetected and ultimately costing several billions of dollars in damage and disruption for the aviation industry on an annual basis.

This technology provides customers with a clear picture of FOD damage and engine wear while enabling them to enhance their FOD prevention practices.

Rolls-Royce will deliver the contract in partnership with Roke.

Naval Air Systems Command FOD chief engineer Jonathan Sides said: “Inlet debris monitoring technology is a critical element of the FOD mitigation portfolio, supporting the US Navy’s initiative to save hundreds of millions in FOD repair costs.”

In June last year, Rolls-Royce secured multiple contracts worth $115.6m from the US Navy to provide ship engines, propulsion components, and services.