Jet engines join the ‘Internet of Things’

Image: Jet engine
Rolls-Royce’s Trent XWB jet engine is prepared for delivery. (Credit: Rolls-Royce)

Soon the “Internet of Things” will be keeping watch on jet engines, refrigerators and freezers, factory floors and more, thanks to a series of partnerships announced by Microsoft at the Hannover Messe industrial fair in Germany.

The applications will take advantage of the Microsoft Azure IoT Suite to gather data from industrial products, and the Cortana Intelligence Suite to look for trends and figure out how to improve performance.

For example, Rolls-Royce will incorporate those software tools into its TotalCare maintenance services for its aircraft engines. The data sets will include engine health readings, air traffic control information, route restrictions and fuel usage.

Cortana will look for anomalies and trends in the data, and provide feedback that should help Rolls-Royce improve the engines’ performance and increase fuel efficiency.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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