News Article | May 2, 2017
Among meteorologists, there is the joke that the weather of tomorrow can be predicted most safely when assuming that it will be the same as today. The common belief is that this would be true in many cases. Of course, meteorologists today no longer rely on this not-so-serious rule of thumb. For weather predictions, they rather rely on computer simulations which are fed with thousands of pieces of measurement data. For some decades, such data have mainly been supplied by satellites that use sensitive sensors to measure the temperature or the precipitation on earth. The better these sensors are, the more accurate the measured values and, therefore, also the weather predictions. In the next years, the European Space Agency (ESA) will, therefore, be launching the second generation of its MetOp weather satellites (Meteorological Operational Satellites), six in all, which are equipped with state-of-the-art measurement technology. A total of EUR 1.4 billion has been earmarked for the construction of the second-generation MetOp satellites – launch and operation not included. With the satellites, small but very fine technological components from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF in Freiburg – highly precise amplifiers that measure microwave radiation – will also be launched. This radiation is emitted from every single object, every surface – similar to how a body radiates heat, which can be seen in the infrared image. The amplifiers are calibrated to microwave frequencies because these provide important meteorological information: they capture microwaves emitted by water vapor, rain, fog or ice crystals – particularly also from the ice crystals in the cirrus clouds high up in the atmosphere, which are believed to have an important effect on the climate and weather. Thanks to the microwave radiation, it is also possible to reach very precise conclusions about the temperature on the ground. The signals received by the microwave antennas of the satellites are extremely weak, though. They are only a few nanowatts strong. In order to be able to detect these microwave signals with any degree of reliability, amplifiers are needed. The amplifiers from the Fraunhofer IAF have proven to be ideal. "The core of these amplifiers is a transistor from the semiconductor material indium gallium arsenide," says Dr. Michael Schlechtweg, who heads the High Frequency Electronic business unit at the Fraunhofer IAF. "A characteristic of this material is that it is very easily traversed by electrons, even if the electric field that drives the electrons is very small." Accordingly, the electrons in the transistor are already set in motion by very weak microwave signals, which makes the transistor extremely sensitive. "Thanks to the microwave circuits developed by the Fraunhofer IAF, the MetOp satellite will be able to determine temperature, water vapor and type of precipitation even more precisely in the future. This increases the reliability of the weather forecast," explains ESA Project Manager Ville Kangas. However, transistors made of the conventional semiconductor material silicon would be far too insensitive. It is not the indium gallium arsenide alone which makes the amplifiers so sensitive. Their small size also contributes to this. The electrodes of the transistors are just 50 to 35 nanometers (millionths of a millimeter) long. Only then are tiny electron currents or signals measurable. "This extreme sensitivity and small size are the result of 25 years of research," Michael Schlechtweg explains. "During this time, we have developed a highly accurate manufacturing process in which the amplifier circuits are built in 150 production steps. We form the electrodes with an electron beam. Only a very few companies worldwide are able to do this with such a degree of precision." On the MetOp satellite, the amplifiers are used in three different microwave instruments which measure different things – precipitation, water vapor, ice crystals or the temperature. For this purpose, the experts working with Schlechtweg had to produce different sensors, each of which is calibrated to the corresponding microwave frequency – in concrete terms, there are five frequency bands between 54 and 243 gigahertz. As Schlechtweg explains, a value of 243 gigahertz is a considerable value, since, the higher the frequency, the more powerful the amplifier has to be. The components of the Fraunhofer IAF are this powerful. And they have impressed not only the ESA. A US company has recently inquired about them. It is therefore also possible that the microwave amplifiers from the IAF will be launched on board US satellites. Explore further: Space probes will be more useful with new amplifiers
News Article | April 17, 2017
In order to help increase wind turbine efficiency, the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF has developed an innovative radar scanner that can detect defects in composite wind turbine blades with more accuracy. By visualizing the defects in a cross-sectional view, customers can save costs on production and operation. As Fraunhofer explains, modern wind turbine blades are mainly constructed from glass fiber and carbon fiber reinforced plastics so that they can elastically absorb the wind energy from strong gusts without breaking. For a single blade, up to 100 sheets of glass fiber webbing are layered on top of each other, shaped and then glued together with epoxy resin. “The difficulty lies in layering the glass fiber sheets flat before they are glued, without creating undulations and folds, and avoiding the formation of lumps of resin or sections of laminate which don’t set when applying the epoxy,” explains Dr. Axel Hülsmann, coordinator of the radar project and group manager of sensor systems at the Fraunhofer IAF. These kinds of defects, as well as delaminations or fractures, can be identified on a large-scale using infrared thermography. Quality control is essential, and that’s where their scanner comes in. “Our material scanner enables defects to be identified with even greater accuracy, as depth resolution is also possible with radar technology – even in places where ultrasound methods fail,” says Hülsmann. At the core of the material scanner is a high-frequency radar, which operates with only very few watts of transmitting power. Specialized software is used to process the transmitter and receiver signals and visualize the measurement results. “This enables us to generate a cross-sectional view of the blade, in which defects can be identified in the millimeter range, and makes our material scanner significantly more accurate than conventional methods,” says Hülsmann. The radar module is extremely light and compact thanks to its construction, in which different components and functions are integrated into a single chip. Measuring 42 x 28 x 79 mm, it is approximately the size of a pack of cigarettes and only weighs 160 grams. Fraunhofer adds that in the future, the material scanner could also be used for maintenance, where it could classify defects themselves. It could also be used to contribute to the development of innovative material inspections in aircraft, such as the composites-intensive Boeing 787 Dreamliner or the Airbus A350 aircraft. The Fraunhofer IAF will be introducing the material scanner for testing wind turbine blades at the Baden-Württemberg booth at the Hannover Messe show later this month.
News Article | February 22, 2017
Ecolog Vice President -- Q&S shares Ecolog's successful HSE strategy and implementation, from an Oil & Gas contractors' perspective KUWAIT CITY, KUWAIT--(Marketwired - February 22, 2017) - Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) are key aspects in the Oil & Gas world, often challenged by climate conditions, site remoteness and security conditions. In this context, the logistics and support services backing the operators are essential to ensure safe, sustainable and continuous operations. The recent Kuwait International HSE conference & exhibition, held 15-16 February, with 2,500 participants from across the Middle East and Europe, focused in particular on these aspects. Mr. Roy Griffin, Vice President Q&S at Ecolog, presented Ecolog's pragmatic and innovative HSE strategy to the audience. Ecolog, a turnkey provider of support services with operations in over 150 locations, has an integrated HSE footprint in all its contracts. This drives Ecolog to continuously develop its HSE programs. Mr. Griffin said: "Ecolog's Q&S program was developed thinking differently towards the traditional concept of HSE. We wanted to stand out from the crowd but also make HSE user friendly and welcoming. Now in its fifth year, it has evolved with well developed, robust management systems, across all our contracts, resulting in the safest standards to our employees and customers." In Iraq, Ecolog Waste Management operations, in support of Shell in Majnoon, were recognized last year with the Seven Pillards Award, having performed three million hours free of Lost Time Injuries (LTI). As a result, the company was placed on Shell's Global Contractors register as a Green Banded Company. Ecolog is an active member of the UK's leading safety charity RoSPA, which promotes safety, the prevention of accidents, and supports companies in improving their safety performance. With this membership, Ecolog supports the work of RoSPA and benefits from the expertise it provides to improve safety performance. Employee training and awareness are key in such a successful implementation. Mr. Griffin explains: "HSE starts with leadership, from active involvement of the CEO, to all levels of the leadership teams. It sets the highest level of good practice within the various areas of responsibility. The commitment in developing a HSE culture, together with a Generative Organization, have a strong bearing on actual behavior and performance of our people. At Ecolog we work together to make it culturally unacceptable when safety rules are broken." To enhance further employee awareness, Ecolog also subscribes to the OHSA Academy, which provides in-depth training and development. Mostly, Ecolog's clients also have their own standards and regulations. The contractor then obviously needs to adapt to these criteria, while fulfilling its own objectives. Hence, Ecolog developed and implemented a global Integrated Management System (IMS) in order to modularize its HSE business practices, to best satisfy the requirements and expectations of the customers, and to continuously improve the overall management of the company. Mr. Griffin explains: "Ecolog's IMS brings our HSE and Food Safety programs together into one efficient and coherent System. It defines how Quality and Safety activities are conducted within our operations and acts as a repository for contract documentation, archiving/records, and past performance utilizing Microsoft SharePoint." The Ecolog IMS is also audited regularly by QMS International, a registered Certification company with the Deutsche Akkreditierungsstelle GmbH (DAkks), who themselves are members of the International Accreditation Forum (IAF). Ecolog's IMS is ISO certified for 9001:2015; 14001:2015; 22000:2005: OHSAS 18001:2007. Overall, Mr. Griffin explained how Ecolog fosters and develops a healthy and safe working environment, compliant with all relevant local and international regulations. A message which was reinforced by Mr. Nizar M. Al Adsani, Deputy Chairman & Chief Executive Director of The Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC): "(…) a company's HSE strategy is of fundamental importance to the success and profitability of that company." A clear reminder that conducting business in a way that protects the interests of the wider community and minimizes any negative impact on the environment, also benefits the interest of a company and its clients. About Ecolog Ecolog is a leading global provider of customised camp facility and infrastructure services, supply chain and logistic solutions, and environmental services to Governments, Humanitarian organisations and Commercial market sectors like Oil & Gas, Mining, Energy and Retail. Since the start of the company in 1998, Ecolog has successfully performed over 1,100 projects. With an extensive network of operations of more than 150 locations and with about 12,000 people active in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe and North America, Ecolog is able to quickly mobilise new operations as well as develop robust supply chains and total service solutions on a global scale. Ecolog has a strong and proven track record in delivering on-time and high-quality solutions that enhance the living and working conditions of the people they serve.
News Article | February 22, 2017
CHICAGO, Feb. 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Cybersecurity remains a top business priority as cyber incidents and data breaches carry the threat of significant operational and reputational damage for all organizations. A new report from the Internal Audit Foundation (IAF) and Crowe Horwath...
News Article | February 24, 2017
WATERLOO REGION, Ontario--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Two women entrepreneurs were awarded a collective $100,000 in funding at the Communitech Fierce Founders Bootcamp Pitch Competition on Thursday. Sara Bonham of Willow Cup was awarded first place and $60,000, and Luna Yu of Genecis EnviroTech Inc., took $40,000 in second place. The startups will also be welcomed to claim the first spots in the second cohort of the Communitech Fierce Founders Accelerator focused on women-led businesses beginning March 20, 2017. “This group of Fierce Founders has been exceptional to work with and we have seen incredible progress over the course of the program,” said Danielle Graham, Women in Tech Program Manager, Communitech. “Each year we receive more and more high-quality applicants for the Fierce Founders Bootcamp. This year’s top eight was a collection of exceptional startups with real potential,” said Graham. The top eight bootcamp participants included: Cat Adalay of The Aurea Company, Erifili Morfidis of iRestify Inc., Martha van Berkel of Hunch Manifest, Katarina Illic of Voltera, Tamara Bain of Chillabit, Sara Bonham of Willow Cup, Luna Yu of Genecis EnviroTech Inc., and Amanda Chan of Elementary. They were vetted based on customer validation, lean canvas model and pitch practice performance. At the finale they pitched to a panel of judges including: Janet Bannister of Real Ventures, Nicole Leblanc of BDC, Michelle McBain of MaRS IAF, Allison Sugar of Deloitte, John Bowey of Kognitiv and Daniela Roeper of Borealis Wind. The Communitech Fierce Founders Bootcamp brings together women entrepreneurs to participate in six days of workshops over the course of six weeks, taking part in business fundamentals workshops and receiving mentoring from top industry players. This was the first winter session offered in the bootcamp’s three-year history and included startups from the Toronto-Waterloo Region corridor, Halifax and San Francisco. Communitech Fierce Founders is supported by Kognitiv, Deloitte, BDC, Google and Thomson Reuters. For more information about Communitech’s women in technology programming, please visit www.communitech.ca/fiercefounders. About Communitech Communitech is a private-public innovation centre in Waterloo Region that supports a community ecosystem of more than 1,000 tech companies—from startups to rapidly growing mid-size companies and large global players. A member of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs, which is funded by the Ontario Government, Communitech helps tech companies start, grow and succeed.
News Article | December 1, 2016
Future Market Insights (FMI), in its latest report titled, “Global Coated Fabrics Market Analysis and Opportunities Assessment, 2014-2020”, reveals that the global coated fabrics market accounted for US$ 17.3 Bn in 2014. The market is estimated to reach US$ 21.6 Bn by 2020, exhibiting a CAGR of 3.7% during the forecast period. The global coated fabrics market mainly covers applications, regions and product type. By Application type, the global coated fabrics market is segmented into transportation, Industrial, protective clothing, furniture, commercial tents, and others. Amongst all the applications, transportation accounted for 34% of overall market share in 2014 and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 3.7% over the forecast period, followed by Industrial and other applications Region-wise, Asia-Pacific is projected to dominate the coated fabrics market through the forecast period, exhibiting a CAGR of 4.1% over the forecast period, followed by North America and Western Europe. The growth is attributed to growing automobile and industrial sectors. By product type, polymer coated fabrics segment accounted for approximately 87% of total revenue market share in 2014 and is anticipated to hold a significant revenue share by 2020, displaying a CAGR of 3.6% over the next five years. Furthermore, rubber coatings and other segment are expected to demonstrate a significant growth in the near future. The Coated fabrics are widely used in end user industries include transportation due to its various features such as elasticity, water resistance, and ability to drape. Increasing government regulations about health and safety of employees at the workplace, and growing automobile sector in APAC are other factors, driving the global coated fabrics market. Report profiles top 10 players in Coated Fabric marketplace which include 3M, Valspar Corporation, Saint-Gobain S.A., Sherwin-Williams, Bayer AG, AkzoNobel, PPG industries, Nippon Paints Co. Ltd., BASF coatings AG, and Dupont Coatings & Color Technologies Group. Currently, the key focus of the major players in the global coated fabrics market is on mergers and acquisitions to expand their geographical presence and customer base. Recently, the coated fabric market witnessed a major collaboration between International Apparel Federation (IAF) and Bayer AG aiming at improving innovations in apparel and footwear industry.
News Article | November 21, 2016
PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Aberdeen Australia Equity Fund, Inc. (the "Fund") (NYSE MKT: IAF), a closed-end equity fund, announced today performance data and portfolio composition information as of October 31, 2016. The Fund's total returns for various periods through...
News Article | October 27, 2016
IAF 30 LP has acquired the assets of FSI in a multi-million dollars private transaction. This new addition to the IAF Ventures P.E. Ag portfolio continues an aggressive development trend toward consolidation in the forage industry. IAF Ventures LLC is a leading Agricultural investment manager.
News Article | November 1, 2016
WASHINGTON, Nov. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Inter-American Foundation (IAF) today announced that President and Chief Executive Officer Robert N. Kaplan has decided to step down, effective May 2017, after more than six years of successful leadership, to pursue personal...
News Article | February 15, 2017
Saint-Cloud, France, 13-Feb-2017 — /EuropaWire/ — Dassault Aviation will present its Falcon fleet of large cabin, long range business jets alongside its Rafale fighter jet at Aero India, India’s largest airshow. The eleventh edition of this leading event will open on February 14th at Yelahanka Air Force Station in Bangalore. The Dassault display will feature the ultra-long range Falcon 8X trijet, as well as the Falcon 2000LXS twin. Dassault Aviation’s new flagship, which entered the market in October, was handed over to an Indian customer last month. The 6,450 nm/11,945 km Falcon 8X is the most comfortable, versatile and economical business jet in its class. It features the longest range of any Falcon and a choice of cabin configurations unmatched in its segment. Its state of the art flight controls and advanced flight deck systems are inherited from the very long range Falcon 7X. Cabin noise levels are even lower than those on the 7X, currently the industry benchmark. The 8X will be available with Dassault’s revolutionary new FalconEye Combined Vision System, the first head up display in the industry to combine synthetic and enhanced vision capabilities. In addition to ensuring superior situational awareness in all conditions of operation, day and night, FalconEye will make it possible to reduce minima in low visibility landing conditions, providing a substantial operational benefit. The 4,000 nm/7,410 km Falcon 2000LXS offers a short-field capability comparable to smaller midsize business jet models but with a range and comfort level far better than those aircraft. Equipped with a next-generation EASy II flight deck and the FalconCabin HD+ cabin management system, the 2000LXS offers a combination of airport performance, cabin design and efficiency unique in its class. It is also available with the FalconEye Combined Vision System. More than a dozen Falcon 2000 twins are currently in service in India. Dassault is a market leader in the Indian large cabin, long range aircraft segment, with more than 20 aircraft currently in service. Falcons are known for their versatility and their ability to fly into challenging hot-and-high airfields like those commonly found in and around India. They are widely recognized for their fuel economy and low operating costs, too. The company also benefits from more than 50 years’ experience with the Indian Air Force (IAF), which has long appreciated the sturdy, technologically advanced Dassault fighters for its combat aircraft requirements. Last year the IAF renewed its trust in Dassault Aviation with an order for 36 Rafale fighters. Most Indian Falcon orders are for longer range models like the 8X and 7X, which are capable of flying non-stop to London City Airport from anywhere in India. “With India now emerging as one of the world’s fastest growing economies, we expect demand for our high end jets to begin rising again,” remarked Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO, Dassault Aviation. “We are very bullish about our long term prospects in this market, particularly for the new Falcon 8X, the most technologically advanced large business jet in business aviation.” In anticipation of the expected market rebound, Dassault Aviation has been reinforcing its regional support presence. The company offers standard maintenance service at two Authorized Service Centers in Mumbai – one operated by Taj Air, for the Falcon 2000 series, and the other, by Air Works India, for the Falcon 900EX/LX line. The regional network includes a $5 million spare parts inventory in Mumbai backed up by offshore warehouses in Dubai, Singapore and Paris. Customers in the region also benefit from Falcon Response, Dassault’s comprehensive new AOG support service offering. This service is designed to whisk spare parts, repair tools and Go Team specialists 24/7 around the globe in the event of an aircraft on ground situation and is supported by a pair of Falcon 900 aircraft. The aircraft can also be used for alternative lift – an industry first. Note for the Editors Dassault Falcon is the recognized global brand for Dassault business jets which are designed, manufactured and supported by Dassault Aviation and Dassault Falcon Jet Corp. About Dassault Aviation Dassault Aviation is a leading aerospace company with a presence in over 90 countries across five continents. It produces the Rafale fighter jet as well as the complete line of Falcons. The company employs a workforce of over 11,000 and has assembly and production plants in both France and the United States and service facilities around the globe. Since the rollout of the first Falcon 20 in 1963, over 2,400 Falcon jets have been delivered. Dassault offers a range of six business jets from the twin-engine 3,350 nm large-cabin Falcon 2000S to its new flagship, the tri-engine 6,450 nm ultra-long range Falcon 8X. About Dassault Falcon Jet Dassault Falcon Jet Corp., is a wholly owned U.S. subsidiary of Dassault Aviation, France. Dassault Falcon Jet markets and supports the Falcon family of business jets throughout North America and South America.