December 8th, 2009
MICHIGAN AEROSPACE CORPORATION WINS NSF SBIR AWARD FOR AIRCRAFT WAKE VORTEX SENSING SYSTEM
Michigan Aerospace Corporation, an advanced engineering and products company, today announced that it has been selected to receive a Phase 1 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract from the National Science Foundation for a ground-based sensor array for wake vortex detection. Dr. Dominique Fourguette, Chief Technology Officer, will lead this effort, in cooperation with researchers at Michigan State University. The goal of the effort is to develop a simple, cost-effective, airport-based sensor system for the detection and characterization of wake vortices behind aircraft. These vortices force wide spacing of aircraft on landing and take-off, which restricts airport capacity, and present a significant hazard to smaller aircraft.
November 23rd, 2009
MICHIGAN AEROSPACE CORPORATION WINS NASA SBIR AWARD FOR CLEAR AIR TURBULENCE SENSOR
Michigan Aerospace Corporation, an advanced engineering and products company, today announced that it has been selected to receive a NASA Phase 1 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract to develop a Molecular Air Data Clear Air Turbulence (MADCAT) sensor. This effort is based on Michigan Aerospace’s extensive heritage developing and deploying atmospheric Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) systems. The goal of the effort is to develop compact instrumentation capable of identifying areas of clear air turbulence along an aircraft’s flight path so that mitigating measures can be taken. In addition, the instrumentation will be capable of providing a complete air data solution. Turbulence and air data system problems can result in aircraft damage, injury or loss of life.
July 16th, 2009
MICHIGAN AEROSPACE CORPORATION ANNOUNCES DOE WIND ENERGY GRANT
Michigan Aerospace Corporation, in collaboration with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) National Wind Technology Center, has been awarded a Department of Energy (DOE) grant for approximately $748K to apply the company’s advanced, laser-based atmospheric measurement technology to wind turbine control. Michigan Aerospace will work with NREL to integrate, test, and optimize Michigan Aerospace’s Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) instrument that measures wind speed/direction, temperature, and density at long distances. By measuring winds and other atmospheric properties well in advance of the turbine and integrating those measurements with the turbine’s control system, stresses on the turbine blades and internal components can be significantly reduced. Ultimately, this work is intended to demonstrate that turbine maintenance and repair costs can be reduced, leading to longer lifetimes and more reliable energy output, while also expanding a turbine’s power curve performance. Additionally, with advanced forecasting of wind speed and direction, it is anticipated that energy capture can be increased by optimal turbine pointing.
“DOE’s investment will help us improve two of the most critical areas in wind energy: reducing maintenance costs and increasing efficiency. The most exciting aspect is that this funding opens the door to improving atmospheric measurements and forecasting not only for turbine control, but onshore and offshore site assessment, operational farms, and grid management,” said Michigan Aerospace CEO Peter Tchoryk.
The company is preparing for high volume manufacturing of this product line through its spin-off, OptoAtmospherics. Scientific, engineering, and manufacturing jobs are expected to result, with demand growing along with the wind energy industry. This technology is also being applied to defense, aviation, and homeland security applications.
May 22nd, 2009
ATMOSPHERIC WIND AND TEMPERATURE SYSTEM ARRIVES IN PERU
The Second Generation Optimized Fabry-Perot Doppler Imager (SOFDI), designed and built by Michigan Aerospace Corporation, arrived at the Geophysical Institute of Peru Huancayo Geophysical Observatory located at the magnetic equator in Peru. SOFDI is a portable, unmanned, remote-controlled instrument constructed to measure continuous 24-hour (i.e., nighttime and daytime) winds and temperatures from the upper mesosphere and lower thermosphere. These measurements will test a hypothesis about the stability of the F-layer which would predict disturbances in the ionosphere. Such ionospheric disturbances cause radio communication disruptions.
Dr. Andrew Gerrard of the New Jersey Institute of Technology said “Michigan Aerospace designed and built SOFDI to serve multiple roles; an incredibly difficult challenge that turned out to be an utter success. We are able to make measurements not previously possible." Daytime measurements of winds and temperatures based on the 630 nm emission from thermospheric atomic oxygen (OI) have been difficult to obtain in the past because of the large solar background continuum which overpowers the comparatively weak emission. The novel triple-etalon Fabry-Perot interferometer in the SOFDI instrument filters out the solar background and enables the measurement of this 630nm emission during the daytime. Dr. Gerrard continues, “The quality, tuning control, and overall performance of the three etalons in SOFDI is exceptional.”
SODFI was funded by a Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP) grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and by the NSF Aeronomy Program. The project was led by Dr. John Meriwether of Clemson University and Dr. Andrew Gerrard, currently at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. This project was initially funded so that the 24-hour ground-based wind measurements from SOFDI could be used to validate in-situ wind measurements from the Air Force Communications/Navigations Outage Forecasting System (C/NOFS) satellite. C/NOFS is part of an intensive space weather modeling effort that will attempt to predict the low latitude occurrence of Equatorial Spread-F (ESF). SOFDI promises to test recent theories suggesting the timing of the reversal of the zonal wind from west to east is an important predictor of ESF development.
April 23rd, 2009
OPTOATMOSPHERICS EXHIBITING AT WINDPOWER 2009
OptoAtmospherics, a spin-off of Michigan Aerospace Corporation (MAC), is exhibiting at WINDPOWER 2009 (booth #4381), the largest annual wind power conference in the world. The conference and exhibition runs from May 4 through May 7 in Chicago. OptoAtmospherics, formerly known as WindSight, is dedicated to applying MAC's extensive Light Detection and Ranging (Lidar) atmospheric sensing technology to the wind energy industry. By providing highly accurate wind speed, direction, temperature, and density measurements over large volumes, OptoAtmospherics will be offering a product line that has value for site assessors, wind farm owner/operators, and turbine manufacturers.
April 20th, 2009
MICHIGAN AEROSPACE CORPORATION ANNOUNCES PROMOTION OF CHARLES RICHEY TO VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS
Michigan Aerospace Corporation (MAC), an advanced engineering and products company, today announced the promotion of Charles Richey to Vice President of Operations. Mr. Richey, who previously managed the Atmospheric Measurement Business Unit at MAC, has been with the company since April 2002. Mr. Richey’s new duties include oversight of the company’s Ann Arbor operations, supervision of internal programs, and assisting in administration of contracts. Mr. Richey obtained a Bachelors in Aerospace Engineering and Masters Degree in Space Systems from the University of Michigan. He held technology development and management positions in his previous job as a contractor for NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC).
About Michigan Aerospace Corporation
MAC is the premier company in the United States for the development of Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) and related optical systems for atmospheric measurement and holds patents that increase the performance and efficiency of these instruments to unprecedented levels. These capabilities have resulted in hardened systems with the size, weight, and power characteristics that enable operation on demanding aircraft, spacecraft, ship, and ground platforms. The company’s Business Units include Atmospheric Measurement Systems for enhancing the accuracy of weather forecasts, increasing the accuracy and efficiency of wind farm siting and operations, aiding weather-dependent military operations, and improving the performance of aircraft (military and civilian) and weapon systems; Optical Diagnostics for both remote sensing and in-situ applications, including Chemical/Biological/Radiological/Nuclear (CBRN) and Improvised Explosive Device (IED) detection, aerodynamic testing, micro-fluidics, and measurement of spectral signatures and cross-sections of biological simulants and agents; Data Exploitation to solve complex problems in predictive analytics, data mining, 2-D and 3-D image processing, pattern recognition, and machine learning; and Mechanical Systems for autonomous vehicles operating in space, terrestrial, and marine environments. The New Initiatives business unit is investigating several new technologies, including automated air and water monitoring for pollution and Homeland Security applications. The company also provides flight qualification services and rapid prototyping in its Engineering Services division. The Products Division offers optical and mechanical systems and components.
April 13th, 2009
MICHIGAN AEROSPACE CORPORATION IS EXHIBITING AT 2009 SPIE DEFENSE AND SECURITY SYMPOSIUM
Michigan Aerospace Corporation (MAC), an advanced engineering and products company, is exhibiting at this year’s SPIE Defense Security Symposium located in Orlando, Florida. MAC will be distributing information on its engineering services and products, including its wide range of wind LIDAR systems, chemical/biological/radiological/nuclear/explosives (CBRNE) detection technologies, interferometers, data and image exploitation software solutions, and other custom optical and opto-mechanical solutions for defense applications and other uses. MAC will be located at Booth #104.
March 2nd, 2009
WINDSIGHT APPEARS AT MICHIGAN WIND ENERGY CONFERENCE
Michigan Aerospace Corporation (MAC) spinoff WindSight is exhibiting and presenting a paper at the Michigan Wind Energy Conference in Detroit on March 3 and 4. WindSight takes MAC's industry-leading wind sensing technology and applies it to wind farm site selection and operations.
March 2nd, 2009
MICHIGAN AEROSPACE CORPORATION STAFF MEMBER APPOINTED TO BOARD OF MICHIGAN HOMELAND SECURITY CONSORTIUM
Cliff Williams, Director of Product Development at Michigan Aerospace Corporation (MAC), was recently named to the board of the Michigan Homeland Security Consortium (MIHSC). The MIHSC is a non-profit organization dedicated to driving the growth of the Homeland Security Industry in the State of Michigan. MAC's work in optical diagnostics for detecting chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and/or explosive (CBRNE) threats directly applies to homeland security needs, as does MAC's core business area of wind measurement LIDAR which can assist first-responders with tracking plumes or clouds of poisonous/infectious agents as they travel from their release point.
February 2nd, 2009
MICHIGAN AEROSPACE CORPORATION CEO WINS ACE '09 ELEVATOR PITCH COMPETITION FOR NEW SPINOFF COMPANY, WINDSIGHT
Peter Tchoryk, CEO of Michigan Aerospace Corporation (MAC), won the “Elevator Pitch Competition” at the ninth Annual Collaboration for Entrepreneurship (ACE) that took place on January 22 in Ann Arbor. Mr. Tchoryk pitched WindSight, a MAC spinoff company that is licensed to manufacture and market wind measurement systems to the wind energy industry. WindSight technology enables wind speed and direction to be forecast tens of minutes before those winds reach the turbines, increasing energy production efficiency and lowering maintenance costs. The systems measure temperature and density concurrently with winds and can optionally measure water vapor. WindSight technology also makes more efficient and thorough wind energy site assessments possible, and, in addition, is applicable to a number of other commercial and military purposes.
WindSight has also been invited to present to a panel of investors at CleanTech Forum XXI , taking place February 23-25 in San Francisco. WindSight is one of sixteen companies selected from 120 to present at the Forum, the largest yearly gathering of global leaders in the area of clean technology. WindSight is seeking investment to take its systems into full production by 2010.