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September 4th, 2013

MICHIGAN AEROSPACE CORPORATION RANKED 13TH ON “MICHIGAN INNOVATION INDEX”

Crain’s Detroit Business Article Ranks Top 100 Companies in Michigan by Innovation Using Patent Data

Michigan Aerospace Corporation (MAC), an advanced engineering and products company, placed 13th out of 100 organizations on the Michigan Innovation Index, a list composed by Ocean Tomo LLC for Crain’s Detroit Business. The list ranks Michigan companies with three or more patents in 2012 using a proprietary method to “score” the patents for quality in relation to each other, especially in their regard to generate economic benefits in the future. MAC scored higher than many businesses, and even some research universities, with much higher total numbers of patents because of the projected value in economic returns over the times the patents will be in force.

The article appeared in the July 29-August 4 print edition of Crain’s Detroit Business and is available here.

About Michigan Aerospace Corporation

Michigan Aerospace Corporation (MAC) develops and commercializes technology, from basic and applied R&D to licensing and business creation. R&D efforts include government and industry contract work, internally-funded innovation and technology incubation. We license our technology to strategic partners for product acceleration and also license intellectual property from 3rd parties. We offer business creation and commercialization services to pursue product development in high-growth markets.

OptoAtmospherics Inc. (www.OptoAtmospherics.com), is a MAC spinoff company commercializing solutions for the wind energy industry under license agreement.

I2mp, LLC, “Ideas to Manufactured Products,” is a MAC spinoff company focusing on assisting companies in business formation, product development, and manufacturing ramp-up.

To serve its customers, MAC operates four business units:
1) Atmospheric LIDAR Systems to measure atmospheric parameters and constituents to enhance the accuracy of weather forecasts, aid weather-dependent military operations, and improve the performance of weapons systems and aircraft (military and civilian);
2) Environmental Sensing for CBRN (chem/bio, radiological, nuclear), seismic sensing, aerodynamic testing, micro-fluidics, and measurement of spectral signatures and cross-sections of biological simulants and agents;
3) Data Exploitation to solve complex problems in signals intelligence (SIGINT), data mining, 2-D and 3-D image processing, pattern recognition, and machine learning; and
4) Energy Solutions for thermo-electric waste heat recovery and solar power generation, as well as wind energy systems.

August 27th, 2013

MICHIGAN AEROSPACE CORPORATION ANNOUNCES NASA AWARD FOR DETECTING ICING CONDITIONS

SBIR Advances Airborne Hazard Detection Technology

Michigan Aerospace Corporation (MAC), an advanced R&D and products company, today announced that it has begun work on a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract with NASA’s Langley Research Center. The contract, “RIDES: Raman Icing Detection System,” is to extend MAC’s present aircraft-based optical air-data system technology, which uses ultraviolet laser light to measure air speed, direction, temperature and density, to also detect conditions aloft when ice is likely to form, enabling a multi-hazard sensing capability. “Icing,” or ice formation on the wings and other critical aircraft parts of an airplane in flight, is a critical safety issue and has led to many aviation incidents. Also, ice formation on Pitot tubes and ports—the traditional way of gathering air data—can cause loss of speed information to the pilots and consequent accidents. RIDES will provide an all-optical ability to detect icing conditions, allowing pilots to make real-time decisions about flight path and activation of in-flight de-icing systems, while at the same time providing a vital air-data system for the aircraft. All of this will be accomplished through a common flush-mounted window that does not protrude into the air flow and can be easily heated to prevent ice build up.

RIDES has the potential to be combined with MAC’s other UV-based optical air data system, turbulence detection, and volcanic particle detection technologies. This kind of combined sensor system would be able to find volcanic, turbulence, and icing hazards in the flight path. It would also report airspeed along with air, temperature, and density routinely, providing commercial aircraft with a valuable new multi-function optical warning/air data system. This new system will boost aviation safety and improve crew awareness of the air situation ahead of the aircraft. The project will be led by MAC’s President, Charles Richey.

August 6th, 2013

MICHIGAN AEROSPACE CORPORATION ANNOUNCES NASA AWARD FOR SENSOR TO MEASURE AIRSPEED DURING MARS PROBE DESCENTS

Better Speed Knowledge Will Allow Safer, More Accurate Landings on Red Planet

Michigan Aerospace Corporation (MAC), an advanced R&D and products company, announced today that they have started work on a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract titled “MARVY: Mars Velocity Sensor.” This contract with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory will modify MAC’s present aircraft-based optical air-data system technology, which uses ultraviolet (UV) laser light to measure air speed, direction, temperature and density, for use in the Martian atmosphere during probe entry and landing. Many variables must be accounted for in order to allow a lander, such as the Mars rover Curiosity (2012), to land as close as possible to a target zone that has been chosen ahead of time for safety and scientific interest. One key factor is the speed through the Martian atmosphere at the time of parachute deployment. Presently, this is estimated via accelerometer data, which for several reasons may not accurately reflect the actual airspeed of the probe. MARVY will be a compact sensor capable of measuring true airspeed from light scattered by both molecules and aerosols in the Martian atmosphere, allowing parachute deployment at a desired true airspeed.

MARVY will extend MAC’s present optical air-data system technology to instruments made of micro-fabricated optical components. The compactness of the resulting sensor, driven by the unforgiving requirements of use aboard spacecraft, will also enable manned aircraft and Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) applications where size and weight are critical considerations.

“Meeting the size, weight and power requirements for planetary exploration is challenging,” says Peter Tchoryk, CEO of Michigan Aerospace. “But the resulting compact design will also be an enabler for other applications on aircraft and wind tunnels.” The project will be led by MAC’s Vice President for R&D, Dr. Dominique Fourguette.

July 25th, 2013

MICHIGAN AEROSPACE CORPORATION ANNOUNCES NASA AWARD FOR DETECTING AIRBORNE VOLCANIC ASH

Hazard to Aerial Navigation Can Be Measured, Tracked and Avoided

Michigan Aerospace Corporation (MAC), an advanced R&D and products company, today announced that it has begun work on a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract titled “Volcanic Ash Detection Using Raman LIDAR: VADER.” This contract with NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center will build upon MAC’s present aircraft-based optical air-data system technology, which uses ultraviolet (UV) laser light to measure air speed, direction, temperature and density. The optical air data instrumentation will be augmented to measure airborne volcanic ash loading ahead of an aircraft. Volcanic ash is a significant hazard to aircraft engines, windscreens and electronics and has caused damage to unwary aircraft on multiple occasions and disrupted air travel for thousands of travelers, costing millions of dollars. This occurred in 2010, when Iceland’s volcano Eyjafjallajökull disrupted air travel over Europe for weeks, and more recently this month, as Mexico’s volcano Popocatepetl disrupted flights to and from Mexico City.

VADER can continuously monitor ash conditions in front of commercial and military aircraft, providing warning of dangerous conditions ahead in time for the crew to alter course. Compact versions of VADER can be mounted aboard Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs), which can then be used to scout the airways during major eruptions to determine when conditions are safe for flight. With enough data from aircraft distributed over a wide area, commercial and military aviation could effectively map ash conditions and permit a faster return to normal flight operations without sacrificing safety. Also, VADER will allow for the scientific study of volcanic ash plumes, since the instrument will yield ash loading and particle size distribution. Finally, such instrumentation will be useful for the characterization of large atmospheric instabilities, such as storms and hurricanes.

VADER will operate from behind a flush-mounted window and has the potential to be combined with MAC’s other UV-based optical air data system, turbulence-detection, and ice-forming droplet detection technologies. Such a combined sensor system would detect volcanic, turbulence and icing hazards ahead and report airspeed along with air, temperature and density routinely, providing commercial aircraft with a valuable new optically-based multi-function warning/air data system. This will increase commercial aviation safety and enhance pilot awareness of the air situation ahead of the aircraft.

“We are developing a fully integrated atmospheric intelligence package for flight safety,” says Peter Tchoryk, CEO of Michigan Aerospace. “With this funding, we are getting closer to achieving a compact, multi-function optical solution that is applicable to manned and unmanned aircraft.” The project will be led by MAC’s Vice President for Research and Development, Dr. Dominique Fourguette.


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