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10 firms join Techstars 2021 Space Accelerator class

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SAN FRANCISCO –Techstars Space Accelerator launched its 2021 class June 7 with nine U.S. and one Australian company.

While some of the firms are squarely focused on the space sector, others are newcomers after discovering space applications for related technologies like quantum security, photonics, autonomy and communications.

“Many companies don’t initially realize they’re space companies,” Jonathan Fentzke, Techstars Space Accelerator managing director, told SpaceNews.

PixSpan, for example, has largely concentrated on compressing and transmitting imagery files for movies and television,” said Michael Rowny, PixSpan founder and CEO. Only in the last couple of years has PixSpan recognized that Earth-observation companies grapple with many of the same issues.

Government agencies and commercial firms transferring high-resolution imagery from satellites to the ground struggle with limited bandwidth.

“There’s a lot of data there that needs to go to the cloud. We help make that go faster without losing a bit,” Rowny said.

Similarly, Sea Satellites is a San Diego firm that sells and rents autonomous maritime vessels. The firm’s autonomous vehicle technology could be applied to spacecraft proximity operations or outer planet missions, Fentzke said.

The Techstars Space Accelerator class includes:

  • Hypersonic defense company Hyperkelp Engineering of San Clemente, California;
  • Hyperspec.ai, a San Francisco firm that sells sensor kits for autonomous system;
  • Sydney-based Nicslab, a specialist in remote control of scientific instruments;
  • Pierce Aerospace of Indianapolis, which develops digital identification technology and networks;
  • PixSpan, a Rockville, Maryland, firm with data-compression expertise;
  • QuSecure, a San Mateo, California, cybersecurity company focused on quantum threats;
  • Scout of Alexandria, Virginia, a company developing observation systems to safeguard objects in orbit; and
  • SeaSatellites, an autonomous surface vessel company.

Like the 2020 class, the 2021 Techstars Space Accelerator class plans to meet virtual for the most part.

Arrow Electronics, SAIC, Lockheed Martin, IAI North America and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory signed on as partners working with the 2021 class.

In 2019, Techstars and Starburst Aerospace worked together to establish a new space accelerator. In 2020, Techstars backed the Techstars Starburst Space Accelerator and the Techstars Allied Space Accelerator.

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Source: https://spacenews.com/10-firms-join-techstars-2021-space-accelerator-class/

Aerospace

SES strengthens Amazon Web Services cloud partnership

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TAMPA, Fla. — SES has expanded its partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS), enabling satellite customers to connect directly to its cloud-based applications.

According to SES, it is the first satellite operator to pass technical and business reviews for directly connecting with AWS cloud services, without going through a virtual private network (VPN).

The company said its ‘AWS Direct Connect’ partner status gives customers on its satellite network, which operates in geostationary (GEO) and medium earth orbit (MEO), a dedicated connection to AWS at speeds from 50 megabits per second up to 100 gigabits per second.

Other cloud providers run similar programs for directly connecting satellite networks to their services.

In September 2019, SES said it became an ‘ExpressRoute’ partner for Microsoft’s Azure cloud services.

These partnerships enable satellite customers to efficiently run applications from areas with limited for no terrestrial communications, while giving cloud providers a backup network if their fiber or other infrastructure fails.

SpaceX recently said it would install ground stations in Google’s data centers for its Starlink broadband satellites as part of their cloud partnership.

SES is also jointly investing in ground stations for Azure Orbital, Microsoft’s managed service solution for operating satellites.

Amazon has a similar service called AWS Ground Station and is also planning its own satellite broadband constellation, Project Kuiper.

Achieving AWS Direct Connect Partner status is another milestone in our cloud-first strategy to provide customers with direct access to multiple cloud providers so they have flexibility to run workloads in different clouds based on region, function, use case or other business factors,” said JP Hemingway, CEO of SES Networks. 

“Our multi-orbit network provides a combination of global coverage and high-performance, low-latency connections that can get customers’ data into AWS from nearly anywhere.”


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Source: https://spacenews.com/ses-strengthens-amazon-web-services-cloud-partnership/

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Op-ed | NOAA is stalling U.S. space traffic management

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As demonstrated by the uncontrolled reentry of a Chinese rocket last month, irresponsible space activities can put billions of dollars and human life at risk. Recognizing the reality of increasing space activities and the need for the national security community to focus its resources on security threats, the Trump administration issued Space Policy Directive 3 (SPD-3), “National Space Traffic Management Policy” in 2018. The Department of Commerce was tasked to create an “open architecture data repository” (OADR) to provide basic space situational awareness (SSA) and space traffic management (STM) services, functions historically provided by the U.S. military. This policy was intended to allow Commerce to focus on enabling growth in the U.S. commercial space industry while allowing the national security community to focus on threats in and from space.

The National Space Council developed SPD-3 through an in-depth interagency process that recognized the Department of Defense faces modernization challenges with legacy systems and rejected oversimplified comparisons between space traffic and air traffic. The open architecture approach was intentionally designed to enable massive data fusion, leverage the most advanced analytic tools and encourage continuous innovation for a rapidly changing space environment. The major elements of SPD-3 echo similar interagency discussions that also occurred during the Obama administration and which are reflected in the 2020 National Space Policy.

In 2020, Congress commissioned a study by the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) to identify the appropriate agency to take on the STM job. After a six-month effort, NAPA concluded that Commerce was best positioned to perform the work. Building on that endorsement, Commerce began making progress on standing up a STM data repository. Requests for information were issued and an industry day event attracted more than 250 participants offering services across the value chain of SSA and space safety. There was no need for a lengthy or expensive development program at government expense; American industry was ready to start providing space data, storage and services immediately.

Unfortunately, fulfilling that vision has hit a roadblock in Commerce’s fiscal year 2022 budget request, specifically in the Office of Space Commerce. Instead of spending $10-15 million for commercial space traffic data and services, as recommended by NAPA, the budget for the entire office remains at $10 million, with no funds for commercial data. Rather than begin populating an open repository with commercial data, NOAA is using fiscal year 2021 funds to pay for more studies by three federally funded research and development centers, revisiting the topics of the NAPA study, and talking vaguely of a future pilot program. These funding cuts come on top of personnel changes at the Office of Space Commerce that threaten the ability to meet its SSA and STM responsibilities.

Ensuring the long-term sustainability of space activities has been a priority for multiple administrations and SPD-3 was the end result of a near decade of effort. NOAA’s current approach is wasting both money and time, with the latter being especially harmful in today’s highly competitive environment. Existing systems can barely handle the more than 4,600 satellites in orbit now, let alone the nearly 100,000 satellites planned for launch over the next decade. Ceding U.S. leadership on this means either accepting more accidents and collisions in space or relying on another country to create an international solution at some indeterminate time in the future. The European Commission has multiple STM studies that could create potential barriers to U.S. industry-led technical standards, and there are Russian and Chinese proposals that would, at best, be opposed to an open architecture and, at worst, be hostile to U.S. industry.

We stand at inflection point with four options: 1) proceed with the open architecture data repository as directed in SPD-3 and rely on commercial industry, 2) create a unique U.S. government solution at much greater cost and delay with far lower flexibility to change with technology advances, 3) rely on uncertain foreign or international systems, or 4) have satellite owner/operators pursue their own solutions outside of governments.

Commerce does not need a traditional “program of record,” nor should it repackage legacy solutions that will only fail to address existing and growing data deficits; rather, it should seek to buy “space situational awareness as a service.” Large constellations such as Starlink, OneWeb, and Kuiper require more precise and timely data than U.S. Space Command provides and private sources for such data already exist. While it would be preferable, for a host of policy and diplomatic reasons, to have a trusted Commerce-sponsored data repository, the government is not vital to closing the business case for SSA data. But it should encourage new commercial services such as orbit optimization, proximity coordination, attribution and others as part of an entirely new space safety industry. An open data approach also encourages secondary industries, like insurance, through improved risk assessments for different orbits and constellations.

There are some aspects of STM, such as assuring compliance with international law and supporting research, where government is necessary. However, unlike NOAA weather satellites, there is no technical, economic or policy reason for SSA data to be a government monopoly. The OADR could be created using plentiful cloud storage services, ingested data from U.S. Space Command and NOAA’s own Space Weather Prediction Center, and a variety of existing commercial data sources. In effect, Commerce could create “space sustainability services version 1.0,” and periodically iterate with block upgrades as civil, commercial and international capabilities evolve.

For our security and our prosperity, it is vital that the United States lead the world in ensuring the long-term sustainability of space activities. This requires new levels of SSA commensurate with a growing, dynamic environment. If the new leadership at Commerce is unable to overcome the inertia at NOAA, then Congress may need to be more directive with funding and time tables. If the government fails to create a trusted, open data repository, the commercial space sector and its investors will need to create their own solutions, which may or may not be emulated by other countries. Regardless, this is an urgent issue in which government must either lead or get out of the way.

Scott Pace is a former Executive Secretary of the National Space Council and Director of the Space Policy Institute at the Elliott School of International Affairs.

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Source: https://spacenews.com/op-ed-noaa-is-stalling-u-s-space-traffic-management/

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Jamco highlights machining capabilities for aerospace

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Jamco highlights machining capabilities for aerospace

Jamco America, an aircraft interior products supplier and turnkey integrator, has highlighted its extensive machining capabilities that enables the company to meet rapid turnaround times and extensive customisation needs.

In addition to internal product development and fabrication projects for its aerospace customers, the Jamco America machine shop is available for contract projects from the aerospace industry.

In nearly 30 years of operation, the Jamco machine shop has expanded its capabilities from basic machining to extensive, cutting edge equipment. The shop’s capabilities include: sheetmetal bending, profiling, and forming; countersinking, dimpling, riveting, and other preparations for sub-assembly; large 4-axis Horizontal milling and machining; smaller 3- and 4-axis Vertical machining; and lathe turning for round components. The large 4-axis machine centres hold 240 tools each, and are accompanied by an automated 36 pallet cell, for highly flexible, efficient milling 24/7, ensuring rapid turnaround time.

One of the shop’s capabilities is delivered by its freeform CNC tube bender, installed in summer 2020. This machine forms a round tube into a tubing frame, and is used to produce Jamco’s Venture business class seats with embedded aluminium edge trim. The shop also houses a digital cutter/router for composite materials, open cell core, textiles, and more. Used traditionally in the sign-making industry, Jamco has adapted this technology for aircraft seating and other innovative projects.

Thanks to its extensive machining capabilities, Jamco America is able to deliver products in rapid lead times. This rapid turnaround enables fast-paced product development, a necessity in aerospace and other highly demanding industries. The machine shop’s extensive capabilities enable Jamco to offer customizability, helping customers to differentiate their products from competitors.

www.jamco-america.com

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Source: https://www.aero-mag.com/jamco-highlights-machining-capabilities-for-aerospace/

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Henkel and Boeing partner on adhesive for aircraft interiors

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Henkel and Boeing partner on adhesive for aircraft interiors

Henkel, a leader in structural adhesives and surface treatments for aircraft OEMs and MRO industries, recently collaborated with Boeing to develop Loctite EA 9365FST, a new two-part epoxy adhesive that reinforces and bonds thermoplastic and thermoset substrates and can serve as a matrix resin on fiberglass to strengthen the thin walls of thermoplastic assemblies.

Developed for use in aircraft interiors, the halogen and antimony-free adhesive meets industry fire retardancy, smoke density and toxicity (FST) requirements, is REACH and EH&S compliant worldwide, and is qualified to Boeing process specification BAC 5568.

Loctite EA 9365FST cures in just 2 hours at 70°C or in seven days at room temperature. The adhesive offers good mechanical performance when bonding properly treated thermoplastics and thermosets to a range of other substrates. This user-friendly epoxy provides an excellent balance of adhesion performance and FST compliance. Designed not to yellow over time, the product is paintable, delivering good colour performance with less show-through than older adhesive formulations.

When used as a matrix resin, Loctite EA 9365FST easily wets out fiberglass, strengthening thin thermoplastic assembly walls for enhanced structural support in interior applications including wall, ceiling and floor panels; compartments and cabin stowage; galleys; lavatories; and seating. The product is available globally and has targeted applications in commercial aviation, defense and rail applications.

“Loctite EA 9365FST is a high-tech, FR and FST-qualified technology that has expanded Henkel’s already robust paste adhesive portfolio,” explained William Smoot, technical account manager at Henkel Adhesive Technologies. “This product answered a need at Boeing and across the aerospace and rail industries for critical flame retardancy, toxicity and smoke suppression adhesives for cabin interiors. Product safety and sustainability are increasingly important. This product is sustainable and REACH-compliant with no halogens or other hazardous chemistries.”

www.henkel-adhesives.com

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