A group of students from Cranfield University have been working with leading defence service and support organisation, Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group, to utilise Mixed Reality in remote Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MRO).


(left to right) David Marcos Daoud Mújica, Romain Frayssinet, Cristina Vázquez Reynel, Iñigo Fernandez del Amo Blanco, Richard Williams and Dr John Ahmet Erkoyuncu.

Mixed reality is the merging of real and virtual worlds to produce new environments and visualisations where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real time.

As part of their studies, the students were challenged to design a system which would enable the inspection of the exterior of the aircraft, ground engine runs and flight tests to be shared with a remote team. Using Mixed Reality, data from diagnosis, maintenance and repair tasks can be shared all over the world, allowing crews on the ground to access best practice guidance from maintenance specialists wherever they are.

The students, who are all studying manufacturing at Cranfield, have presented the results of their project to senior Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group leaders at their headquarters in Cambridge.

This exploration of the productivity gains derived from the use of Mixed Reality is the first major project sponsored by Marshall as part of group initiative to utilise new technologies across the Marshall Group.  The initiative has been supported by industry-leading partners enabling the group to shape the way forward and test new ideas.

Oliver Drury, External Communications Director for Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group said: “It has been a great collaboration between our two organisations which started as a concept in February and returned a working prototype only three months later.”

Dr John Ahmet Erkoyuncu from Cranfield University who supervised the students, said: “We are extremely grateful for Marshall for supporting this project. It enabled the students to get a fantastic insight into the challenges of real-world maintenance, repairs and operations. Working closely with industry on group projects such as this is an important part of the student experience at Cranfield.”