DEFENSE AND SPACE
Sierra Space and ESEN | June 30, 2022
Sierra Space, a leading commercial space company at the forefront of creating and building the future of space transportation and infrastructure for low-Earth orbit commercialization, the Turkish Space Agency and ESEN Sistem Entegrasyon announced today the signing of a new Memorandum of Cooperation. The three parties will combine efforts on Sierra’s Space’s low-Earth orbit, lunar and astronaut programs.
The MOC agreement outlines plans for Sierra Space and ESEN to work in partnership with the Turkish Space Agency for the next five years on a wide range of space technologies and applications, including the Dream Chaser® spaceplane and LIFE™ (Large Integrated Flexible Environment) habitat for future commercial LEO destinations.
“This agreement with the Turkish Space Agency and ESEN is another significant step for Sierra Space as we build a technology and business platform in LEO – and in doing so – deliver affordable access to space, opening the commercial space economy to the world. The work we do to advance human civilization has never been more important, and we have the unique opportunity in space to bring people together from across the world to pioneer next-generation space transportation, destinations and applications solutions.”
Sierra Space CEO Tom Vice
“The Turkish Space Agency is proud to partner with Sierra Space and ESEN to participate in the development and execution of Sierra Space’s various projects and space technologies including the Dream Chaser spaceplane, LIFE Habitat and a range of space applications,” added Serdar Hüseyin Yıldırım, President of the Turkish Space Agency. “There are tremendous benefits for our industries and future space projects by leveraging Sierra Space capabilities and technologies, and we look forward to further collaboration with Sierra Space to identify additional opportunities where we can be active participants in the future of commercial space’s infrastructure and economy.”
“Sierra Space is an industry leader in the commercial space economy, and we are delighted to continue our efforts with the company to help build the Turkish space economy,” commented Cem Ugur, Director General for ESEN. “As we work in partnership to further propel Sierra Space’s advanced technologies and commercial space projects, we can advance commercial space development for those all around the world.”
In November 2021, Sierra Space secured $1.4 billion in capital, the largest Series A capital raise in 2021 and the industry’s second largest private capital raise in history. The Series A investment was led by General Atlantic, Coatue and Moore Strategic Ventures, with participation from funds and accounts managed by BlackRock Private Equity Partners and AE Industrial Partners. The funding is accelerating the development of the company’s space transportation systems – led by the Dream Chaser® spaceplane, in-space destinations for LEO commercialization, and advanced technologies and space applications, together forming a technology and business platform in space.
About Sierra Space
Sierra Space is a leading commercial space company that is building platforms in space to benefit life on Earth. With more than 30 years and 500 missions of space flight heritage, Sierra Space is enabling the future of space transportation with Dream Chaser®, the world’s only winged commercial spaceplane. Expected to launch in 2023 on a series of NASA missions, Dream Chaser can safely carry cargo - and eventually crew - to on-orbit destinations, returning to land on compatible commercial airport runways worldwide. Sierra Space is also building the LIFE™ habitat, a three-story commercial habitation and science platform designed for low Earth orbit (LEO). Both Dream Chaser and LIFE are central components to Orbital Reef, a mixed-use business park in LEO being developed by principal partners Sierra Space and Blue Origin, which is expected to be operational by 2027.
ESEN, established in 2012 as an affiliated company of Sierra Nevada Corporation develops innovative engineering solutions for aerospace, defense and security markets. ESEN products to date include GöRDES Vision Based Navigation, HFDF, Airborne COMINT, MMR, T2CAS Systems, Wide Area Surveillance Applications and GöKHUN UAS. ESEN continues to seek engineering challenges to create innovative state of the art products.
DEFENSE AND SPACE
American Water | August 02, 2022
American Water the nation’s largest publicly traded water and wastewater utility company, is proud to announce a significant milestone for its Unmanned Aerial System Program. American Water has been granted a Federal Aviation Administration waiver to fly Beyond Visual Line of Sight. This waiver will allow American Water to fly 4-miles from the UAS pilot providing the company with the opportunity to enhance its monitoring of source water and potential environmental threats to the water supply.
“This waiver is a significant and exceptionally rare achievement for American Water and our UAS program. Annually, American Water captures more than 500,000 images & aerial maps of its assets through our drone program. These images help us monitor our systems and continue to provide our customers with safe, reliable water and wastewater service.”
Christopher Kahn, Director of UAS, American Water
American Water also places a significant emphasis on aviation safety. The company utilizes an aviation Safety Management System (SMS), and its pilots receive up to 250 hours of initial training, depending on complexity of airframe and mission. Beyond training, the SMS provides a structured means of safety risk management decision making.
In addition to source water monitoring, American Water intends to utilize BVLOS for emergency response activities. “As a water utility, many of our critical facilities are low-lying and can be inaccessible for extended periods of time during flooding events,” Kahn says, “Our long-range mapping and inspection airframes, the Censys Technologies Sentaero BVLOS V2, provides the ability to safely inspect facilities from miles away, while staying in the air for well over an hour.”
"American Water earning this FAA approval is important for the integration of drones in the national airspace because it is an example of enterprise operation standardization across multiple applications,” says Trevor Perrott, CEO & Co-Founder Censys Technologies. “Through American Water's leadership, our country is another step closer to making safe BVLOS drone missions commonplace. The exciting part is the story doesn't end here."
American Water is currently working closely with several government agencies and partner organizations to enable BVLOS UAS missions during Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR), which are commonly in place after natural disasters.
About American Water
With a history dating back to 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly traded water and wastewater utility company. The company employs approximately 6,400 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and regulated-like drinking water and wastewater services to an estimated 14 million people in 24 states. American Water provides safe, clean, affordable, and reliable water services to our customers to help keep their lives flowing.
About Censys Technologies
Censys Technologies Corporation builds remote sensing hardware and software solutions for UAS service providers, enterprise organizations and government entities. This includes the Sentaero family of products – which is the UAV performance and value leader in the fields of agriculture, infrastructure monitoring, disaster relief and public safety. Created by three Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University alumni in 2017, Censys Technologies’ priorities are centered on understanding customer needs and delivering technology and products that will perform and grow their business – bringing intelligence to business from beyond the horizon.
Alaska Airlines | August 04, 2022
Alaska Airlines announcedvit has finalized an agreement with biofuel company Gevo Inc., to purchase its most significant sustainable aviation fuel offtake commitment to date – 185 million gallons of SAF over five years starting in 2026. This agreement was developed alongside others in the oneworld alliance.
"Using sustainable aviation fuel is a significant part of Alaska's five-part path to reach net zero carbon emissions, and alongside others in the oneworld alliance, we are committed to creating a more sustainable future for aviation. SAF is the most immediate path we have toward decarbonization of aviation, but we recognize there is significant work required ahead – including public policy action – to make SAF a viable, affordable option at scale."
Diana Birkett Rakow, senior vice president of public affairs and sustainability at Alaska Airlines
"Alaska is proud to play a role in advancing this critical market for sustainable aviation fuels," said Ann Ardizzone, vice present of supply chain at Alaska Airlines. "Making SAF commercially viable at scale requires strong partners and action on all fronts. We appreciate the partnership of suppliers like Gevo in tackling this challenge."
In April 2021, Alaska announced the company's commitment and roadmap to achieve carbon net zero by 2040, and established a five-part path to achieve that goal. The path includes operational efficiency, fleet renewal, sustainable aviation fuel, electric or hybrid-electric aircraft over the long term and credible carbon offsets only as needed to achieve our targets if technology does not advance fast enough to close the gap without. Of this path, sustainable aviation fuel provides the greatest opportunity to decarbonize in the near and medium term, and Alaska has been working for over a decade to first test and then use SAF.
In 2016, Alaska and Gevo made history by flying the world's first commercial flight using forest residuals from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C., powered by a 20 percent blend of SAF. Today, Alaska is using SAF in its operations in California and works with multiple producers and other partners to use and facilitate the development of additional SAF supply in the future.
Alaska's most recent ESG report – its Care Report – outlines more detail on its goals and progress, and details specific challenges and actions needed to advance SAF.
In September 2020, oneworld became the first global airline alliance to announce a target of carbon neutrality by 2050, establishing its commitment to long-term sustainability for the industry. The alliance followed up that commitment with an intermediate goal to achieve 10% SAF use across the member airlines by 2030.
About Alaska Airlines
Alaska Airlines and our regional partners serve more than 120 destinations across the United States, Belize, Canada, Costa Rica and Mexico, low fares and award-winning customer service. Alaska is a member of the oneworld global alliance. With the alliance and our additional airline partners, guests can travel to more than 1,000 destinations on more than 20 airlines while earning and redeeming miles on flights to locations around the world. Learn more about Alaska at news.alaskaair.com. Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air are subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group.
Gevo's mission is to transform renewable energy and carbon into energy-dense liquid hydrocarbons. These liquid hydrocarbons can be used for drop-in transportation fuels such as gasoline, jet fuel and diesel fuel, that when burned have potential to yield net-zero greenhouse gas emissions when measured across the full life cycle of the products. Gevo uses low-carbon renewable resource-based carbohydrates as raw materials, and is in an advanced state of developing renewable electricity and renewable natural gas for use in production processes, resulting in low-carbon fuels with substantially reduced carbon intensity (the level of greenhouse gas emissions compared to standard petroleum fossil-based fuels across their life cycle). Gevo's products perform as well or better than traditional fossil-based fuels in infrastructure and engines, but with substantially reduced greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to addressing the problems of fuels, Gevo's technology also enables certain plastics, such as polyester, to be made with more sustainable ingredients. Gevo's ability to penetrate the growing low-carbon fuels market depends on the price of oil and the value of abating carbon emissions that would otherwise increase greenhouse gas emissions. Gevo believes that it possesses the technology and know-how to convert various carbohydrate feedstocks through a fermentation process into alcohols and then transform the alcohols into renewable fuels and materials, through a combination of its own technology, know-how, engineering, and licensing of technology and engineering from Axens North America, Inc., which yields the potential to generate project and corporate returns that justify the build-out of a multi-billion-dollar business. Gevo believes that the Argonne National Laboratory GREET model is the best available standard of scientific-based measurement for life cycle inventory or LCI.