Connect with us

Technology

Gatwick airport reopens after drone disruption, but delays expected to drag on

Editor

Published

on

[ad_1]

Britain’s Gatwick Airport reopened on Friday after a rogue drone saboteur wrought travel chaos for hundreds of thousands of Christmas travellers by playing cat-and-mouse with police snipers and the army.

After the biggest disruption at Gatwick — Britain’s second busiest airport — since a volcanic ash cloud cancelled flights around the world in 2010, the airport said around 700 planes were due to take off on Friday, although there would still be delays and cancellations.

“Gatwick’s runway is currently available and a limited number of aircraft are scheduled for departure and arrival,” the airport said.​ “Gatwick continues to advise passengers to check the status of their flight with their airline before travelling to the airport as departures and arrivals will be subject to delays and cancellations.”

Britain called in the military and police snipers on Thursday to hunt down the drone and its operator, who flew what is thought to be an industrial-style drone near the airport every time it tried to reopen.

Fearing the prospect of a deadly collision between a drone and an airliner, authorities closed the airport’s sole runway— Britain’s second-busiest by passenger numbers — on Wednesday night after officials spotted two drones near the airfield.

As authorities hunted for the elusive drones, sightings continued throughout Thursday, with the final reported one at about 10 p.m.

Watch: Expert weighs in on the challenges and regulatory hurdles in the world of drones.

A drone expert discusses the challenges and regulatory hurdles in the world of drones. Eric Sazcuk is an instructor at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Tens of thousands of passengers were delayed, diverted or stuck on planes Thursday as the only runway at Britain’s Gatwick Airport remained closed into a second day after drones were spotted over the airfield. 1:38

The drone sightings caused misery for tens of thousands of travellers who were stranded at Gatwick, many sleeping on the floor as they searched for alternative routes to holidays and Christmas family gatherings.

The perpetrator has not yet been detained, but the police said they had a number of possible suspects. No group has claimed responsibility publicly.

The Gatwick statement suggests authorities are concerned the drones may be seen again, which would likely lead to a fresh closure of the runway.

‘Unprecedented anywhere in the world’

Transport Minister Chris Grayling said there had been about 40 sightings of “a small number of drones” while the airport was shut down. He told the BBC the drone disruption at Gatwick was “unprecedented anywhere in the world.”

Grayling lifted night-flying restrictions at other airports to ease congestion caused by diverted aircraft.

Police Detective Chief Supt. Jason Tingley said “our assessment, based upon the information that we have available to us, is that this incident is not terrorism related.”

Passengers waiting Friday to check in at Gatwick’s South Terminal building faced the longest delays seen there in several years. (Toby Melville/Reuters)

The British military has joined police and aviation authorities in the search for the culprit or culprits behind the drone intrusion, which police said was designed to cause maximum disruption over the holiday period.

Richard Parker, head of the air traffic management technology firm Altitude Angel, said this was the first time a major airport had been hit by such a sustained and deliberate incursion into its airspace.

“It’s sophisticated — not from a technology side, but it’s organized. People have charged lots of batteries and are deliberately trying to avoid being caught, probably by driving around to different locations,” Parker said.

Watch: See the chaos at Gatwick during the delays.

The British Airline Pilots’ Association said it understood “detection and tracking equipment” has been installed around Gatwick’s perimeter since the drone intrusion.

The Defence Ministry refused to comment on what technology was deployed, but drone experts said airports needed to deploy specialist radar reinforced by thermal imaging technology to detect such unmanned flying vehicles.

With a surge in public enthusiasm for drones, there has been an increase in near-collisions by unmanned aircraft and commercial jets in recent years.

Reported “airprox” incidents involving private drones and other aircraft in Britain have more than quadrupled in the last four years, with 117 incidents already recorded in 2018, according to the U.K. Airprox Board regulator. Airprox reports are filed in the U.K. when pilots or air traffic controllers feel the distance between two aircraft could compromise safety.

It is illegal to fly drones within one kilometre of a British airport boundary. Flying a drone near an airport carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

Gatwick, which competes with Europe’s busiest airport Heathrow, west of London, had said Sunday would be its busiest day of the festive period.

The airport, about 45 kilometres south of central London, sees more than 43 million passengers a year. About 110,000 had been scheduled to pass through on Thursday.

[ad_2]

Source link

قالب وردپرس

Technology

The ‘Maple Majestic’ wants to be Canada’s homegrown Tesla

Editor

Published

on

By

Look out Tesla, Canada has a homegrown electric sedan on the way. Well, that’s if AK International Motor Corporation can drum up enough investment to make its EV a reality. Dubbed the “Maple Majestic,” the vehicle is a battery-electric designed to “excel in extreme climate performance without adversely affecting the climate, as befits a vehicle from Canada,” according to its website.

What’s in a name? — The company says the maple leaf is a “symbol of Canada’s warmth and friendliness towards all cultures,” while “majestic” refers to the country’s “status as a Constitutional Monarchy.”

That patriotism carries over into Maple Majestic’s parent company’s lofty goals. AK Motor founder Arkadiusz Kaminski says he wants the company, which he founded in 2012, to become “Canada’s first multi-brand automotive OEM,” and that the “Maple Majestic is intended to be Canada’s flagship brand of automobiles on the world stage.”

Partnerships are key — “We acknowledge that the best chance for the Maple Majestic brand to succeed, lies in continuing to build the relationship with Canada’s parts suppliers and technological innovators, whether they be academic institutions, corporations, or individual inventors,” the company explains. “We are currently seeking partners in automotive engineering, parts manufacturing, automotive assembly, electric propulsion technology, battery technology, autonomous technology, and hybrid power generation technology.”

In other words, don’t expect to be able to buy a Maple Majestic any time soon… and don’t expect to pour over 0-60 mph times, power output, range, or other key stats, because those don’t currently exist. For now, all we have are pictures and a short video clip. But at least those are arresting.

Continue Reading

Technology

PE-backed Quorum Software to merge with Canadian energy tech firm

Editor

Published

on

By

Houston-based energy technology company Quorum Software will merge with a Canadian tech firm to bolster its presence in oil and gas services.

Quorum announced Feb. 15 it plans to merge with Calgary, Alberta-based Aucerna, a global provider of planning, execution and reserves software for the energy sector. The combined firm will operate under the Quorum Software brand.

Gene Austin, CEO of Quorum Software, will continue in his capacity as chief executive of the combined firm. Austin, former CEO of Austin-based marketing tech firm Bazaarvoice Inc., became CEO of Quorum in December 2018.

Aucerna co-founder and CEO Wayne Sim will be appointed to the Quorum Software board of directors. Both companies are backed by San Francisco- and Chicago-based private equity firm Thoma Bravo.

“Over the last 20 years, Quorum has become the leading innovator of software deployed by North American energy companies,” said Austin. “Today, Quorum is expanding the scope of our technology and expertise to all energy-producing regions of the globe. Customers everywhere will have access to a cloud technology ecosystem that connects decision-ready data from operations to the boardroom.”

In addition to the merger announcement, Quorum Software announced it had entered into an agreement with Finnish IT firm TietoEvry to purchase TietoEvry’s entire oil and gas business. The agreement, which includes hydrocarbon management, personnel and material logistics software and related services, is valued at 155 million euros, or $188 million, according to a statement from TietoEvry.

“Our three organizations complement each other — from the software that our great people design to the energy markets where we operate,” said Sim. “Our new company will be able to deliver value to our stakeholders, while accelerating the growth of our combined business and the energy industry’s software transformation.”

The combined company will serve over 1,800 energy companies in 55 countries, according to the announcement. With its headquarters in Houston, Quorum will continue to have a significant presence in Calgary and in Norway, the headquarters for TietoEvry’s oil and gas software business. Quorum will have other offices throughout North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

As of Sept. 30, 2020, private equity firm Thoma Bravo had more than $73 billion in assets under management. In late December 2020, Thoma Bravo agreed to acquire Richardson, Texas-based tech firm RealPage in a roughly $10 billion acquisition.

Continue Reading

Technology

Piece of Kitchener technology lands on Mars on Perseverance rover

Editor

Published

on

By

KITCHENER — A piece of Kitchener technology has landed on Mars, thanks to NASA’s Perseverance rover.

The rover settled on the planet’s surface on Thursday afternoon. It’s been travelling through space since it was launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla. in July.

“The whole idea of being on a device that we’re sending to another plant with the express mission of looking for traces of past life, it’s pretty mind boggling actually,” said Rafal Pawluczyk, chief technical officer for FiberTech Optica.

The Kitchener-based company made fibre optic cables for the rover’s SuperCam that will examine samples with a camera, laser and spectrometers.

“The cables that we built take the light from that multiplexer and deliver it to each spectrograph,” Pawluczyk said.

The cables connect a device on the rover to the SuperCam, which will be used to examine rock and soil samples, to spectrometers. They’ll relay information from one device to another.

The project started four years ago with a connection to Los Alamos National Lab, where the instruments connected to the cables were developed.

“We could actually demonstrate we can design something that will meet their really hard engineering requirements,” Pawluczyk said.

The Jezero Crater is where the Perseverance rover, with FiberTech Optica’s technology onboard, landed Thursday. Scientists believe it was once flooded with water and is the best bet for finding any evidence of life. FiberTech’s cables will help that in that search.

Ioannis Haranas, an astrophysicist and professor at Wilfrid Laurier University, said the rover isn’t looking for “green men.”

“They’re looking for microbial, single-cell life, any type of fossils and stuff like that,” Haranas said. “That’s why they chose a special landing site. This could be very fertile land for that.”

“It’s very ambitious,” said Ralf Gellert, a physics professor at the University of Guelph.

Gellert helped with previous rover missions and said it’s the first time a Mars rover has landed without a piece of Guelph technology on it. While he’s not part of Perseverance’s mission, he said the possibilities are exciting.

“Every new landing site is a new piece of the puzzle that you can put together with the new results that we have from the other landing sites,” he said.

“It’s scientifically very interesting because, even though we don’t have an instrument on that rover, we can compare what the new rover Perseverance finds at this new landing site,” he said.

Now that Perseverance has landed on Mars, FiberTech is looking ahead to its next possible mission into space.

Continue Reading

Chat

Trending