From: The Aerospace States Association Briefing
To: Scott Jenkins,
Subject: Aug. 27: Ohio UAS Conference Discusses Unmanned Aircraft Regulations
Date: Wed Aug 27 12:05:18 MDT 2014
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Customized Briefing for Scott Jenkins August 27, 2014
Policy News - State
STEM Education

Policy News - State

Ohio UAS Conference Discusses Unmanned Aircraft Regulations.

The Dayton (OH) Business Journal (8/26, Navera, Subscription Publication) reported that at the Ohio UAS Conference, which runs through August 28, a panel discussed the regulations being developed to operate unmanned airplanes in US airspace. Colin Snow, CEO of Drone Analyst, said that a survey by his company found that many involved in the industry found the current legal framework “unclear,” with a significant percentage deciding to operate their vehicles in spite of the laws. While many companies are eager for new rules to be laid down, and ready to hire more employees once they are, the article noted that the public still has a poor opinion of UAS because of privacy concerns. Experts on the panel noted that some of these issues are now being debated in the courts.

Multiple NASA Centers Participating In Business Expo In Mississippi.

WLOX-TV Biloxi, MS (8/26, 6:54 a.m. CDT) broadcast a report on a business expo today in Jackson, Mississippi for businesses that want to work with NASA. The Stennis Space Center, Marshall Space Flight Center, Johnson Space Center, Kennedy Space Center, and Michoud Assembly Facility are all taking part. Charlie Beasley from Mississippi Enterprise for Technology said that the expo can help companies learn the “process” for working with the government, which is not as difficult as some think. Beasley added that the previous expo a few years ago in Mobile, Alabama was “very successful” for that state, so Mississippi wanted to enjoy that success as well.


Textron AirLand To Enter Modified Scorpion Into T-X Trainer Replacement Competition.

According to a top company official, “Textron AirLand plans to enter a modified version of its Scorpion aircraft into the US Air Force’s T-X trainer replacement competition,” Defense News (8/26, Mehta) reports. Moreover, Textron is also considering the international trainer market as a potential area of growth for the Scorpion. While the company searches for its first customer, analysts indicated that the market is relatively flat, meaning that Textron should address the cost of its products, Defense News reported.

NASA Cancels Unmanned Aircraft Systems Airspace Operations Challenge.

The Dayton (OH) Daily News (8/26, Barber) reports that NASA has canceled plans for “a long-anticipated UAS competition,” the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Airspace Operations Challenge, which was originally scheduled to take place September 10-17 at Camp Afterbury in Indiana. NASA Centennial Challenges Program manager Sam Ortega wrote in an email that NASA and its partner in the competition, Development Projects Inc., “are reviewing the operations and resources necessary to execute this challenge successfully and fairly for all of thee teams registered to date,” but did not elaborate further. The competition had originally offered $1.5 million in prize money.

Boeing 777X To Be Powered By GE9x Engines.

Flight Global (8/26, Parsons) reports that General Electric has designed “advanced carbon-fibre composite fan blades” for its GE9x engine, and the Boeing 777X, which will begin production in 2017, “will sport two of them.” Additionally, the blades’ “leading-edge material” will be made from a steel alloy instead of titanium for added strength, while the engines will feature a 133-inch diameter composite fan case housing 16 blades, a 27:1 pressure ratio, 11-stage compressor and a third-generation twin annular pre-swirl combustor “for greater efficiency and low emissions,” Flight Global added.

Cessna’s CitationAir Announces End To Flight Operations.

Flight Global (8/26, Sarsfield) reported that CitationAir, Cessna’s business jet charter and management arm, announced that it will “cease flight operations 31 October around two years after it stopped selling fractional shares in new aircraft and jet cards.” Textron Aviation, CitationAir’s parent company, did not disclose the reasons behind the decision to shut the company down, “but low demand in the U.S. for light and midsize cabin business jets – which are the backbone of the CitationAir offering – are believed to have played a role in its demise.”


SpaceX Delays AsiaSat 6 Satellite Launch.

Florida Today (8/26, Dean) reports that SpaceX’s planned Wednesday launch of the AsiaSat 6 satellite aboard a Falcon 9 rocket has been delayed for no stated reason and with no new launch date confirmed. According to the article, SpaceX may have wanted to take more time to make sure a recent launch failure of a test rocket will not affect the Falcon 9 rocket being used for the launch. An earlier version of the story posted on the same website before the delay was announced noted that SpaceX is planning to launch a mission to the ISS on September 19 at the earliest.

        According to Reuters (8/26, Koltz), there is no indication if this launch problem will affect the launch for NASA.

        Jurvetson: Musk May Be Among US’ Top Industrialists Of All Time. CNBC (8/26, Sandholm) reports that technology investor Steve Jurvetson believes that SpaceX CEO Elon Musk could one day be among “the pantheon of America’s all-time greatest industrialists.” According to Jurvetson, who is a SpaceX board member, SpaceX is “the future of the U.S. space program” because of its missions to the ISS and potentially to Mars.

        Competitors Said To Be “Scrambling” To Keep Up With SpaceX. In an article for Fortune (8/26), Clay Dillow writes that in order to understand SpaceX’s “potential value,” it is worthwhile to look at what is happening in the satellite launch market more so than the company’s missions to the ISS. To Dillow, competitors like Arianespace and the ULA are “scrambling” to keep up with SpaceX, even as they dismiss SpaceX’s launch claims as “hype.” However, several analysts cited in the piece do not think that SpaceX will “doom” any other launch provider yet.

Extent Of Kodiak Launch Complex Damage Will Not Be Known Until After Cleanup.

The AP (8/26) continues coverage of the failed test flight of the Advanced Hypersonic Weapon at the Kodiak Launch Complex. While the event did damage some buildings at the complex, officials will not know what the cost of repairs will be until after the area is cleaned up. The article notes that Alaska Aerospace Corp. officials have differing assessments of how much damage was actually done.

Composite Tank Successfully Tested At Launch Pressures.

The Huntsville (AL) Times (8/26, Roop) reports that engineers at the Marshall Space Flight Center successfully tested a new composite rocket fuel tank at launch pressures. The lighter material could lead to rockets tanks one day that are lighter “by 30 percent” and cost 25% less than current tanks, which also would reduce the amount of fuel needed for launches. Michael Gazarik, NASA associate administrator for Space Technology, said in a statement, “This is one of NASA’s major technology accomplishments for 2014. ... This is the type of technology that can improve competitiveness for the entire U.S. launch industry, not to mention other industries that want to replace heavy metal components with lightweight composites.”


Durable Good Orders Experience Record Gains In July.

Reuters (8/26, Mutikani) reports that in July, manufactured durable good orders experienced record gains, increasing by 22.6 percent. The article credits transportation orders, such as the 324 Boeing aircraft orders. Because of Boeing and a large amount of auto sales, transportation orders rose a total of 74.2 percent.

STEM Education

Pennsylvania District Boosts Taxes To Fund STEM Curriculum.

The Lehigh Valley (PA) Express Times (8/27) reports that Pennsylvania’s Bethlehem Area School Board in June passed a budget that raised taxes and “included funding to launch” a Project Lead the Way STEM curriculum in two high schools. The piece notes that the move comes five years after a pair of district administrators “pleaded for funding for a hands-on STEM curriculum,” but reports that the school board “balked at the $500,000 start-up costs over four years.”

STEM Organization Pledges $4 Million To Washington State Programs.

The Redmond (WA) Reporter (8/27) reports that the nonprofit group Washington STEM this week “announced nearly $4 million in investments in innovative, regionally based programs aimed at improving teaching and learning of science, engineering, technology and math across Washington state.” The group’s grants focus on fostering “the growth of regional STEM Networks” in the state and expanding teacher professional development to help “with implementation of the Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards.”

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