Alta Devices Enters Growing Smallsat Market With Unique Solar Panel Technology

by Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Alta Devices unique solar panel technology.

Alta Devices, founded in 2007 in Sunnyvale, California, manufactures single-junction solar cell technology. The company’s largest market is the UAV market, and it also has a presence in the automotive, Internet of Things (IoT), and consumer device markets. With the market for small satellites rapidly expanding, the need for solar panels to power these spacecraft has emerged as a growing market for many companies, including Alta. Forecast International recently had a chance to talk to Alta about its work in the satellite market. Aarohi Vijh, Alta’s head of Product, and Rich Kapusta, chief marketing officer, provided answers. Continue reading

Accelerating the SmallSat Propulsion Market: Interview with Accion Systems CEO Natalya Bailey

by Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

The ion Electrospray Propulsion System (iEPS) for CubeSats is shown here next to a US quarter for scale

Accion Systems is developing an electric propulsion system for small satellites. As the number of small satellites built and launched increases each year, Accion sees a growing opportunity for propulsion systems to guide those spacecraft once they reach orbit around Earth.

Continue reading

We Should Never Have . . .

by Stuart Slade, Senior Naval Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

CVN-78 aircraft carrier

USS Gerald R Ford is the latest U.S. aircraft carrier Source: U.S. Navy

Sea-Air-Space Symposium, Washington One of the topics that invariably comes up at a meeting of naval-oriented people concerns the iniquities of the past wherein ships that were supposedly the perfect solutions to the requirements of the time were scrapped, allegedly to “save money.”  Those of the aviation persuasion add in their pleas on behalf of aircraft that were once in service but are now relegated to museums.  So, why were these alleged paragons of virtue removed from service and scrapped? Continue reading

Steep Angle of Climb for Aerospace 3-D Printing

By Matthew Beres, Airborne Retrofit & Modernization Analyst, Forecast International.

GEnx jet engine model

GEnx jet engine model created with 3d printing.  Source: GE

These days you couldn’t swing a dead cat in a community college or magnet school without hitting a 3-D printer. Certainly this isn’t a new technology, but its use in manufacturing is rapidly gaining momentum. 3-D printing, or additive manufacturing, has the potential to significantly improve the process of product design and manufacturing. Continue reading

Turkey’s T-LORAMIDS Missile Defense System Edges Ever Further Away

by Dan Darling, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Chinese HQ-9. Source: Wikipedia Commons/Jian Kang

Chinese HQ-9 selection prompted pushback from the West. Source: Wikipedia /Jian Kang

A long-awaited contract for the Turkish Long-Range Air and Missile Defense System (T-LORAMIDS) now appears further away than ever. For a project green-lit by the Turkish government back in 2005, the ongoing inability to ink a final contract for a long-range air-missile defense solution is symptomatic of the internal/external political components involved. Continue reading

On Integrated Phased-Array Electro-Optics – A Landmark Announcement

by C. Zachary Hofer, Electronic Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

DARPAThe announcement of the successful manufacture of a viable non-mechanical, phased-array, electro-optical microchip as part of DARPA’s SWEEPER program is a landmark event. While phased-array technology has been available in radar (radio detection and ranging) devices for years, this is the first time that there has been a wide announcement of an electro-optic device (in this case, laser detecting and ranging, or LIDAR) demonstrating this ability on board an integrated microchip.

Continue reading