France seeks drones to detect, intercept battlefield radio communications

martes, 17 de noviembre de 2020


More Freighters Needed to Support Global Supply Chains and e-Commerce Expansion, Boeing says

 Boeing's press release

Boeing [NYSE: BA] today released its biennial World Air Cargo Forecast (WACF), reflecting COVID-19 impacts and opportunities as well as substantial long-term demand for freighters over the next two decades.

Enabled by a rebound in global trade and long-term growth, the WACF forecasts demand for 2,430 freighters over the next 20 years, including 930 new production freighters and 1,500 freighters converted from passenger airplanes.

According to the new forecast, world air cargo traffic will grow at 4% per year over the next 20 years. This growth is influenced by trade and growing express shipments to support expanding e-commerce operations. With these developments and the proven need for dedicated freighter capacity to support the world’s transportation system, the global air cargo fleet is expected to grow by more than 60% through 2039.

“Freighter operators have been in a unique position in 2020 to meet market requirements for speed, reliability and security, transporting medical supplies and other goods for people and communities around the world,” said Darren Hulst, vice president of Commercial Marketing. “Looking ahead, dedicated freighters will be even more critical to compete in air cargo markets; they carry more than half of air cargo traffic, and airlines operating them earn nearly 90% of air cargo industry revenue.”

In addition to projecting long-term demand for freighters, the WACF provides insights into air cargo performance during the pandemic, including the following:

  • E-commerce, which was growing at double-digit rates prior to the pandemic, has accelerated its impact on the air cargo market as more businesses shifted to online selling platforms. Year to date through September, express carriers increased traffic by 14%.
  • Passenger belly cargo, which in 2019 accounted for about half of the world air cargo capacity, was significantly reduced when airlines parked thousands of planes. Freighter operators responded by operating above normal utilization levels, and traffic for all-cargo carriers grew 6%.
  • So far in 2020, approximately 200 airlines used more than 2,000 passenger widebody aircraft for cargo-only operations to generate cash flow and support global supply chains. These passenger freighters have taken up some of the capacity shortfall and, in some cases, generated quarterly profits for carriers despite minimal passenger operations.

The full cargo market forecast can be found at

Boeing is the world's largest aerospace company and leading provider of commercial airplanes, defense, space and security systems, and global services. As a top U.S. exporter, the company supports commercial and government customers in more than 150 countries and leverages the talents of a global supplier base. Building on a legacy of aerospace leadership, Boeing continues to lead in technology and innovation, deliver for its customers and invest in its people and future growth.


New IATA Guidance Prepares for Global Vaccine Distribution

 press release

Geneva - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released guidance to ensure that the air cargo industry is ready to support the large-scale handling, transport and distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine. IATA’s Guidance for Vaccine and Pharmaceutical Logistics and Distribution provides recommendations for governments and the logistics supply chain in preparation for what will be the largest and most complex global logistics operation ever undertaken. 

Reflecting the complexity of the challenge, the Guidance was produced with the support of a broad range of partners, including  the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO),  International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA),  International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA), Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) , UK Civil Aviation Authority, World Bank,  World Customs Organization (WCO) and  World Trade Organization (WTO). The guidance includes a repository of international standards and guidelines related to the transport of vaccines and will be updated regularly as information is made available to the industry. Accompanying the guidance, IATA established a joint information-sharing forum for stakeholders.

“Delivering billions of doses of a vaccine that must be transported and stored in a deep-frozen state to the entire world efficiently will involve hugely complex logistical challenges across the supply chain.  While the immediate challenge is the implementation of COVID-19 testing measures to re-open borders without quarantine, we must be prepared for when a vaccine is ready.  This guidance material is an important part of those preparations,” said IATA’s Director General and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac.

Key challenges addressed in IATA’s Guidance for Vaccine and Pharmaceutical Logistics and Distribution include:

  • The availability of temperature-controlled storage facilities and contingencies when such facilities are not available
  • Defining roles and responsibilities of parties involved in the distribution of vaccines, particularly government authorities and NGOs, to assist safe, fast and equitable distribution as broadly as possible
  • Industry preparedness for vaccine distribution which includes:
    •  Capacity & Connectivity: The global route network has been reduced dramatically from the pre-COVID 22,000 city pairs. Governments need to re-establish air connectivity to ensure adequate capacity is available for vaccine distribution.
    • Facilities and infrastructure: The first vaccine manufacturer to apply for regulatory approval requires the vaccine to be shipped and stored in a deep-frozen state, making ultra-cold chain facilities across the supply chain essential. Some types of refrigerants are classified as a dangerous goods and volumes are regulated which adds an additional layer of complexity.  Considerations include availability of temperature-controlled facilities and equipment and staff trained to handle time- and temperature-sensitive vaccines.
    • Border management: Timely regulatory approvals and storage and clearance by customs and health authorities will be essential. Priorities for border processes include introducing fast-track procedures for overflight and landing permits for operations carrying the COVID-19 vaccine and potential tariff relief to facilitate the movement of the vaccine.
    • Security: Vaccines are highly valuable commodities. Arrangements must be in place to ensure that shipments remain secure from tampering and theft. Processes are in place already, but the huge volume of vaccine shipments will require early planning to ensure that they are scalable.


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UK government commissions space solar power stations research (Solar energy harvested in space)

 Press release

Solar energy harvested in space offers the potential for an unlimited and constant zero carbon power source 


The UK government has commissioned new research into space-based solar power (SBSP) systems that would use very large solar power satellites to collect solar energy, convert it into high-frequency radio waves, and safely beam it back to ground-based receivers connected to the electrical power grid.

It is an idea first conjured by science-fiction writer Isaac Asimov in 1941, and is now being studied by several nations because the lightweight solar panels and wireless power transmission technology is advancing rapidly. This, together with lower cost commercial space launch, may make the concept of solar power satellites more feasible and economically viable.

Now the UK in 2020 will explore whether this renewable technology could offer a resilient, safe and sustainable energy source.

Science Minister Amanda Solloway said:

Solar space stations may sound like science fiction, but they could be a game-changing new source of energy for the UK and the rest of the world.

This pioneering government-backed study will help shine a light on the possibilities for a space-based solar power system which, if successful, could play an important role in reducing our emissions and meeting the UK’s ambitious climate change targets.

The study, led by Frazer-Nash Consultancy, will consider the engineering and economics of such a system – whether it could deliver affordable energy for consumers, and the engineering and technology that would be required to build it. One of the biggest issues to overcome is assembling the massive satellites in orbit, which has not been done before at this scale.

Dr Graham Turnock, Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency, said:

The Sun never sets in space, so a space solar power system could supply renewable energy to anywhere on the planet, day or night, rain or shine. It is an idea that has existed for decades, but has always felt decades away.

The UK is growing its status as a global player in space and we have bold plans to launch small satellites in the coming years. Space solar could be another string to our bow, and this study will help establish whether it is right for the UK.

Historically, the cost of rocket launches and the weight that would be required for a project of this scale made the idea of space-based solar power unfeasible. But the emergence of privately-led space ventures has brought the cost of launch down dramatically in the last decade.

Martin Soltau, Space Business Manager at Frazer-Nash outlined what the study will involve:

Decarbonising our economy is vital. We need to explore new technologies to provide clean, affordable, secure and dependable energy for the nation. SBSP has the potential to contribute substantially to UK energy generation, and offers many benefits if it can be made practical and affordable.

Frazer-Nash is studying the leading international solar power satellite designs, and we will be drawing up the engineering plan to deploy an operational SBSP system by 2050. We are forming an expert panel, comprised of leading SBSP experts and space and energy organisations, to gain a range of industry views.

We will compare SBSP alongside other forms of renewable energy, to see how it would contribute as part of a future mix of clean energy technologies.

We have also partnered with Oxford Economics, who have significant experience in the space sector and who will provide additional insight to the economic assessment of the system, and the benefit to the UK economy.

As the effects of climate change become more pronounced, prominent research institutions and government agencies are focusing new money and attention on novel approaches to reduce global warming.

In 2019, Britain passed an important milestone, with more electricity generated from sources like wind, solar and nuclear power, that produce almost no carbon dioxide emissions, than from carbon-emitting fuels like natural gas and coal.

According to the World Resources Institute – a Washington-based non-profit that tracks climate change – Britain has reduced carbon dioxide generated in the country by about 40 per cent, which is more than any other major industrialised country.

As the National Space Council sets a new direction for our space policy, the UK Space Agency is committed to understanding the future opportunities space technologies open up.



OGMA an Embraer Group Company becomes new Pratt & Whitney Authorized Maintenance Center to support GTF engines

 press release

OGMA joins Pratt & Whitney’s Authorized Maintenance Center network, one of the world’s largest aircraft engine manufacturers • OGMA invests 74 million euros and starts to maintain GTF (Geared Turbofan) engines, used by the new generation of commercial aircraft, namely Airbus A320neo family, the Airbus A220, and the Embraer E190-E2 and E195-E2 • Project reinforces OGMA’s range of engine maintenance services, generates around 300 jobs over the next few years and allows OGMA an Embraer Group Company, turnover reach almost 600 million euros annually OGMA is the new authorized maintenance center for Pratt & Whitney engines, one of the world’s largest aircraft engine manufacturers. This is the culmination of a project developed by OGMA, with the support of Embraer, over the past 12 months, which allows it to expand its scope of services in the area of engine maintenance, marking the entry of Pratt & Whitney maintenance, repair and overhaul in Portugal. The contract between Pratt & Whitney and OGMA was formalized recently. The industrialization and training project to carry out the maintenance of Pratt & Whitney GTF™ (Geared Turbofan) PW1100G-JM engine is scheduled to start in 2021 and is expected to develop for the next two decades. Throughout the project, with higher incidence between 2022 and 2023, about 300 highly qualified direct jobs are expected to be created. OGMA will invest 74 million euros, mostly in the first four years of the project, in a strategic step that allows it to broaden its scope of activity in the area of engine maintenance and to achieve new business over the next decades, which will triple OGMA’s turnover and reach the level of 600 million euros annually. Alexandre Solis, CEO of OGMA says: “This is a historic milestone for OGMA, a company with more than 100 years of existence. By earning the trust of Pratt & Whitney, we are proving the expertise and experience of our teams, but we are also enabling OGMA to continue with a lasting operation in the coming decades. We are motivated and eager to start this relationship with Pratt & Whitney”. “We are excited to welcome OGMA to the GTF MRO network,” said Dave Emmerling, vice president, Commercial Aftermarket at Pratt & Whitney. “With OGMA, we add a highly capable maintenance provider with a long history of engine overhaul experience. As the GTF fleet continues to grow, the network will be ready to support our expanding global customer base.” “This contract is a demonstration of OGMA's high level of expertise and competence in the maintenance of aircraft engines and represents an opportunity for the Embraer group to expand its business in providing services to other manufacturers in the international market. In line with Embraer's new strategy, it is a diversification of the businesses that will result in the growth of the Services & Support area in the coming years.”, said Johann Bordais, President and CEO, Embraer Services & Support. Pratt & Whitney’s GTF engine family is used in the new generation of commercial aircraft, namely the Airbus A320neo family, the Airbus A220, and the Embraer E190-E2 and E195-E2. Pratt & Whitney’s GTF engines are a new generation of high bypass turbofan engines, which started to operate in 2016, which allow operations with a reduction of up to 16% in fuel consumption, up to 75% in noise emissions and between 50 to 75% CO2 and NOx emissions compared to the previous engine generation.


Hungary Signs Contract For Acquisition of Two Multi-Mission KC-390 Millennium Airlifters


Press Release

Budapest, Hungary, November 17th, 2020 – The Hungarian Government and Embraer signed today a contract for the acquisition of two new generation multi-mission transport aircraft Embraer C-390 Millennium, in its air-to-air refueling (AAR) configuration, designated KC-390. Additionally, pilots and technicians training as well as other services and support are included in the contract as part of the process to strengthen the Hungarian Defence Forces capabilities specifically on the tactical airlift, AAR and medical evacuation roles as well as in other missions of public interest. Deliveries are scheduled to start in 2023. “Following the procurement of personnel air transport capabilities in 2018, we will see the arrival of KC-390 aircraft to Hungary in 2023-24, able to deliver large military loads in an operational environment, as well as providing air-to-air refueling services. We are acquiring a multi-role transport fleet for the Hungarian Defence Forces to fulfill the widest possible range of tasks within the national framework, in a sovereign way,” said Gáspár Maróth, government commissioner responsible for defence development. “We are honored for being selected by the Hungarian Government and the Hungarian Defense Forces to provide the most advanced multi-mission transport aircraft available in the market,” said Jackson Schneider, President and CEO of Embraer Defense & Security. “Hungary is the second European nation and NATO operator to select the C-390 Millennium, a highly capable aircraft that offers excellent productivity through unrivalled combination of speed, payload and rapid reconfigurability for multi-mission operations.” The KC-390 for the Hungarian Defence Forces will be the first in the world with the Intensive Care Unit in its configuration, an essential feature to perform humanitarian missions. The aircraft fully meets the requirements of the Hungarian Defense Forces, being able to perform different types of military and civilian missions including Humanitarian Support, Medical Evacuation, Search and Rescue, Cargo and Troops Transport, Precision Cargo Drop, Paratroopers Operations and AAR. These KC-390 are fully NATO compatible, not only in terms of its hardware but also in its avionics and communications configuration. Furthermore, the KC-390 probe and drogue refueling system means the aircraft can refuel the Hungarian JAS 39 Gripen as well as other aircraft that use the same technology. The C-390 Millennium is fully operational and, since receiving its first aircraft in 2019, the Brazilian Air Force has deployed the airlift on several critical missions in Brazil and abroad with greater availability. Also, the Portuguese Government signed a contract for the acquisition of five C-390 Millennium in 2019 that are currently in the production line and will be in service in 2023. The C-390 is a tactical transport jet aircraft designed to set new standards in its category. Some of the strong aspects of the aircraft are increased mobility, rugged design, higher flexibility, state-of-the-art proven technology and easier maintenance. Flying faster and delivering more cargo, both the C-390 Millennium and the KC-390 variant are the right sized platform for major deployment scenarios. Minimized interventions and on condition maintenance combined with highly reliable systems and components support the reduced downtime and costs, contributing to outstanding availability levels and low life cycle costs.


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Desarrollan una batería de zinc y bismuto, de alta eficiencia, bajo coste y medioambientalmente sostenible

Nota de prensa 

Investigadores del grupo de Materiales Avanzados para la Generación y Almacenamiento de Energía de la UPCT, con la colaboración del Instituto de Ciencias de Materiales de Madrid, han desarrollado y caracterizado una nueva batería basada en zinc y óxido de bismuto (Bi2O3), usando como electrolito un gel polimérico alcalino. Este trabajo da pie a una prometedora batería alcalina recargable basada en zinc, dado que ambos electrodos son materiales muy baratos y respetuosos con el medio ambiente.

Los buenos resultados alcanzados, la sostenibilidad de esta batería y su bajo precio han impulsado la elección de este trabajo para ser destacado en la contraportada del último número de la revista Sustainable Energy & Fuels, de la editorial Royal Society of Chemistry. Firman el artículo los investigadores de la UPCT Sebastián Lorca, Florencio Sanctos, José Abad, Antonio Urbina y Antonio Jesús Fernández Romero, así como Yves Huttel, del Materials Science Factory del Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Madrid.

En este artículo se usa por primera vez un electrodo de Bi2O3 en baterías de zinc y se demuestra la alta reversibilidad que tiene este electrodo en medio alcalino. Este hecho permite que la batería desarrollada pueda realizar cerca de 200 ciclos de carga y descarga con una alta eficiencia energética y coulómbica. Además, los investigadores han conseguido conectar en serie dos de estas baterías, haciendo que el potencial final se duplique.

"Mientras el Bi2O3 es un material que se ha usado muy poco como electrodo, baterías basadas en zinc son comercializadas desde el inicio del siglo XX, debido a las ventajas que tiene este material con respecto a otros", explica Fernández Romero. "La ventaja más clara es la posibilidad de usar electrolitos acuosos, al contrario de otras baterías como las de litio, que deben incluir un disolvente orgánico, el cual es menos conductor, más tóxico y más inflamable que el agua", añade.

"Los resultados recogidos en este artículo no son más que el inicio de esta investigación, ya que en nuestro laboratorio se sigue trabajando en esta línea con el fin de mejorar las propiedades de estas baterías", indica el investigador, avanzando que "usando un electrolito líquido en vez de gel polimérico, el número de ciclos de carga y descarga alcanzado se multiplica por 10, incluso utilizando intensidades de corriente mucho más elevadas que las usadas en la bateria con gel. Lo cual supone un avance importante dentro de las baterías alcalinas de zinc". Estos nuevos hallazgos se van a desarrollar en el marco de un proyecto coordinado por Antonio Urbina y financiado por el Ministerio de Ciencia en su última convocatoria de ayudas competitivas del Plan Estatal de Investigación Científica y Técnica y de Innovación.


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