Cornwall businesses develop ground breaking composite design for UAVs, thanks to grant funding from AeroSpace Cornwall.

AeroSpace Cornwall has awarded an R&D grant to three businesses in Cornwall, fostering a collaboration that enables them to develop UAV components for Prismatic Ltd, and increase their capability in the aerospace industry.

Composites business, Piran Advanced Composites, design business, Acadmy Ltd and CNC machining business, Digital Fabrications Ltd, are partnering to develop a high performance carbon composite design for Prismatic Ltd.

Based in Hampshire, Prismatic Ltd develop novel space and aerospace systems, including solar powered High Altitude UAVs.  The three businesses in Cornwall are using their grant funding to provide the 5 and 8.75 metre wing sections for two of their UAVs, namely the LASA-5 and the PHASE-8 aircraft.

This joined up approach from the businesses in Cornwall enables them to maximise their product offering to Prismatic Ltd. The process starts with designers from Acadmy Ltd who use Computer Assisted Design (CAD) to design wings for the LASA-5 and the PHASE-8 aircraft.  CNC fabricators, Digital Fabrication, take the designs and cut precise patterns for  the wings.  The process ends with Piran Advanced Composites, who build the moulds and airframes, ready to be integrated into the UAVs by Prismatic and ready for flight trials.

Peter Munro Lott from AeroSpace Cornwall states that the funding offered by the programme is vital for businesses as it enables businesses to collaborate and develop a complete product.  This ‘join the dots’ approach is helping businesses connect and grow in the aerospace and space sectors – enabling them to work with other leading businesses nationally.’

Support is still available for innovative businesses that could contribute to further growth of the Cornish aerospace and space economy. Contact AeroSpace Cornwall for more information on support and funding.

Tech businesses get boost from AeroSpace Cornwall grants

aerospace cornwall technology

AeroSpace Cornwall has given grants to three exciting tech businesses which fall outside of traditional ‘aerospace’ supply chains.

James Fairbairn at AeroSpace Cornwall believes support of advances in the digital and tech sectors that influence the capabilities of space and aerospace are vital. He said: “These businesses will contribute to space and aerospace in diverse and exciting ways, proving that Cornwall is establishing itself as a catalyst for high-tech innovation.

“They’re creating significant downstream innovations that capture the imagination, and we’re proud to help give these inspirational businesses the chance to grow, to invest and to collaborate.”

ADi Access in Truro has identified where the innovation behind their RoomMate audio description tool for people with sight loss could impact aerospace. It will additionally fund research into pairing the technology behind RoomMate with low energy beacons to extend accessibility to whole buildings, which could include travel hubs, learning institutions, public stadiums and aircraft and other vehicles. Proof of concept is planned at Aerohub Business Park.

Similarly Truro’s Ivstitia has created a niche in delivering Secure Software as a Service (“SaaS”) that provides a method of secure, dedicated Restorative Justice Case Management. Their product has clear potential in other markets such as aerospace and space where there is a need for dedicated secure web applications and effective data sharing and work processes.

AeroSpace Cornwall funding will help them to carry out market research on the ground and build connections in the US to support the final stages of product development.

Engine House in Redruth is taking prototyping to a new level using 3D animation and CGI. The animation studio has used AeroSpace Cornwall grant funding to purchase the Magic Leap One device, enabling them to experiment with ground-breaking content and develop demos and prototypes. This is paving the way for Engine House to work with organisations in the space sector to develop unique space content.

Support is still available for innovative businesses that could contribute to further growth of the Cornish aerospace and space economy. Contact us for more information.

PV3 Technologies Secures Funding Support from AeroSpace Cornwall

A leader in electrochemical materials, PV3 Technologies, are the latest in a line of businesses that have received financial support for an innovation project from AeroSpace Cornwall.

With a grant of £45k, PV3 Technologies are using the support offered to develop advanced coatings for use in lightweight fuel cells of the type used in long range UAV’s.  The Project ‘Fly’ will focus on innovations that will increase the range of fuel cell-powered UAVs, and the manufacturing technology required to deliver the innovation at large scale.

PV3 Technologies’ CEO, Dr David Hodgson said “This project supports product and manufacturing innovations within our business and will facilitate an entry point into the aerospace sector, something new for PV3 Technologies.”

The project will be led by PV3 Technologies’ COO, Dr Nick van Dijk. Nick said “We have an amazing team in PV3 Technologies that are eager to grasp new challenges such as this. We will leverage our core skills, capabilities and know-how to move into a new industry sector.”

Head of Innovation at AeroSpace Cornwall, Gail Eastaugh, ‘We are delighted to be able to support such an innovative company as they move into the energy sector, demonstrating Cornwall’s innovation capabilities.  This technology will radically enhance energy creation in the unmanned aerial vehicle market and should create highly skilled jobs in the future.’

The news about project funding follows on from a successful track record in securing innovation funding for hydrogen, manufacturing and battery projects. PV3 Technologies has recently invested in new laboratory facilities that will be a critical part of this project.

To find out more about Launceston based business, PV3 Technologies go to

Trio of Cornish companies secures funding of £148,000 for crucial space flight development

A partnership of three Cornish companies has secured funding of £148,000 to develop state-of-the-art technology to enable faster and more accurate communication with satellites.

Flann Microwave, Teddington Systems and Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd will be working together to create miniaturised components for the next generation of tiny communications satellites, known as nanosatellites and CubeSats. Bristol-based Thales Alenia Space will support the project with advice on end-user acceptance aspects and environmental aspects.

The project is expected to create 14 new jobs and is a further boost to Cornwall’s ambitions to develop space sector manufacturing, servicing and launch capabilities. Awarded by the West of England Aerospace Forum (WEAF), the R&D grant is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and delivered by AeroSpace Cornwall.

Huge demand from individuals and business for more high-speed data services is driving a revolution in satellite technology. Traditional large satellites weighing several tonnes and orbiting 22,236 miles above the equator are set to make way for nanosatellites and CubeSats deployed in constellations just 300 miles above the Earth’s surface.

But maximising the greater data capacity, or bandwidth, offered by these systems requires much higher frequency microwave switches to transmit data to ground antennas. These ‘W-band’ switches don’t currently exist – and this is where the new partnership comes into play.

With its precision manufacturing skills and experience in space flight hardware, including for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Flann Microwave is well placed to lead the project.

Completing the partnership, Goonhilly will offer advice around control specifications, Teddington will design and manufacture the electrical components, and Thales Alenia Space will provide end-user and environmental consultancy.

Professor James Watts, CEO of Flann Microwave explains: “Nanosatellites and CubeSats as small as 10cm cubed and weighing as little as 1.4kg are small enough to be launched as additional payloads on a large mission, in clusters of up to 100 at a time on a single rocket or by the new class of vertical and horizontal space launch systems being developed in Scotland and Cornwall. This makes them very cost effective and more than 350 of these satellites have been launched so far this year.”

“Flann has been designing and producing precision components since 1956 and we first designed and manufactured a W-band switch in 1980 for ground use. Of course, to go into space, the new switch will need to be much smaller and lighter.”

“With all of the funded partners being based in Cornwall there are huge advantages for the Cornish economy. It puts us at the forefront of a growing sector with the initial expectation that it will create 14 new jobs and the potential for further growth, including for the many suppliers already working with the partners.”

Teddington MD James Henderson said: “It is good news all round: for us and our partners but it’s the public that are the ultimate winners in the shape of greater data capacity and bandwidth. It’s an exciting project for Teddington systems and a real thrill to know our miniaturised components will eventually blast into space.”

The project is due for completion in July 2019, with a view to the switches being used in space flight from 2021.

Cornwall welcomes new direct London Heathrow flights from April 2019

Cornwall Airport Newquay Flybe flights growth

The Transport Secretary Chris Grayling recently announced an increase in the number of return flights between Newquay airport in Cornwall and London Heathrow, providing additional connectivity for the South West and flexibility for business in Cornwall. The flights provided by Flybe are a response to customer demand for the service, as London flights now account for 40% of all passengers using Cornwall Airport Newquay.

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Procurement Manager vacancy

Would you like to be part of the team taking Cornwall into the future…and beyond? The West of England Aerospace Forum (WEAF) is recruiting an experienced and self-motivated Project Procurement Manager to be an integral part of the team that is delivering the AeroSpace Cornwall Research & Development programme.

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