As part of a historic US government program, Mynaric serves as Northrop Grumman’s sole laser communication supplier

Mynaric is a pioneer in the laser communications industry, developing optical communications terminals for space, air, and mobile applications. For wireless terrestrial, mobile, airborne, and space-based applications, laser communication networks enable connectivity from the sky, enabling ultra-high data speeds and safe, long-distance data transfer between moving devices.

Northrop Grumman chose Mynaric to deliver CONDOR Mk3 optical communication terminals as portion of a major US government program. The Space Development Agency (SDA) has chosen Northrop Grumman to offer 42 satellites meant for the Tranche 1 Transport Layer solution, which will meet the vital requirements of the US NDSA (National Defense Space Architecture). Mynaric will be the sole provider of optical communications terminals meant for Northrop Grumman under the terms of the $36 million agreement, which was unveiled on March 21 of 2022. Product deliveries are expected to take place mostly in 2023 as well as 2024. Northrop Grumman said today that it had successfully demonstrated a robust, networked laser communication network for proliferated-LEO constellations employing Mynaric’s optical communications terminals in this context.

The arrangement is the biggest optical communications terminals order made with Mynaric specifically and publicized in the government market in general, confirming the industry’s trajectory of procuring and deploying industrialized laser communications programs at a fast-expanding scale. Since its foundation, Mynaric has concentrated on developing technologies and manufacturing capabilities that enable large-scale optical communications terminals deployment and has invested extensively in scalable manufacturing and market-leading products in recent years.

“We congratulate Northrop Grumman on winning this significant program bringing advanced capabilities to the US government, successfully demonstrating initial capabilities, and paving the road for federal customers to leverage commercial supply chains now and in the future,” stated Mynaric CEO Bulent Altan. “We are honored to have been chosen by Northrop Grumman to supply them with our sophisticated products, and I want to express my gratitude to the whole Mynaric team for their tremendous efforts in making this possible. This historic government purchase of optical communication terminals demonstrates that we have fully entered the industrial era of laser communications.”

“We are ecstatic to have been chosen by Northrop Grumman for this vital technology for the Transport Layer Tranche 1 mission of SDA requirements,” stated Tina Ghataore, CCO of Mynaric. “Our CONDOR Mk3 optical communication terminal is the ideal solution for the SDA’s widely deployed LEO network. Our staff continues to improve our goods, and as a company, we invest ahead of market demand to ensure that we are well-positioned to serve our expanding customer base.”

Thailand has approved a $1 billion joint venture between Foxconn and PTT manufacturing battery electric vehicles

Major corporations are investing substantially in Thailand to promote the use of electric vehicles in response to the government’s ambition of transforming the nation into Southeast Asia’s Electric Vehicle hub over the next decade.

Thailand’s BOI (Board of Investment) has cleared a 36.1 billion baht ($1 billion) investment by the Horizon Plus joint venture of Taiwan’s Foxconn and Thailand’s state-owned energy giant PTT to manufacture batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) in the Land of Smiles.

“We intend to further enhance the supply chain by strengthening incentives for battery production, a crucial component of the industry’s transition,” noted Duangjai Asawachintachit, the BOI’s secretary-general.

She went on to say that so far, 16 projects by 10 different firms have received promotion incentives for investments in the production of EV batteries totaling 4.82 billion baht (RM609.8 million). Another three projects have been approved for investment in the batteries of high energy density, with a total investment value of 6.75 billion baht (over $191 million).

Aside from battery manufacturing, Foxconn, one of Apple’s primary suppliers, is trying to build Chinese Electric Vehicles in Thailand.  After the adoption of an MoU (memorandum of understanding) with PTT in November last year, Horizon Plus is looking for its first outsourcing transaction with Chinese firm Hozon New Energy Automobile, as previously reported.

The idea is to invest $1-2 billion (RM4.4-8.8 billion) in building an EV facility in eastern Thailand, with construction planned to start in the middle of this year and production to begin in 2024. In its first phase, the facility will produce 50,000 automobiles per year, with production eventually increasing to 150,000 cars per year.

Horizon Plus is among several investment requests in manufacturing and infrastructure projects totaling 209.5 billion baht (RM26.5 billion) that were approved on Monday (June 13, 2022), with the goal of transforming Thailand into Southeast Asia’s primary EV manufacturing center, a title that Indonesia is also vying for.

Other measures include developing an incentive package for upgrading existing general industrial estates/zones so that they may deliver intelligent system services to their clients in five important areas: smart energy,  smart facilities, smart IT, smart economy, and approximately one to 3 other system services (smart lifestyle, smart workforce, and smart good corporate governance), according to Duangjai.

Meanwhile, the BOI authorized a rule allowing approved foreign juristic entities with authorized and paid-up capital of not under 50 million baht (RM6.3 million) to acquire land to set up offices and living quarters for senior executives and foreign specialists.

Wine Sales Recover In Spain And Grow 14% In 2021

Wine sales recover in Spain and grow 14% in 2021. The hotel channel returns to concentrate 51% of sales. 77% of the wineries increased their sales volume in the national market. Direct sales remain at the 8% reached during the pandemic.

Wine sales in the national market increased by 14% in volume in 2021, confirming the recovery of the sector, which was strongly affected by the pandemic, according to data from the latest study carried out by the Spanish Market Observatory del Vino (OeMv) and the consulting firm Wine Intelligence, in which an increase of 14.5% in value is anticipated.

Specifically, the study confirms that 77% of Spanish wineries increased their sales volume in the Spanish market, since the Horeca channel has recovered to practically pre-pandemic levels, concentrating 51% of the sales volume and the food channel maintains its weight at 36%, approaching 37% of sales in 2019.

The report highlights that the main novelty comes from the direct sales channel, which maintains the weight that it already reached in 2020, reaching 8% of wine sales, which means improving the figures of 5% registered in 2019, just before from the start of the pandemic.

Regarding the types of wine, the study highlights that sparkling and still wines with Designation of Origin were the ones that best recovered during the past year.

In general, in 2021 wines of all retail prices experienced a recovery, although those of less than two euros did not grow as much as other price ranges that did recover to double figures, while the greatest increase occurred between wines from 15 to 24.99 euros.

Finally, small wineries (less than 500,000 liters) suffered the greatest falls during the pandemic due to their lower penetration in the food channel, but they have been the ones that have shown the greatest recovery in both value and volume in 2021, followed by the medium warehouses.

A NASA Engineer Made Teleworking In Light Of The Oil Emergency

In the midst of the energy crisis and the high rise in prices , we find ourselves in the need to look to the past and look for those methods that made us stay afloat. Strategies linked to the habits that helped contain spending and improve the economy and that today would give us a boost to face this dizzying moment.

In this context, there are two contemporary trends that are part of the current collective debate: teleworking , as a product of the Covid-19 pandemic; and the energy problem , due to lack of supplies of all types of fuel generated by the war between Russia and Ukraine.

What might these trends have in common? Both, and without so many warnings, had a historical milestone in 1973 that made them accomplices during the Yom Kippur War, which brought with it one of the biggest economic and energy crises in the world.

The person responsible for the symbiosis of both trends 40 years ago, NASA engineer Jack Nilles . He was the one who used the concept of teleworking (coined by himself) as a response and economic strategy to the fuel shortage that occurred in the United States in 1973, as a result of the oil embargo of Arab exporters.

Given the bleak energy scenario of the time, Nilles wanted to contribute with his experience. It was then that he analyzed how companies could save money during the oil crisis in the North American country. Thus he raised the idea of ​​”bringing the work to the worker” and not vice versa. With that you could “reduce” the use of the car and fuel.

Hybrid work experiment
“Usually people in Los Angeles drive to work at an office, somewhere downtown, but what if workers didn’t need to get in their cars to get to work?” Niles asked. “Working from home could replace the need to travel.” And so began the world’s first large-scale experiment in the hybrid work format .

Along these lines, in his study called Telecommunications-Transportation Tradeoff (1976) he argues that “if one in seven workers did not have to travel to their workplace, the United States would not have the need to import oil”, which became a strategy to face the energy crisis of the moment.

Telecommuting concept
With the aforementioned, he devised the concept of “telecommuting”, with which transportation and pollution problems were reduced , in addition, by applying this new trend, the quality of life of workers and their productivity improved. In this way, the engineer called the concept “part-time telecommuting”, which mixed remote work days with office days.

” I helped NASA put a man on the moon , so why couldn’t I do something about the horrible crisis problem?” said Jack Nilles, now 89.

After a SpaceX launch, Egypt’s Nilesat 301 meets health inspections

With the launch of NileSat 101 in 1998, Egypt was the first Arab nation to deploy a communications satellite into space. Nilesat 102, which transmitted hundreds of satellite TV channels, followed in 2000.

Egypt launched EgyptSat 1, the country’s first remote-sensing satellite, in 2007. It was built by Egypt’s NARSS (National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences) and Ukraine’s Yuzhnoye State Design Office.

EgyptSat2, Egypt’s second remote sensing satellite, was launched in April 2014 but lost in space in February of 2015. Egypt replaced it with EgyptSat A four years later, after deploying it from the Russian Baikonur Cosmodrome, a leased spaceport in Kazakhstan. Egypt created the Egyptian Space Agency in August 2019 as a public economic agency with legal status under the president’s control.

The agency’s mission is to develop, transfer, and own space technology development, localization, and self-capabilities for building and launching satellites from Egyptian soil. After twice postponing the launch owing to technical issues, Egypt successfully deployed the telecommunications satellite Tiba 1 into space in 2019. Egypt has continued to investigate the benefits of space travel.

According to the spacecraft’s primary contractor, NileSat’s newest communications satellite is prepared to proceed to its last orbit after passing health assessments after its 8th June SpaceX launch. According to Sandrine Bielecki, a representative for Franco-Italian maker Thales Alenia Space, the nearly 4,000-kilogram Nilesat 301 satellite is going to utilize onboard chemical propulsion to begin its voyage within the next few days.

Nilesat 301 will most likely take roughly a month to enter its geostationary orbit (GEO) slot at 7 degrees west, conduct more tests, and then begin commercial operations to increase Nilesat’s African coverage. At 5:04 p.m. Eastern on June 9, SpaceX launched Nilesat 301 into geosynchronous transfer orbit (GEO) with a Falcon 9 launch vehicle from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

The rocket’s first stage landed successfully on SpaceX’s drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean shortly after launch, making it the 116th time the firm has successfully landed the first stage. Six previous SpaceX launches used the rocket, including two flights to the ISS (International Space Station) and GPS and Starlink broadband satellites.

Nilesat 301, which is based on Thales Alenia Space’s Spacebus 4000-B2 platform, is equipped with Ku-band transponders for television broadcasting as well as Ka-band capability for internet services. The satellite will ultimately substitute the Thales Alenia Space-created Nilesat 201, which is going to exhaust fuel in 2028 after its 2010 launch, according to the Egyptian business.

Nilesat 301 expands Nilesat’s reach into emerging markets in southern Africa as well as the Nile River basin, in addition to the MENA areas that Nilesat already covers with Nilesat 201 as well as other satellites it leases.

Nilesat 301, according to Nilesat, complements connectivity services offered by Tiba 1, Egypt’s first satellite, which launched in 2019.

London must be at the forefront of the electric vehicle revolution

Public charging points can be located on the street and in strategic locations such as retail malls in London. The quick-charging network enables one to charge your electric vehicle more quickly and efficiently while on the go. An 80% charge usually does take 20 minutes.

Upwards of 10,000 electric vehicle (EV) charging outlets have been constructed in London, but thousands more will be required to meet the predicted spike in demand from motorists, according to a report released on Thursday. The historic achievement occurred as the Evening Standard unveiled a big initiative, Plug It In, to showcase the benefits of going electric in London while also exploring the hurdles.

According to the most recent data from City Hall and Zap-Map, London has about a third of the UK’s 32,132 publicly available charging outlets, including roughly 750 quick devices which can recharge a vehicle in 20 minutes.

However, Mayor Sadiq Khan estimates that by the end of the decade, 40,000 to 60,000 chargers, comprising up to 4,000 rapid chargers, will be required to fulfill growing demand as Londoners abandon diesel and gasoline.

As per the business organization London First, this means that 10 new chargers are going to have to be built every day until the close of the decade. Last year, the volume of electric vehicles (EVs) registered in the capital climbed by 60%, reaching 86,568. One out of every five new automobiles purchased in London is now a “plug-in” – either a battery or a hybrid.

As per City Hall estimates, the total quantity of electric vehicles on London’s roads might reach 1.4 million by 2030, accounting for half of all vehicles on the road. Mr. Khan wants to “urgently expedite” efforts to transition away from gasoline and diesel vehicles, in order to meet his goal of becoming London carbon neutral by 2030.

“Continuing this success will be crucial to combating levels of pollution in London and also the climate emergency — assisting us to clean up our air and bring down dangerous road traffic emissions,” he wrote in today’s Standard.

He claims that as motorists are becoming more ecologically concerned and the government seeks to wipe out new diesel and petrol automobiles, the supply of charge stations is straining to keep up. Electric cars account for 3% of all vehicles in the city, but more than 6% in affluent boroughs like Westminster.

A slow-fast charging station costs £5,000, whereas a quick or ultra-rapid charging point costs £85,000. Even half of the estimated demand — 18,500 new points — might cost up to £66 million by 2025.

City Hall is hoping that the cost will be covered by the private sector, although it will allocate public space for charging stations. Up to 1,000 quick chargers might be installed on land possessed by City Hall or even the Transport for London, including on Red Routes. An initial batch of 100 quick or ultra-rapid points is expected.

Electric vehicles that are “silent” pose a hidden threat

Electric as well as hybrid electric vehicle sales are expanding gradually over the world, and their presence in cities is increasing as well. Low levels of noise created by these cars could represent a new risk issue for road users when traveling at low speeds. The risk’s size, on the other hand, has yet to be identified precisely.

Electric vehicles (EVs) are not required to emit a sound when traveling at reduced speeds in Australia, which activists argue puts pedestrians at risk. Those who are blind or have impaired vision and depend on their ability to hear to navigate their environment are especially vulnerable to silent EVs, which include vehicles, bikes, and scooters.

When traveling at low speeds, the US, the EU, and Japan all need EVs to make noise. There are concerns that Australia may become a “dumping site” for unsuitable models. Chris Edwards, Vision Australia’s head of government relations, said it was nearly hard to spot EVs by hearing alone when they were moving slowly.

“Obviously, that has an influence on safety because someone might walk out in front of a vehicle,” he said. “It’s not about taking on a lot of responsibility. It’s all about catching up with the remaining part of the world in terms of technology.” According to a recent survey, 35% of respondents have been hit or had a close call with a silent EV, a statistic that is sure to rise as the number of them on the road increases.

Mr. Edwards, who is blind and utilizes a guide dog, claimed he was nearly hit by an Electric Vehicle in a parking lot because the driver was distracted. He added that not being able to properly identify automobiles by sound harmed people’s confidence in their daily lives.

“People who are blind or have low vision don’t drive, so they rely largely on walking and also being capable of crossing roads and other activities that are intrinsically risky if you can’t hear vehicles approaching,” he added.

Since at least 2019, when then-transport minister Michael McCormack launched a regulatory review, Vision Australia has pushed the government to make changes.

“Really, the previous government dragged their feet on getting it done,” Mr. Edwards said, “and as a result, it hasn’t moved anywhere close as far as projected.” He encouraged the Labor government to act quickly to pass the regulation adjustments before the proportion of non-compliant EVs on the road grew much more.

“We know it’s unlikely that old cars will be retrofitted, so we ought to have this passed and completed as soon as possible,” Mr. Edwards said. “By the year 2050, 90% of automobiles will be electric, and the longer we delay, the more vehicles will be on the road which will fail to fulfill our requirements.”

China’s imminent dominance as a vehicle exporter will be accelerated by electric vehicles

China is poised to become a major export hub for automobiles. China possesses the required prerequisites to export vehicles on a massive scale, fueled by technical progress, large production capacity, and government assistance. The Chinese government encourages and pushes Chinese and foreign carmakers based in China to export.

The administration has prioritized absorbing international value chains over promoting homegrown champions. The government is also establishing goals and disseminating information about foreign rules in order to assist Chinese electric vehicle manufacturers in their international expansion.

China’s car exports are booming, as per François Chimits and Gregor Sebastian of the Mercator Institute for China Studies(opens a new window), with the majority of them going to Europe. China shipped half a million EVs (electric vehicles) in the year 2021, up from approximately nothing only a few years before, and it had the second-largest market share in Europe, just second solely to Germany. As the automotive industry moves to electric vehicles, Europe may eventually discover itself in a trade deficit with China.

That would be a huge change in the market structure. Europe and Japan are already buying consumer items from China while sending luxury vehicles — or their most critical components — the other way. The insignia on Chinese vehicles that arrive in Europe may or may not betray their true origins. Teslas from Shanghai account for about half of them, with Dacia, Polestar, and BMW rounding out the rest of the lineup. Although Tesla just constructed a plant in Germany, other manufacturers’ production selections show that China has a significant cost advantage.

The ramifications will be enormous if batteries gets to replace combustion engines as well as China controls car manufacturing. Europe’s and Japan’s prosperity is based on automobile manufacturing. Toyota and Volkswagen, as well as their supply chains, employ millions of people in dependable, skilled manufacturing jobs. National current account surpluses are supported by them. A transfer in vehicle manufacturing location would have a far higher impact than initial migrations of electronics, steel, and shipbuilding.

Sebastian and Chimits suggest that Europe should be fighting back against Chinese industrial regulations that supply cheap funding to carmakers and tether electric vehicle incentives for Chinese customers to domestic production. Meanwhile, European consumers can benefit from EU subsidies for Chinese-made electric vehicles, which have a 10% tax compared to the US’s 27.5 percent.

Fair and reciprocal treatment should be a top priority for Europe. Competitiveness, on the other hand, cannot be replaced by protection. Even if the United States and Europe impose hefty tariffs on their automobile markets, the reward in global car trade is to manufacture for the numerous richer nations — from Norway to the Middle East to Australia that lack the capacity to support their car industries.

Sony has started a business in space laser communications

At Sony Computer Science Laboratories, the Sony Group has been in the process of conducting research and creating the optical communications systems to allow high-speed data transfers over great distances in a manner that can be installed on microsatellites. Sony Group aspires to produce lightweight, ultra-compact, mass-producible optical communications systems that can resist hostile environments such as space by employing optical disc technology that it has developed over several years in the creation and manufacture of CD players as well as other products.

In 2020, in conjunction with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency commonly referred as JAXA) , Small Optical Link for International Space Station (SOLISS) was deployed in the Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo” of the ISS (International Space Station). It created a laser communications link that is bidirectional with the Japanese NICT’s (National Institute of Information and Communications Technology) space optical communication ground station and successfully communicated high-definition image data using Ethernet protocols. This experimental gadget managed to create optical downlinks from the space to a commercial optical ground station of KSAT (Kongsberg Satellite Services) based in Greece in 2021.

A test on complete data file transmission in a modeled error-prone communications setting, that is going to be the technological foundation for Internet services via stratospheric and low-Earth orbit (LEO) optical communications, was conducted successfully in 2022 in conjunction with JAXA.

Sony has established a firm to create laser communication systems for small satellites, based on the optical disc technology which it innovated for CD players as well as other products. Sony Space Communications (SSC) was established on June 2 in San Mateo, California, to assist enterprises in avoiding radio wave shortages as the number of satellites in LEO (low Earth orbit) grows.

SSC intends to design, produce, and supply technologies that are going to allow small satellites to interact with the ground stations — and each other in real-time — by using laser beams rather than radio frequencies. According to Kyohei Iwamoto, who is the SSC president, the amount of data utilized in LEO grows every year, although the radio waves amount available is restricted.

“Additionally, the necessity for radio frequency licensing and the necessity for lower power usage of communication equipment required by smaller satellites, such as microsatellites, are both challenges that must be addressed,” he added.

According to Sony, traditional radio communications require larger satellite antennas and higher power than optical networks, making fast speeds on small satellites “physically challenging.” Sony claims to be working on optical communications systems tiny enough to fit in microsatellites, which NASA describes as spacecraft weighing between 10 and 100 kg.

The firm did not disclose when its devices would be ready or whether it had any consumers waiting for them. SSC intends to use its optical disc technology to produce lightweight, mass-producible and ultra-compact satellite communication systems that can resist harsh space conditions. Sony said in 2020 that an optical communications gadget it co-developed with Japan’s space agency had been deployed on Kibo, which is the Japanese experimental module on the ISS (International Space Station).

Renewable Properties has chosen URE for three projects in North Carolina

For utilities, industrial and commercial organizations, Independent Power Producers (IPP), and Electrical Membership Cooperatives, United Renewable Energy, commonly known as URE, develops, plans, installs and manages energy storage and solar photovoltaic systems.

Three 20MW projects in North Carolina have begun construction by Renewable Properties as well as URE (United Renewable Energy LLC). The Renewable Properties firm will fund and own the programs, and United Renewable Energy has been selected to handle the engineering, procurement, as well as construction.

The projects were purchased from Cypress Creek Renewables, which had finished its initial development. One is in Rockingham County, while the other two are in Columbus County. Cypress Creek’s top-ranked O&M division will continue to support these projects with operations and maintenance services. By the fall, all three projects should be finished and ready to deliver energy.

Despite historical inflation and growing prices on materials, gasoline, and every facet of project construction, URE and Renewable Properties have had to get inventive to keep the projects on budget and schedule. Our partners trust us, and our staff takes great delight in collaborating with project owners to keep project budgets on track,” URE’s Executive Vice President, Keith Herbs, said.

Aaron Halimi, President, and Founder of Renewable Properties stated that the solar industry is full of uncertainties surrounding increased construction costs and future tariffs, it’s excellent to work with EPC allies such as URE who are prepared to go above and beyond to get the work done

Renewable Properties, which was founded in 2017, focuses on the development and investment of small-scale utility as well as community solar energy programs around the United States. Works of Renewable Properties, together with utilities, landowners, communities, developers, and financial institutions wishing to make an investment in large solar energy programs, led by seasoned renewable energy specialists with development as well as investment experience.

URE develops, designs, and constructs solar PV and energy storage solutions for industrial, utilities, and commercial businesses, IPPs, and Electrical Membership Cooperatives.

CCR is a prominent renewable energy IPP. CCR is a company that develops, funds, owns, and manages utility-scale as well as distributed solar & energy storage projects around the United States. One project at a time, their goal is to drive a sustainable future. CCR has built over 11 GW of solar plants since its establishment. CCR now owns 1.7 gigawatts of solar and operates 4 gigawatts via its O&M services division.

This project portfolio is going to add to Renewable Properties’ existing fleet in the Carolinas, having plans to unveil more North Carolina ventures in the near future, and also additions to an ever-increasing pipeline of programs throughout the country.

“Cypress Creek Renewables has produced hundreds of solar ventures in North Carolina and is happy to call the state home,” said Sarah Slusser, the company’s CEO. “We are committed to the success of programs in North Carolina and beyond that strive toward a greater sustainable future. Partnering with Renewable Properties as well as their staff to help bring these projects to completion was a pleasure.”