The UK Royal Navy’s (RN) 1710 Naval Air Squadron (NAS) has launched a new data exploitation application, named Motherlode, in collaboration with Microsoft.

The RN’s 1710 NAS is a Portsmouth-based forward support squadron responsible for carrying out scientific material investigation, deployed aircraft repair work and helicopter monitoring support.

The new application has been launched to mark British Science Week, from 10 to 19 March.

Motherlode originated at the Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton, the RN’s military airbase in Somerset, and was developed by 1710 NAS in Portsmouth over a period of one year.

It has been designed to support RN engineers in rapidly processing maintenance data, which otherwise required months to complete. This will eventually minimise the engineers’ burden and provide effective and timely maintenance of the aircraft, allowing them to resume operations in shorter durations.

RN 1710 NAS commanding officer commander Nicholas Almond said: “The launch of Motherlode is a significant development for naval aviation with the potential to transform the way in which aircraft maintenance is carried out using smarter decision-making.”

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Currently, RN engineers are undertaking a training initiative to learn more about the new application and its usage. The training is being conducted at RNAS Culdrose and RNAS Yeovilton, and will teach the RN personnel how to optimise the system and its advanced analytics, as well as using real-time data-processing technology based on specific requirements and maintenance schedules. 

The system will help engineers predict potential component failures. It will also improve the overall fleet readiness.

UK Defence Microsoft Client Delivery Partner Allen Hart said: “It’s been an exciting project for Microsoft, and we hope this collaborative endeavour will help the RN maximise aircraft availability.”