New aircraft opportunities

New aircraft opportunities amid aerospace industry woes have emerged from Vertical Aerospace. Michael Cervenka traces his interest in engineering back to his grandfather’s influence. “He was an organ builder and had me sorting out screws on his workshop floor when I was 18 months old,” he says.

That interest literally took off. He is now the boss of Bristol-based Vertical Aerospace and has progressed to electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) machines. With the potential to be quiet and economical, these aircraft have been touted as the next big thing in passenger aircraft.

Vertical is working on the VA-1X, an aircraft intended to fly between regions. That regional emphasis matters as eVTOL machines have often been promoted as air taxis, whizzing around our cities under the banner of “urban air mobility” (UAM).

New aircraft opportunities

Michael Cervenka says pilot-free aircraft are a long way off

New aircraft opportunities could mean electric flight for everyone

Some even suggest these vehicles could scoop up passengers and whisk them along pre-arranged flight corridors without a pilot. Vertical dismisses this as a fantasy. “Our aircraft will be heavily automated,” says Mr Cervenka. “But both regulations and the public will require a pilot for years to come.”

An automatic response to an obstruction on a landing pad below will pull VA-1X up and away from a collision. However, people still want to see a highly trained aviator in charge of their flight. Using multiple propellers that point skywards for take-off and then rotate to tilt forward to fly horizontally, the VA-1X aims to carry four passengers and a pilot over short distances more cheaply than a helicopter.

Airlines operate within a framework of strict regulation, so how will this entirely new category of machine pass the scrutiny of international safety bodies? Mr Cervenka says he is working closely with UK and European regulators.

Excellence in engineering

The technology behind VA-1X has been tested at a remote airfield in Wales using a prototype called Seraph. This is a piloted black box surrounded by six arms mounting rotor blades. These new design ideas are helping create new aircraft opportunities that help climate change.

Seraph’s chunky appearance belies its role in proving the systems that should keep VA-1X’s eight electric motors pointing in the right direction. And if a motor fails Seraph can still hover and land.

With a winged design, as opposed to some of the wingless flying car proposals in the eVTOL world, Vertical’s VA-1X gains lift. So, the wings take pressure off its electric power source, which is derived from a car battery. Vertical employs 25 ex-Formula 1 engineers and a battery engineer from Jaguar Land Rover.

The company claims its aircraft will be 30 times quieter than a helicopter. In theory it will make more use of existing heliports where the frequency of landings is restricted by noise regulations.

It spies a market for travel between locations not served by high-speed rail networks and regional airlines. Regional connectivity is the name of this game.

Connecting people with places

“We will offer an ability to connect places that are not well connected today,” says Mr Cervenka, who is eyeing up a London-to-Brighton service, a route notorious for rail delays and traffic jams.

Covid has slashed airline passenger numbers. It is important for the aerospace industry to investigate new aircraft opportunities. So, Mr Cervenka reckons new purchases of large airliners are off the menu. But airlines might use eVTOL flights from a major airport into the centre of a city to attract business or first-class flyers as part of their fare.

The 150mph (240km/h) VA-1X will need a full battery recharge every 100 miles, but a 25-mile short hop from an airport to city centre would allow for a fast recharge and quick turnaround.

Pilot free aircraft

Vertical Aerospace is testing technology on its Seraph aircraft

The legal view about new aircraft opportunities

David Tait, a lawyer studying emerging technologies for the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority, says he expects eVTOL craft to gain regulatory approval for certain services. However, he also pours cold water on the wilder promises of flying taxis.

“Consumer on-demand services are a long way away,” he says, citing the air traffic management challenges of putting too many machines into the air above a major city.

Designs such as the octo-engined VA-1X have no single point of failure, unlike a helicopter where the loss of rotor blades or power can be catastrophic.

“Our view is that eVTOL should be at least as safe as existing vehicles,” Mr Tait says. “Our expectation is that these will be quieter, cleaner and safer.”

Approximately 300 eVTOL projects are under way around the globe and Germany’s Lilium is one of the most advanced, attracting engineers from Boeing and Airbus.

New aircraft opportunities are the future of air travel

Its distinctive eVTOL machine has 36 electric engines buried inside slender white wings and tail planes. These are ducted fans, sucking in air and blowing it out in the manner of a jet engine but without mixing it up with fuel. This mass of fans creates a strong current that will push the little five-seater jet to 300km/h (186mph) and give the pilot control over direction.

Remo Gerber, its operational chief, says that despite this radical design Lilium is “following a classic aviation approach”, with safety dictating design features such as the Kevlar shell around the fan blades, ensuring that if a blade flies off it will be contained within the tough material.

A technology demonstrator flew at its base outside Munich in 2019 and the larger production machine is intended to carry four passengers and a pilot like the VA-1X. These light passenger loads reflect the power limitations of electric motors.

Mr Gerber shares the view that UAM has been oversold: “We struggle with UAM. We don’t see the benefits.” He argues that very short distances make no sense for eVTOL. The final section of the trip still will have to be made by road. Lilium is also focussing on the regional transport market.

European ideas

Lilium plans a regional network based around Dusseldorf and Cologne airports in Germany’s densely populated North Rhine-Westphalia area. The idea is to connect smaller cities such as Aachen and Munster to the airports via Lilium aircraft by 2025.

It is also designing eVTOL airports – what it calls “vertiports”. With a relatively small footprint these present an affordable alternative to airports and railway stations. These could link up a region with hundreds of daily flights and multiple high-frequency flights from different locations, and would carry more passengers than rival first-class rail services at equivalent fares.

Vertical say, manufacturing will see components such as the VA-1X’s cockpit displays arriving to be integrated in a final assembly. So, Mr Cervenka’s very early experience putting many parts of a machine together may still pay dividends.

IT support with business development in mind

We are not experts in new aircraft opportunities. Where our clients benefit working with us is future planning. What do we mean by that? We are nearly at the end of the year. What are your plans for 2021? Are you moving office? Are you opening a new branch? Do you need to upgrade your systems? Are your systems secure?

Contact the LIS Help Desk to speak to one of our Support Technicians. We will undertake a complete IT audit of your business. Work with you on your future goals and make recommendations to improve your systems. Whether you need IT Support, Telecoms, cloud services or security, we are here to help. We can’t fly planes, but we can help you get to your business destination and achieve your goals.

LIS – SECURING YOUR DIGITAL WORLD

#Aerospace #PassengerAircraft #LooksABitTerminatorToUs

Pointless emails

They’re not just irritating; they have a massive carbon footprint. Above all, more than 64 million pointless emails are sent in Britain every day. Along with clogging up our inboxes they are also damaging the environment.

Stop! Don’t send that pointless email

Don’t offer thanks or send a jokey message. If you do, you will add to your carbon footprint. Be rude, say nothing – and save the planet. An article published by David Molloy, BBC Technology Reporter, explores the effects of pointless emails on the environment.

A new study commissioned by energy company OVO reckons Brits send more than 64m unnecessary emails every day, and that if every adult in the UK sent one fewer “thank you” email a day we would save more than 16,433 tonnes of carbon a year – equivalent to 81,152 flights to Madrid or taking 3,334 diesel cars off the road.

These are the sorts of stats beloved of green energy companies trying to get a bit of free publicity. But it’s all true, according to Mike Berners-Lee, a professor in the environment centre at Lancaster University, author of How Bad are Bananas: The Carbon Footprint of Everything, and brother of Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the web. True in very general terms anyway: he probably won’t vouch for all those flights.

Pointless emails

Do you really need to send the next email? Inside Facebook’s Lulea data centre in Sweden.
Photograph: David Levene/The Guardian

Think before you click send

How can one little pointless email destroy the planet, I ask Mike Berners-Lee, who advised OVO on the research. “When you are typing, your computer is using electricity,” he says. “When you press send it goes through the network, and it takes electricity to run the network. And it’s going to end up being stored on the cloud somewhere, and those data centres use a lot of electricity. We don’t think about it because we can’t see the smoke coming out of our computers, but the carbon footprint of IT is huge and growing.”

The electricity I grasp; the cloud is a bit beyond me. “It’s made up of enormous data centres all over the world,” Berners-Lee explains. “They are burning through huge amounts of electricity.” Super-efficient communication and storage is killing us. Every silver lining has a cloud.

In addition, Berners-Lee admits the numbers are “crude estimates”, but says they are a useful way of making a general point. “When we take a small action to cut carbon,” he says, “it’s a message to yourself that you care about the climate emergency.”

Does he blame his brother for all this? He laughs. “Many good things have come out of the web,” … but only if we use it selectively.

Top 10 most pointless emails sent

  1. Thank you
  2. Thanks
  3. Have a good weekend
  4. Received
  5. Appreciated
  6. Have a good evening
  7. Did you get/see this?
  8. Cheers
  9. You too
  10. LOL

How LIS help with email support?

Email support is one of the main channels of customer support for most companies today. The majority of customers say that email support is a preferred way to communicate with clients and suppliers.

Do you have a new member of staff? Has a team member left? We support our clients by setting up new email addresses and removing old email accounts. Fed up with receiving junk mail? Our clients benefit from our anti-spam service. Control who you wish to block and make sure junk mail is a thing of the past. Are you secure? We provide anti-virus solutions that help stop outside attacks.

In conclusion, make sure your email systems are set up efficiently and are kept secure. Contact the LIS Help Desk to discuss your options or to book an IT audit.

LIS – SECURING YOUR DIGITAL WORLD

#Emails #ITSupport #AntiSpam #AntiVirus

How to clean your laptop

Welcome to our guide on how to clean your laptop. Given how our hands are the easiest means of bringing germs and viruses into our homes, and how our tech is touched by us every day, it’s vital that we go about cleaning it properly.

So, we’re going to show you how to clean your laptop. It is important to get rid of debris that’s been residing between your keys since ancient times. As well as sanitizing it so you don’t need to worry about spreading bacteria between your hands, your tech and around your home and office.

Before starting, remember to wash your hands (and dry them, of course!). Now turn off your laptop and unplug it from the mains.

How to clean your laptop

Businessman cleans and disinfects his laptop in the office, using disposable wipes. Credit: Getty Images

Vacuum-clean your laptop

Hoover your laptop

To get rid of dust you should vacuum-clean every part of your laptop apart from the screen using the brush end of the vacuum cleaner. LCD screens are fragile and would be scratched by the brush bristles. They need to be cleaned more gently than the rest of your laptop. We’ll get round to cleaning the screen later.

Make sure you use the vacuum cleaner on a low setting. You’re just picking up dust and small bits of debris here and setting it too powerful may damage your keyboard keys.

As well as the keyboard, make sure to vacuum any speaker holes and vents on your laptop. These can build up a lot of dust that’s been pushed out from inside your laptop over the years. Keeping them clear is vital to your laptop running nice and cool.

Clean your laptop keyboard

Wipe your keyboard

The next step to a clean laptop is a clean keyboard. Now that you’ve vacuumed your keyboard, it should be dust-free and ready for more thorough cleaning. You could start by using some cleaning putty. A sticky, rubberised substance that you roll over your keyboard to pick up stubborn particles and debris stuck between your keys. You should also roll this putty over the speaker holes on your laptop.

Once the putty has worked its magic, lightly dampen (not drench) a microfibre cloth and wipe your laptop keyboard down with it. Apply more pressure to any stains or crusty bits that may be stuck to your keys.

Clean your laptop ports

Clean your laptop ports

Cleaning putty is also great at cleaning your laptop’s ports, which are another hotbed of debris and easily overlooked dirt. Squish the cleaning putty into your laptop’s various ports to pick out the debris from them. Whether or not you used the cleaning putty, you should also get a Q-tip or cotton bud stick. Moisten it in isopropyl alcohol, then stick it into your ports and swab around inside them.

The alcohol-moistened stick will serve the dual role of pulling debris out of the ports and sanitizing them. Don’t worry about moisture in the ports, as isopropyl evaporates almost instantly.

Isopropyl is one of the most widely used solvents for sanitizing and disinfecting surfaces. You don’t necessarily need to use the 99% strength stuff either. 75% isopropyl can be just as effective at killing bacteria. Because the purified water it’s diluted with acts as a catalyst in breaking down microorganism cell wells. It also takes longer to evaporate, increasing the exposure time between it and the microorganism.

Clean your laptop screen

Wipe your screen

The screen is one of the more sensitive parts of your laptop. So slightly different rules apply when it comes to cleaning it. Moisten a microfibre cloth with some isopropyl alcohol and gently wipe the screen in circular or straight-line motions.

Note that if you have a screen with an oleophobic layer (generally touchscreens), then you shouldn’t use isopropyl as this may deteriorate that layer over time. For these kinds of screens, use a mild non-alcoholic screen cleaner instead.

Once the isopropyl has evaporated, give your screen an extra wipe with a screen cleaner like Ecomoist or WHOOSH! Both are alcohol-free screen cleaners designed to get rid of smudges. They also have anti-static qualities that will help the screen repel dust for longer.

Sanitize your laptop

That isopropyl isn’t just for your screen. It’s an all-round surface cleaner that you should now use to wipe down the rest of your laptop. Moisten a microfibre cloth in isopropyl and wipe down your laptop all over – keyboard, speaker holes, vents, ports, you-name-it.

The high alcohol content in the isopropyl will help remove stubborn stains and smears on your laptop’s surface. Rub a little harder on tougher stains and the alcohol should help them come away. The isopropyl will evaporate soon after wiping and once it does you can rest assured that your laptop is clean and germ-free.

It’s a good idea to clean your laptop regularly, particularly in these uncertain times. As an extra precaution during the covid-19 outbreak, you should always wash your hands before sitting down at your laptop. Especially after coming in from the outside world and wipe it down with isopropyl alcohol at least once a week.

Spring clean your IT system

We can help you keep your IT system free from bugs and viruses. Our clients benefit from our anti-virus and anti-spam solutions. Keep your office systems secure and up to date with Office 365 and our Security Package. Are you fed up with your old technology or slow Internet speeds? It may be time for an upgrade.

Contact the LIS Help Desk to speak to one of our knowledgeable support technicians. We are more than your IT partner, consider us your IT doctor!

LIS – SECURING YOUR DIGITAL WORLD

#Laptop #CleaningTips #GermFree

 

SpaceX teams with Microsoft

SpaceX teams with Microsoft for Space Development Agency

A digital environment will allow the user to visualize an entire satellite architecture, test satellite designs and artificial intelligence algorithms. It was announced earlier this month that SpaceX won a $149 million contract from the Defense Department’s Space Development Agency to build four satellites to detect and track ballistic and hypersonic missiles. SpaceX teams with Microsoft Azure’s as they were interested in the orbital emulator.

Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX president and chief of operating officer, revealed in a pre-recorded interview released Oct. 20 that Microsoft is a subcontractor working on the SDA program with SpaceX.

Shotwell in the video spoke with Tom Keane, corporate vice president of Microsoft Azure Global, about a new agreement to use SpaceX’s Starlink satellite broadband to connect Azure cloud computing data centres deployed around the world. Keane also asked Shotwell to discuss the companies’ other partnership for the SDA contract.

SpaceX teams with Microsoft

Microsoft teams up with SpaceX to launch Azure Space to bring cloud computing into the final frontier.

The new space race

“We were pleased that Microsoft was on our team,” said Shotwell. “We will be delivering to the government a number of satellites that host a capability to protect against ballistic weapons. Microsoft will be doing quite a bit of work as a subcontractor which I think was kind of a funny twist to the relationship here.” Shotwell did not discuss what specific role Microsoft will play in the SDA program. SpaceX is vertically integrated and does not work with many subcontractors.

The SDA satellites will be delivered by September 2022. They will have a “wide field of view” overhead persistent infrared sensor capable of detecting and tracking advanced missile threats from low Earth orbit. The spacecraft will have optical crosslinks to pass data to relay satellites.

SpaceX teams with Microsoft forming the dream team

The orbital emulator “conducts massive satellite constellation simulations with software and hardware in the loop,” according to a Microsoft blog post. “This allows satellite developers to evaluate and train AI algorithms and satellite networking before ever launching a single satellite.”

The SDA satellites are being designed to process data on board and re-task themselves autonomously. The Azure emulator tool allows the user to see what the satellite sees, which helps model scenarios and simulate the architecture.

To infinity… and beyond!

Like Buzz Lightyear, we are huge fans of space adventures and new technology. We love helping our existing and new clients achieve their goals and stay ahead of the competition. Managed IT services do not have to cost as much as a space mission. Contact the LIS Help Desk for an IT Audit. We will make sure you avoid viruses and steroids. Stay on the correct flight path and make sure you have a safe landing.

LIS – SECURING YOUR DIGITAL WORLD

#AzureSpace #Microsoft #SpaceX #Technology

Save The Planet

As a society, we get through serious amounts of technology. Help save the planet! What do you do with your old devices though? Sell them? Shove them in a drawer and forget all about them? We should be recycling them to help the planet. The Evening Standard published a story about how millions of old gadgets can be recycled into new shiny ones.

When you’re done with your old PC, laptop or Mac, don’t just throw it in the rubbish. Make sure you recycle it properly, including safely removing any personal data on your computer’s hard drive.

Recycling an old computer can be relatively straightforward. When you buy a new electrical item such as a PC or laptop, the retailer you buy from is legally obliged to help you safely and responsibly dispose of the item you are replacing.

Save The Planet.jpg

Computer Recycling – Technology continues to rapidly grow. Make sure you recycle your old machines the right way.
Do not risk getting a fine!

Computer recycling schemes help save the planet

One of the best recycling services we’ve come across is called WeeeCharity. This charity will collect your old computing equipment free of charge from your home. It will also offer to wipe your data securely, free of charge. WeeeCharity donates refurbished computers to those in need, or else disposes of them in an environmentally responsible manner.

Alternatively, your local council may run a scheme for recycling old computers (but it might charge for collection). For more details, go to the Environment Agency Website or contact your council.

You can also enter your postcode at the Recycle Now website to see whether there’s a recycling scheme near you. Alternatively, the Freecycle Network will help you give away your old machine, and Computer Aid International sends computers to developing countries.

In all cases, it’s essential to take some steps to securely remove the data on your computer. Some charities offer to do this for you. If you’d prefer to take matters into your own hands, follow our advice below.

Factory reset your computer before recycling

Before recycling a laptop or desktop, you should reset it to its ‘factory settings’. In theory, this leaves only the bare operating system and pre-installed programs on the device – removing access to your files and any programs you’ve added.

It’s essential before beginning the proces to back up all your data. Firstly, store them safely on an external hard drive. Then save them to your new computer or in online cloud storage solutions. Finally, if you wish to reinstall software from your old computer onto a new one, note down the licence keys. You’ll need these to install paid-for software (including Microsoft Office) on a new machine.

Use data-shredding software

Scrapped computers can end up being recycled anywhere, often with the components stripped out to extract valuable metals. It is also possible to extract potentially sensitive data at this point, even with a computer that’s been factory reset as per the steps above.

To be certain your data is gone, you should consider using data-shredding software. Windows 10 lets you shred data from within its factory reset options. If you’re using a different operating system, it’s a good idea to run additional software.

Remove the hard drive

If you’re recycling a laptop or desktop and would prefer not to dabble with data-shredding software, the safest way to make sure your data isn’t accessed is to physically remove the hard drive.

You can put an old hard drive into an external caddy – available for about £12 online. This will convert it into a USB hard drive that you can use to store and access data, just like a regular external hard drive.

Alternatively, you can smash the old hard drive to make it unrecoverable. It’s physical work – you’ll need to destroy it with a few satisfying blows of a hammer to break the ‘platters’ that hold the data.

How we help save the planet

We are unable to save the animals or forests of the world. We offer a recycling service to our clients, by taking your old equipment. Our recycling program makes sure your we dispose of your items ethically and abide by UK law.

Contact the LIS Help Desk to talk about upgrading your equipment. Our friendly team are here help you with data shredding, transfer of data and other issues you have.

LIS – SECURING YOUR DIGITAL WORLD

#recycle #OldDevices #SaveThePlanet