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Metamaterial Technologies signs MoU with Airbus to defend against laser cockpit strikes

Metamaterial Technologies Signs MoU With Airbus To Defend Against Laser Cockpit Strikes

Airbus[1] wholly owned subsidiary Satair Group (Copenhagen, Denmark) and Metamaterial Technologies (MTI; Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada) and its optical filters division Lamda Guard (Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will lead to an exclusive multi-million dollar global distribution agreement to bring MTI’s laser protection product metaAIR to the civil aviation market.

RELATED ARTICLE: MetaAIR metamaterial film protects pilots from cockpit laser strikes[2]

metaAIR is nanofabricated as a flexible metamaterial optical filter[3] which can be applied to any transparent surface–such as the inner surface of an aircraft’s cockpit windscreen–to control unwanted light sources while not interfering with visibility. The filter deflects harmful laser beams aimed at aircraft[4] windscreens even at high power levels and from wide angles preventing the beam from reaching the inside of the aircraft cockpit. In addition to laser protection at night metaAIR may also feature new types of optical protections such as Ultraviolet ray protection for daytime operation at cruising altitudes, answering a long-established concern for many flight crews.

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Laser strikes on commercial aircraft have risen over the years and laser pointers[5] are increasing in power and decreasing in price. Lasers can distract and even harm pilots during critical phases of flight and can cause temporary visual impairment. Over 2000 laser incidents were recorded in the USA in the first four months alone of 2017 according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). In 2015 there were over 10,000 laser incidents reported to the FAA, the UK Civil Aviation Authority and Transport Canada. Satair Group’s involvement follows in the footsteps of two previous agreements signed between Airbus and MTI s Lamda Guard division over the past three years. In 2014 MTI entered Airbus Corporate Innovation’s Start-Up 2 Partner program which aims at building mutually beneficial partnerships with disruptive innovators and start-up companies. While setting the ground for future business arrangements, with the support of the Airbus Aircraft Security team, the program also evaluated, tested and tailored metaAIR for potential application on to its aircraft. Earlier this year, a new agreement for the validation, certification and commercialization of the product was announced. Satair Group is now moving this relationship to commercialization and will deploy its global presence and extended distribution and parts support services to all commercial aviation market segments with a full metaAIR service offering package.

Satair Group will choose an experienced partner for Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) development to ensure metaAIR meets airworthiness and certification requirements for different aircraft types. Certification approval initially from the FAA, European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA) is expected to be granted in early 2018 with other relevant jurisdictions following later.

The metaAIR product will be developed initially for the Airbus A320 family, followed shortly afterwards by all other Airbus and also Boeing types, as well as for other commercial airliners[6]. Satair Group also sees demand for this product coming from business and general aviation and rotary wing customers.

SOURCE: Metamaterial Technologies;[7]


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PEIUPSE says frontline staff and patients need protection

I applaud PEI s chief mental health and addictions officer, Dr. Heather Keizer, for her recent remarks about the state of mental health care on the Island. She is right to point out the need for decision makers to listen to those working on the frontlines, and she is right when she says ignoring this input will worsen the crisis in mental health. The Prince Edward Island Union of Public Sector Employees (PEI UPSE/NUPGE) represents a wide variety of health care professionals who are the frontline caregivers in our health care system. We hear on a regular basis from our members about the violence they experience in their workplaces and how they are made to feel it is just “part of the job.” Being assaulted or being put at serious risk of assault is not part of the job. The province needs to put measures in place to ensure the health and safety of staff, patients and the public in our hospitals and health care facilities. This includes providing sufficient staff, and the right staff, to deal with violent incidences such as the one that occurred most recently at the Hillsborough Hospital in Charlottetown. It s true that no one can predict violent outbursts, however; the employer needs to have the mechanisms in place to deal with these incidents when they occur. The security report commissioned by the province for Hillsborough Hospital recommended 88 much-needed upgrades to safely and adequately care for existing patients and forensic patients. In the past, forensic patients have been cared for at the East Coast Forensic Hospital in Nova Scotia. However, the plan now is to have them admitted to Hillsborough. Forensic patients are patients who have a mental illness and are involved with the criminal justice system.

With a forensic admission, the criteria changes in regard to safely managing their care. This means providing a safe working environment that protects frontline staff, the other patients, and the forensic patients themselves. The report estimated that the cost of these upgrades was $2.1 million. The upgrades are necessary to ensure the health and safety of front line staff, the residents and for providing a safe area to house forensic patients. Unfortunately, only $600,000 was provided for the upgrades. I understand the importance of providing a balanced budget for the province, however; this should not come at the expense of the health and safety of our frontline staff in the workplace. My members are experiencing the reality of dealing with violent admissions. When you have frontline workers telling decision makers that there is a crisis in mental health and addictions, and the leadership at our main hospitals agreeing that the system is in dire need, it s time to act. I would like to know what recommendations were ignored in the security report for Hillsborough Hospital, and who will be at risk because of government underfunding? As Dr. Keizer says, it s the staff and patients who are at risk. The funding provided falls short, ignores recommendations of the report that the province commissioned, and puts our members at risk. I am very concerned and believe it s only a matter of time until someone is seriously injured or worse.

Karen Jackson, President, PEI Union of Public Sector Employees (PEIUPSE/NUPGE)

Air National Guard Receives First HC-130J Combat King II (See in Action)

Air National Guard Receives First HC-130J Combat King II (See In Action)The U.S. Air National Guard received its first HC-130J Combat King II today. (Image Credit Amanda Mills, Lockheed Martin)

Airmen from the Alaska Air National Guard today accepted the first HC-130J Combat King II assigned to an U.S. Air National Guard unit at the Lockheed Martin facility here. This HC-130J will be operated by the 211th Rescue Squadron (RQS), 176th Wing stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. The 211th RQS previously operated legacy HC-130P aircraft to support personnel recovery missions in Alaska and the Pacific Theater.

These aircraft also act as aerial refuelers, providing support to the HH-60 Pave Hawk search-and-rescue helicopters that are also assigned to the 176th Wing.

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(See the C-130J in Action. Courtesy of Lockheed Martin and YouTube)

This is the first of four HC-130Js that will be delivered to the Alaska Guard.

The delivery of this HC-130J Combat King II represents a new era for both the Air National Guard and the Alaska Guard, said George Shultz, vice president and general manager, Air Mobility & Maritime Missions at Lockheed Martin.

This aircraft provides the increased capabilities and enhanced performance that is essential for these Airmen to support their search and rescue mission.

These men and women live their motto That Others May Live. We re proud the HC ‘130J Combat King fleet plays an essential role in supporting this commitment. The HC-130J replaces HC-130N/P aircraft as the only dedicated fixed-wing personnel recovery platform in the Air Force inventory. The HC-130J supports missions in all-weather and geographic environments, including reaching austere locations.

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(See More. First flight of the HC-130J Combat King II 29 July 2010. Courtesy of Lockheed Martin and YouTube)

The HC-130J is also tasked for airdrop, airland, helicopter air-to-air refueling and forward-area ground refueling missions. It also supports humanitarian aid operations, disaster response, security cooperation/aviation advisory, emergency aeromedical evacuation and noncombatant evacuation operations.

The HC-130J is also operated by active duty Air Combat Command personnel recovery units.

Air National Guard Receives First HC-130J Combat King II (See In Action)The HC-130J is one of eight production variants of the C-130J Super Hercules, which is the world s most proven and versatile airlifter. The C-130J is the airlifter of choice of 17 nations.

Learn more about the C-130J at[1].


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