Iris Automation unveils new collision-avoidance solution for drones

Iris Automation launched a computer vision detect-and-avoid solution, known as Casia, for the commercial drone industry.

The collision-avoidance solution will enable beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations for autonomous vehicles.

Casia is designed to detect other aircraft and uses machine learning to classify them. According to the company, the software will provide the ‘eyes and brain’ for drones. It also possesses the ability to make intelligent decisions about the threat posed by other aircraft and trigger automated manoeuvres to avoid collisions.

HAPSMobile develops drone to deliver connectivity from stratosphere

The HAPSMobile JV between Japan’s SoftBank and US-based AeroVironment developed an unmanned aircraft to deliver telecommunications connectivity from the stratosphere.

Known as ‘HAWK30’, the aircraft serves as a stratospheric telecommunications platform system, flying at altitudes of 20km.

With a 260ft wingspan and a length of 78m, the HAWK30 is propelled by ten solar-powered electric motors.

Relativity to launch mu Space’s satellite aboard 3D-printed Terran 1

Relativity Space signed a contract with Thai company mu Space to launch a satellite to low-Earth orbit (LEO) onboard its Terran 1 3D-printed rocket.

According to the agreement, the company will launch mu Space’s LEO satellite, ‘a primary, dedicated payload’, in 2022.

Relativity is building an aerospace platform to integrate machine learning, software and robotics with metal 3D printing technology. This platform seeks to reduce the time taken to construct and launch rockets to days instead of years.

Nasa’s InSight lander records possible ‘marsquake’ for first time

Nasa’s Mars InSight lander detected and measured the planet’s first seismic event.

Designed to study the deep interior of Mars, InSight detected a likely ‘marsquake’ on its 128th Martian day, or Sol, on 6 April.

The faint seismic signal was detected by the lander’s specially designed seismic experiment for interior structure (SEIS) seismometer.

Viasat partners with China Satcom for in-flight connectivity in China

Viasat reached an agreement to form a strategic partnership with telecommunications service provider China Satellite Communications (China Satcom) to jointly provide in-flight connectivity (IFC) services.

The IFC services will be made available within China for both domestic and international airlines.

According to Viasat, only 4% of flights in the country are connected. The partners intend to capitalise on the demand for high-speed, high-quality IFC on flights in China.

Wing Aviation wins approval to start commercial drone deliveries in US

Alphabet unit Wing Aviation secured an approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to deliver goods to customers using drones.

The approval makes Wing Aviation the first company to get US air carrier certification. The FAA permit to the firm includes flights beyond visual line of sight and over people, noted Reuters.

The federal approval allows the company to start delivering goods from local businesses to homes in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Arlington Capital acquires Triumph Group’s fabrication business

Private equity firm Arlington Capital Partners closed the transaction to acquire Triumph Group’s forming and fabrication facilities.

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Arlington Capital signed a definitive agreement for the acquisition in January. Triumph Group sold the business as part of its transformation plan. The acquired business is named Radius Aerospace and will operate independently.

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule suffers anomaly during engine tests

US-based privately owned firm SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule reportedly suffered an anomaly during engine tests at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

According to Florida Today, the anomaly led to orange smoke rising above SpaceX’s facilities.

The Crew Dragon capsule is designed to transport American astronauts into space.

UK researchers test flight new aircraft with modern propulsion tech

Scientists from the UK’s University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) and other institutions developed an aircraft that can remain airborne indefinitely using an innovative propulsion system.

The Phoenix unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is claimed to be the first large-scale aircraft powered by variable-buoyancy propulsion.

The ultra-long endurance autonomous aircraft can ‘repeatedly transition from being lighter than air to being heavier than air’ as its design will ensure thrust is generated to propel the craft forward.

Etihad Airways unveils major Economy transformation programme

Etihad Airways unveiled measures designed to enhance personalisation as part of a major transformation programme targeting Economy class.

The airline plans to undertake the cabin upgrade and refurbishment of 23 narrow-body Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft.

The modern cabins will feature new ergonomic extra-spatial design seats by UK-based Acro. The seats will provide increased knee room as well as include fast-charging USB points and an adjustable phone and tablet holder.