AVIATION TECHNOLOGY

SpaceLink Names Axiom Space as Implementation Partner for Demo of its End-to-End Relay Service on the ISS

SpaceLink | February 18, 2022

Aviation News
SpaceLink, a company that is building the communications superhighway for the growing space economy, announced it has named Axiom Space as its Implementation Partner for demonstration of its end-to-end communications relay service on the International Space Station. SpaceLink completed an agreement with the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), manager of the International Space Station (ISS) National Laboratory, last year, and signed its subcontract with Axiom last week, making Axiom the liaison to ensure that all interfaces and system requirements meet NASA standards.

The SpaceLink demonstration will validate the use of a 10 Gigabit per second optical terminal for real-time voice, video, and data relay for ISS crew, onboard systems, and experiments. Last August, SpaceLink announced that it was selected by CASIS for a demonstration on the ISS under an agreement that is now fully executed.

"Team members who bring years of ISS experience to Axiom have made Axiom the ideal partner for our demonstration. As with many developments that begin with government support, commercial space stations and the networks that serve them are the future.  It is an honor to work with the ISS National Laboratory and Axiom to further this important transition."

- David Bettinger, SpaceLink CEO.

As Implementation Partner, Axiom will leverage its expertise in working with NASA and the ISS National Laboratory to support mission integration, launch, and operations for the SpaceLink payload. Axiom will support SpaceLink as a liaison with NASA and will lead safety reviews to ensure SpaceLink hardware meets the requirements for the ISS.

The SpaceLink relay network is designed to pick up where NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) leaves off and go beyond with unprecedented capability that leverages the latest technology advances in optical communications.

"High-speed communication will be a critical component for the future where people live and work in space, Axiom looks forward to collaborating with SpaceLink and supporting its relay network, beginning with this important demonstration on the ISS."
- Axiom President and CEO Michael Suffredini,

With the proliferation of spacecraft in Low Earth Orbit, the demand for fast, continuous, high-capacity connectivity continues to grow. SpaceLink is designed to help close the business case for commercial space stations, Earth observation companies, satellite servicers, launch vehicles, space tugs, and lunar communications. It also meets requirements for the U.S. Government and close allies that want to leverage secure industry solutions to maximize capabilities.

About SpaceLink
SpaceLink will help advance humanity to a new age of space commerce, exploration, environmental awareness, and security. The Always in Sight™ data relay system provides global coverage to empower space system operators to maximize use of their assets. SpaceLink Corporation is headquartered in the Washington DC area and has offices in Silicon Valley, California. It is a wholly owned U.S. subsidiary of Electro Optic Systems Holdings Limited, a public company traded on the Australian stock exchange.

Spotlight

Boeing has secured another order to round out the calendar year, another sizeable commitment for the 737 MAX series. Please tune in to find out the customer, delivery schedule and how it's essential for the program!

Spotlight

Boeing has secured another order to round out the calendar year, another sizeable commitment for the 737 MAX series. Please tune in to find out the customer, delivery schedule and how it's essential for the program!

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AEROSPACE

Ampaire Flies First Hybrid-Electric Regional Aircraft

Ampaire | November 21, 2022

Ampaire's Eco Caravan, a nine-seat regional aircraft, made its first flight today on a fully-integrated hybrid-electric propulsion system. Ampaire expects it to be the first electrified regional aircraft to enter commercial service (certification in 2024) and the first in a series of larger Ampaire hybrid-electric aircraft that will lead a transition to sustainable aviation. "Aviation is the hardest industry to decarbonize, Fully-electric aircraft are range limited because of the weight and energy capacity of current-generation batteries. Hybrid-electric aircraft, however, can preserve the range and utility of today's aircraft. That is why we are focused on hybrid-electric propulsion for a series of increasingly capable regional aircraft. It's a way for the airline industry to decarbonize more quickly and also to benefit from lower operating costs." Ampaire CEO Kevin Noertker. Today's landmark achievement adds momentum to a program that has attracted key customers and program participants in recent months. In October, the company announced a relationship with Air France Industries KLM Engineering and Maintenance (AFI KLM E&M) for a range of worldwide maintenance service and support activities. Also last month, Ampaire received an order from MONTE, a financier of sustainable regional aviation technologies, for up to 50 Eco Caravans. "These types of relationships ensure that Ampaire's customers worldwide have compelling financing and leasing support alongside world class maintenance/repair/overhaul support," said Noertker. A "smooth and quiet" first flight The Eco Caravan upgrades the standard Cessna Grand Caravan with Ampaire's integrated propulsion system of a compression ignition engine and an electric engine. A battery pack in a body fairing preserves passenger and cargo capacity for the aircraft. The first flight was 33 minutes in duration to make initial checks of the propulsion system. With test pilot Elliot Seguin at the controls, the Eco Caravan took off from Camarillo Airport north of Los Angeles at 7:49AM PST. It climbed to 3,500 feet at full power, combining power from the combustion engine and electric engine. Seguin then throttled back to a cruise setting, reducing load on both power sources. He spent roughly 20 minutes testing various power settings while studying temperatures and other readings before making a descent and final approach to Camarillo at a low power setting. "The Eco Caravan propulsion system performed just as expected," said Seguin. "It was smooth and quiet. All temperature and power output readings were normal. Net Zero Emissions with SAF The Eco Caravan reduces fuel consumption and emissions by up to 70 percent. Emissions are near zero when using sustainable aviation fuel. Cost of operation is reduced by 25 to 40 percent depending on airline route structure. Cost per available seat mile is near that of driving. The hybrid-electric aircraft preserves the range/payload capability of the Grand Caravan, and in fact can fly farther than the Grand Caravan with eight passengers. Maximum range is beyond 1,000 miles. The Eco Caravan's range and load hauling capability is in marked contrast to proposed all-electric, hydrogen-electric and even other hybrid-electric designs. The Eco Caravan can recharge its batteries in flight or at a charging stations on the ground. Because charging infrastructure will be limited for some years, the ability to operate independent of ground charging is critical for preserving the full utility of the Eco Caravan. The first in a new generation of sustainable electrified aircraft The Eco Caravan's propulsion technology is scalable to larger regional aircraft and ultimately to single-aisle airliners. Ampaire plans to rapidly roll out more powerful propulsion systems for larger aircraft, following a building blocks approach that will dramatically improve the sustainability of airline operations. As proud as we are of the Eco Caravan, we see it as a first step to larger hybrid-electric propulsions systems and ultimately zero-emission systems as energy storage technology advances," said Noertker. First to market Ampaire is already working with the FAA to certify the Eco Caravan in 2024 under a supplemental type certificate, an STC. The Ampaire approach differs from others in that it does not require a full aircraft certification program, which can be time consuming and very expensive. The Grand Caravan is already FAA certified. Ampaire will certify it to fly with a new propulsion system. Launching hybrid-electric aviation is no simple task, but we have made it easier by upgrading an already certified aircraft," said Noertker. "We will come to market more quickly and allow airlines around the world to begin to gain operational experience with this new type of propulsion. And we will work with them on follow-on models to meet their network requirements. About Ampaire Los Angeles-based Ampaire was formed in 2016 with a mission to become the world's most-trusted developer of practical, compelling electric aircraft. The company is upgrading existing passenger aircraft to hybrid electric power–the quickest, most capital efficient approach to making commercial electric air travel a reality with available technology. Ampaire has scored a series of industry firsts since the 2019 maiden flight of its Electric EEL technology testbed aircraft, including the longest flight for a hybrid-electric aircraft--1,135 statute miles en-route from Los Angeles to Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

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AIR TRANSPORT

AvAir with Sanad Provides One of the World’s Largest Component Exchange Pool

AvAir | January 24, 2023

On January 23, 2023, one of the leaders in aviation aftermarket industry solutions provider, AvAir, completed an agreement with Sanad, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mubadala Investment Company (Mubadala). The agreement is to provide asset management solutions for a vast assortment of Airbus, Boeing, and Embraer components. In addition, the material is made available for exchange to AvAir's worldwide customers' network. Sanad Group and AvAir will provide one of the world's largest component exchange pool, allowing customers access to overhaul and serviceable components whenever and wherever needed. AvAir has been in business for the past 22 years, and offers customers and suppliers customized solutions to buy, sell, trade, loan, lease, or consign more than 26 million in-stock parts. The company has received certifications such as ISO 9001, AS9120, and ASA 100, and it follows the highest quality standards in every step: buying, receiving, stocking, selling, and shipping. Steven Solomon, AvAir Vice President of Sales, said, "We are pleased to announce this new program with Sanad that will greatly increase the inventory that we are able to offer to our customers on an exchange basis." He additionally mentioned, "The aviation industry needs a viable solution to address the long lead times on component repairs caused by the recent disruption in global supply chains. The material made available through our pool will keep our customers flying while their components undergo the lengthy repair process." (Source: Cision) About AvAir The customized inventory solution provider, AvAir, is a global leader in the aviation aftermarket. The company was founded in 2000 and headquartered in Chandler, Arizona. It provides inventory solutions to airlines, OEMs, and MROs. The company has been identified as Parts Supplier of the Year for the last three consecutive years by Airline Economics, one of the leading industry trade publications. It has also won the Environmental Sustainability award for two years in a row from The Aviation 100 for its work on sustainability.

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AVIATION TECHNOLOGY

Archer Selects Molicel to Supply Battery Cells for its Production Midnight™ Aircraft

Archer | November 17, 2022

Archer Aviation Inc., a leader in electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, and E-One Moli Energy Corp. (Molicel), an industry-leading supplier of lithium-ion battery cells, today announced they have entered into a memorandum of understanding for Molicel to manufacture and supply the battery cells for Archer’s production electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, Midnight. Archer is focused on building an aircraft tailored to the needs of intra-city travel, optimizing its Midnight aircraft to perform back-to-back short distance flights of about 20 miles with approximately 10-minute charging cycles in-between. Batteries are an important consideration in achieving Midnight’s desired payload, range and charging time. The ability to operate eVTOL aircraft in dense, urban environments requires state-of-the-art, reliable battery cells that can deliver high power, low impedance and fast charging capabilities. Molicel’s advanced battery technology and fast growing production capacity make them an ideal partner for Archer as it continues on its ramp to commercialization. Last year, Molicel announced plans to establish its first Gigafactory in Taiwan, which is scheduled to ramp up production in 2023. The facility will have the capacity to produce 1.8 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of battery capacity annually. Molicel's high-performance cells also offer a significant cycle life when utilized in Archer's battery pack and, as a result, reduce the long-term operating cost for its Midnight production aircraft. Partnering with a world-class battery supplier that can reliably manufacture cells at scale, allows Archer to reduce its certification risk, as well as its development timelines and costs. “Molicel understands that safety and reliability are paramount but that we still must ensure we are living up to our shared values of social responsibility and sustainability, We’re proud to leverage Molicel’s 40+ years of high volume manufacturing experience in the battery industry to deliver on the promise of the electrification of the aviation industry and further Archer’s mission to unlock the skies - freeing everyone to reimagine how they move and spend time.” Adam Goldstein, Archer’s CEO. With this relationship with Molicel, Archer continues its push towards commercialization. Archer now has more than 64% of its suppliers for its bill-of-materials selected, including many global leaders in the design, development and manufacturing of aircraft components. Molicel is devoted to work as battery cells’ key partner for leading players in eVTOL application. By the collaboration with Archer today, it shows a good model that our high performance power cell technology, state-of-the-art commercial production capabilities and expansion plans are key values that we add on to partners. We hope to see the great impact that Midnight will introduce to the marketplace technology wise, safety wise and most importantly, to prove a profitable business model which a new technology can offer to the world while being sustainable and responsible for the environment, said Casey Shiue, President of Molicel. Molicel’s 40 years of industry leading experience in the battery industry, as well as its fast growing production capacity, were decisive factors in Archer’s decision to select Molicel to supply batteries for Midnight. Molicel focuses on demanding, high-performance applications of its batteries, with its technology already in use across space, advanced automotive and power tool applications. About Archer Archer is designing and developing electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft for use in urban air mobility networks. Archer’s mission is to unlock the skies, freeing everyone to reimagine how they move and spend time. Archer's team is based in Santa Clara, CA. To learn more, visit www.archer.com. About MOLICEL With over 40 years’ rechargeable lithium-ion knowhow and innovative technology research and development, MOLICEL® is famous for its excellent power density product which presents high discharge and fast charge capability balanced with good energy density. The company has been recognized as the first choice for world leading makers in applications such as sports car/motorcycle, VTOL, aerospace and heavy-duty tools. MOLICEL®’s R&D and engineers hold core competences in material research, cell design and advanced manufacturing along with testing capability. These four cornerstones make this medium size but tech-leading cell maker stands in a very competitive position in the market. MOLICEL® belongs to the energy business of Taiwan Cement Corporation (TCC). TCC is the first listing company in Taiwan stock market. The group has business units in the field of power plant, renewable energy and BESS.

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