Lockheed Martin’s UAE interns present AI based aircraft inspection system

Interns at Lockheed Martin’s Center for Innovation and Security Solutions showcase their work to Matar Al Romaithi, Chief Economic Development Officer at Tawazun Economic Council.

Top-performing Emirati interns at Lockheed Martin recently showcased their work on advanced technology projects to senior UAE defence industry officials. Presenting the outcomes of their summer internships at Lockheed Martin’s Centre for Innovation and Security Solutions, CISS, in Masdar City, the UAE university students demonstrated real-world aerospace solutions they created. The audience comprised of leaders from Tawazun Economic Council, the UAE’s defence and security industry enabler, and EDGE, the advanced technology group for defence and beyond.

Interns from the summer programme’s artificial intelligence team, which drew students from Tawazun’s Sustain and Enhance Emiratisation in Defence and Security initiative, showcased a breakthrough solution for enhanced aircraft inspection that was developed remotely with mentors from Lockheed Martin’s Aeronautics division in Fort Worth, Texas, in the United States. The students created an AI neural network to detect paint and primer defects on aircraft for use on crawler drones that carry out inspections on platforms such as the C-130 and the F-16. The solution will deliver significant time and cost savings compared to an otherwise lengthy process of inspecting defects on aircraft wings and fuselages by hand.

Lockheed Martin’s CISS has hosted merit-based internship programmes since 2017 and has implemented a series of technology development programmes for Emirati engineers and industry professionals. This year, the programme saw 16 students receive specialist training in artificial intelligence development and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle design, defence simulation exercises, business administration skills, and IT systems management, working on real-world projects that will positively impact the UAE’s aerospace and defence industry.

A UAE intern demonstrates the newly developed AI neural network that detects paint and primer defects on aircraft.
A UAE intern demonstrates the newly developed AI neural network that detects paint and primer defects on aircraft.

Matar Al Romaithi, Chief Economic Development Officer at Tawazun, said: “At Tawazun, we aim to support the development of essential, qualified human capital for the benefit of the defence and technology industries. This summer, Tawazun is very proud to have partnered with Lockheed Martin in shaping this defence and technology specialist summer internship programme in tandem with our SEEDS initiative. We look forward to strengthening this collaboration and to achieving many more successful outcomes in the years to come. Tawazun has implemented many initiatives in cooperation with local and international strategic partners to support and enhance human capital and supply this vital sector with trained national energies and capabilities qualified in various technical and engineering disciplines.”