Help make better

I’ve added a Feedback feature to the site, which you can access from the small orange tab on the right of any page (or from the link below).

You can browse existing ideas, or add your own from here. I’ve added few ideas to get things started.

Consultancy is out….Videos are in

When I set up in January 2010 the hope was that the site would not only act as a one-stop-shop for all FOD detection news, but also as a portal for my consultancy work. Unfortunately the market for FOD detection systems (and therefore also for my consultancy work) has not taken off in the way many in the industry had expected.

It has now been 2 years since I held the position of Product Manager for the Tarsier FOD detection system, and I no longer feel that I have the up-to-date knowledge required to offer my services as a consultant (although some FOD vendors have been happy to have a consultant working in this area, and have offered demonstrations of their latest systems, the behaviour of other system vendors can only be described as hostile), for this reason the consultancy section of this site has been removed.

Before leaving QinetiQ I had the opportunity to fill a massive feature gap in the Tarsier system i.e. reporting. When I started as Product Manager there was no automated reporting available to Tarsier customers, no historic data, no maps, no images, no database. In order to fill this gap I proposed the Tarsier Toolbox, a SaaS solution built on Google Maps. It was not an easy task to get the Toolbox built, I had a great technical team working with me and they shared the product vision, unfortunately the project had to be justified to management at almost every stage of development (not something that makes for a particularly positive working environment).

The one thing I did learn from my time working on the Toolbox was that I wanted to continue to help build great SaaS solutions, and that is what I am now fortunate enough to be doing. My current employer is dedicated to building a SaaS solution while also offering a great experience to end users. will continue as usual…but now with videos! The Consultancy section has now been replaced by a Videos section, this area will contain a collection of various FOD related videos from YouTube (I’ve done the searching, so you don’t have to). In the future I hope to add further reference sections to the website (map of current installations, FOD company profiles, FOD related patents etc)

FOD-detection’s mobile app

I recently noticed a bug in the mobile version of When you first visit using a mobile browser you will be prompted to run it in “web app mode” this essentially turns the site into an app which can be launched from your mobile’s home screen. Unfortunately, selecting article titles in this mode was opening the articles in the mobile browser, and not in the app. After some help from the developers I’ve managed to correct the error.

You shouldn’t need to do anything, but if the issue persists please delete the app from your home screen, and simply visit the site again using your mobile browser, you will be prompted to install the app again, this should solve any issues.

The iPad version of the site suffered from the same issue, this should also be fixed now.

100th article

This is the 100th article to appear on, so this seems like a good time to let our readers know of some upcoming changes to the site.

We have always put our effort into aggregating and commenting on all the news relevant to the FOD detection industry, and this has proven to be a useful resource for those in the aviation sector who are concerned with FOD. Keeping up-to-date is great, but it’s also nice to have a reference section where people can quickly get answers to some frequently asked questions e.g. where are the current FOD systems deployed? How much can a FOD system reduce risk on a runway? How do the systems compare on features?

Over the next few months I plan on answering some of these questions (and more) by adding dedicated pages to the site, this is of course in addition to keeping the home page up-to-date with all the latest news. Today, I have launched a beta version of the FOD Risk Calculator, originally a downloadable spreadsheet, now an interactive part of the site. It allows anyone to quickly compare FOD systems using parameters such as detection time and probability of detection, or to compare any of the systems against manual FOD checks.

The 2nd page to be added will be an interactive map showing the current deployment of FOD systems (sales only, not trials or demos), along with details of the number of runways covered etc. I’m still working on this page, it should be up and running within the next couple of weeks.


Keeping up-to-date with

Just a short post to let people know that I’m making a small change to the methods readers can use when subscribing to

Previously, the RSS feed, email Newsletter, and Twitter feed have all contained identical items, i.e. a list of published articles. In future, the Twitter feed will contain some extra information, typically links to FOD stories that might not be worthy of an article on the website (for example, they might not be related to detection, but might still be of interest to some).

Who visits serves a very niche market, when you combine this with the fact that it is the only independent website that serves this market, you end up with a site that attracts some very unique visitors i.e. potential FOD detection customers. I don’t share the website statistics with anyone, but today I thought I would share some very basic/general data on where our visitors are located.

The pie chart below shows the location of visitors for the last month. So, what can we tell from the data? for one thing the data is skewed by visits from the FOD detection system vendors themselves. This might seem odd, as there are only 4 vendors, but you have to remember that there are also less than 10 customers worldwide, so it’s not actually very surprising. Of the top 5 countries, US, UK, Israel, China and Singapore, all but one (China) are home to a FOD detection vendor. (more…)

Website update

FOD has always been Smartphone friendly. If you access the site using a Smartphone you essentially get an App version of the site that is faster to load and easier to navigate. With the release of iOS4.2 today, (enabling multitasking on the iPad) I thought this would be a good day to bring the same experience to Apple’s tablet.

Launch day

Hello, my name is Mark Evans and I’m the Editor of I’m the former Product Manager for QinetiQ’s Tarsier Foreign Object Debris (FOD) detection system (often referred to as “The FOD Radar”). Since leaving QinetiQ in December 2009 I have decided to remain in the industry in which I have worked for the last 5 years, and am now a consultant specializing in the field of FOD detection systems.

The Aim

The aim of is simple, to provide the most comprehensive and up-to-date resource on FOD detection related news for those considering purchasing a FOD detection system.

The Structure

The Home page is a reverse chronological news page, with the latest news always at the top. The articles will be a mixture of events picked up from the FOD detection industry, such as vendor press releases and details of FOD and wildlife incidents, as well as original articles by myself.  Although the site officially launches today, I have back filled with articles covering the last two years. For those who require more extensive information than is available on the Home page I’d suggest visiting the Consultancy pages.

Being Social

Each news article will have a comments section, and I invite anyone who has an opinion on a particular article to add a comment. I’ve tried to make it as easy as possible for users to keep up-to-date with the articles, so people can currently subscribe via RSS and Twitter, and an email news letter will be available shortly, please see the Subscribe page for more information. There is also a Share button at the end of each article which enables easy sharing via various networks. I’m aware that many people now require access to news via their smartphones, for this reason is also smartphone friendly.

The Future

Over the coming months I shall be adding more original articles, and I plan to expand the site to include details of bird detection systems. I’ll also be inviting a representative from each of the currently available FOD detection systems to record a “FODcast” – a podcast in which we can discuss the FOD detection solution that they offer. now iPhone friendly

I’ve just updated the Home page to be iPhone friendly (actually iPhone, iPod Touch, Blackberry Storm, Android and Palm Pre friendly).  This should give users of these devices a much improved user experience, including faster load times. Click the images below to view full size.

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