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.
DEFENSE AND SPACE
Raytheon Technologies | July 28, 2022
Raytheon Technologies' corporate venture capital group, RTX Ventures, signed an agreement to invest in VerdeGo Aero to accelerate the development of hybrid-electric propulsion technologies for advanced air mobility applications. This investment will also provide opportunities for VerdeGo Aero to collaborate with Pratt & Whitney on future product development.
Established in 2017, the Daytona Beach, Fla.-based company specializes in delivering powerplants that efficiently convert jet fuel or sustainable aviation fuel into electric power, enabling greater performance and mission capability for a wide range of electric aircraft segments including drones, electric vertical-take-off-and landing short-take-off-and-landing (STOL) aircraft, regional aircraft, and high-speed VTOL airframes. VerdeGo Aero's current hybrid powertrain programs range from 150kW up to multiple megawatts of continuous electrical output.
"Delivering sustainable aviation technologies to help our customers bend the emissions curve remains one of Raytheon Technologies' most important priorities," said Daniel Ateya, managing director of RTX Ventures. "Our investment represents one of the ways we're working to deliver a more sustainable future."
RTX Ventures is the lead investor in VerdeGo Aero's $12 million Series A funding round, which will support VerdeGo Aero's expansion and development of its growing portfolio of hybrid-electric powertrain systems, including the VH-3 185kW powerplant. Other investors participating in the funding round include DiamondStream Partners, Avfuel Technology Initiatives Corporation, Seyer Industries, and Standish Spring Investments.
"VerdeGo Aero is excited about the opportunity to continue to develop technologies that convert aircraft engines into hybrid powerplants, and to expand our portfolio offerings and customer base. As VerdeGo continues its recruiting of technical and commercial aerospace experts, our growing team is looking forward to leveraging a strong relationship with Pratt & Whitney to address the needs of the hybrid-electric aircraft segment at multiple power levels."
Eric Bartsch, CEO of VerdeGo Aero
VerdeGo Aero is currently developing its third generation of full-scale hybrid-electric powerplant hardware, having already delivered pre-production powerplants for flight test operations. Employing a high-speed development culture, the company is significantly expanding its team of industry-leading electric propulsion experts, creating numerous opportunities for engineering, marketing, finance, and project management professionals working among a world-class team of innovators.
"VerdeGo Aero is helping to pioneer the emerging field of hybrid-electric propulsion technology, which has an important role to play in enabling the aviation industry's goal of reaching net zero CO2 emissions by 2050," said Graham Webb, chief sustainability officer at Pratt & Whitney. "This investment has promising potential to enhance our technology and capability in segments of our small engine business while moving quickly and nimbly to advance our hybrid-electric propulsion strategy."
About Raytheon Technologies
Raytheon Technologies Corporation is an aerospace and defense company that provides advanced systems and services for commercial, military and government customers worldwide. With four industry-leading businesses ― Collins Aerospace, Pratt & Whitney, Raytheon Intelligence & Space and Raytheon Missiles & Defense ― the company delivers solutions that push the boundaries in avionics, cybersecurity, directed energy, electric propulsion, hypersonics and quantum physics. The company, formed in 2020 through the combination of Raytheon Company and the United Technologies Corporation aerospace businesses, is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia.
Velo3D | August 05, 2022
Velo3D, Inc. a leading metal additive manufacturing technology company for mission-critical parts, announced StarHagen, a provider of high-quality production parts for aerospace companies, has joined the Velo3D Contract Manufacturer Network with the purchase of an end-to-end solution from the additive manufacturing technology company. The Sapphire printer acquired by the company is calibrated to print in Inconel 625, a nickel-based superalloy designed for high-strength, and to resist high temperatures and corrosion.
“Our team has extensive experience manufacturing high-value parts for aerospace applications and to maintain our leadership position in the industry we knew we needed an additive manufacturing solution. In our evaluation of offerings on the market we found that none could exceed the capabilities delivered by Velo3D. The company’s unique capability of printing parts with minimal supports and its extensive adoption within the aerospace industry—including with some of our existing customers—gives us the confidence that we will be successful with our deployment.”
Scott Anderson, StarHagen Managing Director
StarHagen specializes in manufacturing with extreme precision for prototype and production volume manufacturing. In addition to its new Sapphire printer, the company also operates a variety of CNC machines, including those capable of 4 and 5-axis machining, which will enable it to provide complete turn-key parts for its customers. StarHagen has extensive experience working with various exotic alloys, including those commonly used in aerospace applications like Inconel 625. The company is AS9100 certified, giving its customers the confidence in quality they require.
“While Velo3D provides many OEM customers with additive manufacturing technology for their in-house machine shops, many aerospace companies prefer to obtain finished parts from known and trusted contract manufacturers,” said Benny Buller, Velo3D CEO and Founder. “StarHagen’s extensive experience in delivering high quality parts for mission-critical aerospace applications makes the company a great candidate for a Sapphire printer.”
Headquartered in Mooresville, N.C. StarHagen will be the first Velo3D Contract Manufacturer Network located on the eastern U.S. coast. Charlotte’s manufacturing industry has already experienced broad adoption of additive manufacturing. The city is home to several additive manufacturing service bureaus, which help customers with part design and other services.
StarHagen selected Velo3D in part due to its ease-of-use. Once operational, Velo3D Sapphire printers can easily be monitored by operators like those experienced in traditional CNC machining.
Velo3D is a metal 3D printing technology company. 3D printing—also known as additive manufacturing (AM)—has a unique ability to improve the way high-value metal parts are built. However, legacy metal AM has been greatly limited in its capabilities since its invention almost 30 years ago. This has prevented the technology from being used to create the most valuable and impactful parts, restricting its use to specific niches where the limitations were acceptable.