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Google all set to buy HTC’s assets for $1.1 bn

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TAIPEI: Smartphone maker HTC has said that it was selling part of its smartphone business to the search engine giant Google for $1.1 billion.

“The deal includes intellectual property licensing and half of its research staff, or around 2,000 people, and is expected to be completed in early 2018 pending regulatory approval,” HTC said.

“For Google, the deal will further strengthen its investment in and commitment to smartphones and its hardware business… it shows that Google sees Taiwan as a key hub for innovative technology,” HTC spokesman Peter Shen told a press conference in Taipei.

The deal marks Google’s second major foray into smartphone manufacturing. It purchased Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in 2012 and sold it off to China’s Lenovo Group Ltd for less than $3 billion two years later.

Google’s strategy of licensing Android for free and profiting from embedded services such as search and maps has made Android the dominant mobile operating system with some 89 percent of the global market.

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Russian unmanned helicopter VRT300 to test fly by the end of 2018!

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MOSCOW: Russian VR-Technologies design bureau that has commenced  bench tests of the main systems and assemblies of VRT300 unmanned helicopter, is positive that the flight tests would begin by the end of this year. 

According to the VR-Technologies to date, functional and technical configuration of civil unmanned helicopter has been agreed with a range of Russian companies and authorities. This configuration has become a basis for the development of flight prototype with MTOW of 300 kg.

This prototype will be used as a flying test-bed for testing of all UAV’s systems and equipment, as well as for testing of its interaction with payload elements and ground-based monitor and control equipment.

“To date, we have defined configuration and technical requirements for this helicopter, and carried out an extensive work to select suppliers of the main systems and assemblies of VRT300.

The start of bench tests serves as a reference point, and if everything goes as planned, by the end of this year we will start flight tests.

Technical solutions of VRT300 will ensure the level of failure-free operation, reliability and safety that is required for the operation in the international market of civil UAVs”, – Alexander Okhonko, VR-Technologies director general, said.

VRT300 system is developed in two versions: Arctic Supervision –  equipped with a side-view radar for ice reconnaissance and operation in Arctic conditions, and Opticvision – with increased flight range to perform monitoring and remote sensing missions.

The priority missions of VRT300 Arctic Supervision is to expand transport infrastructure of the Northern Sea Route, as well as to aid in the Arctic Regions’ exploration. For that purpose, the UAV has been equipped with a side-view high-resolution on-board radar, which allows for a prompt assessment of ice sheet dynamics.

A heavy-oil engine and ship-borne capabilities make the Arctic version of VRT300 irreplaceable for icebreakers and drilling platforms.

Due to a big payload of 70 kilograms the aircraft can transport various cargoes, such as food and medical supplies, can be engaged in search-and-rescue operations and used to determine the size of ice fields suitable for scientific Polar stations.

VRT300 in Opticvision configuration is designed to improve the diagnostic system, prevent and eliminate emergency situations in the area of energy sources development and transporting. Its other missions include: diagnostics of overhead power lines, mapping, cargo transportation, exploration works, as well as monitoring of environmental situation, roads and road-side infrastructure.

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SpaceX poised to blast off NASA’s new planet-hunter, TESS

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TAMPA: SpaceX was poised on 18th April to try again to blast off NASA’s newest planet-hunting spacecraft after a two-day delay to check out the Falcon 9 rocket’s navigation systems.

The $337 million Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, aims to search for planets where life may exist by scanning 85 percent of the skies for planets beyond the solar system, known as exoplanets.

“All systems and weather are go for Falcon 9’s launch of @NASA_TESS today at 6:61 pm (2251 GMT),” SpaceX said on Twitter.

The initial attempt Monday was scrubbed about two hours before planned takeoff from a NASA pad at Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The washing machine-sized spacecraft is built to search the nearest, brightest stars for signs of periodic dimming.

These so-called “transits” may mean that planets are in orbit around them. TESS is expected to reveal 20,000 planets beyond our solar system, including more than 50 Earth-sized planets and up to 500 planets less than twice the size of the Earth, NASA said.

 

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DART Aerospace brings the 505 Bearpaw to the global market!

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ONTARIO: DART Aerospace gathered key members of its Canadian product development team based here, to kick off a project for bearpaws on the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X.

The goal of the project was simple: bring to the global marketplace the performance, value and user friendliness that customers have come to expect from a DART Bearpaw.

With DART Bearpaws present on nearly every production skid gear equipped helicopter today, it was an obvious decision for DART to develop this product.

“The objective was to bring a lightweight bearpaw product to market that provided better stability when the Bell 505 lands in soft conditions”, said David Shepherd, DART VP of Certification. “We were also successful at incorporating a full length wearplate option to improve longevity and ease installation”.

Within 9 months after kicking off the project, the Federal Aviation Administration issued the Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for this product, joining the already approved Transport Canada (February 23) and European Aviation Safety Agency (March 22) STCs.

With these three approvals and the associated bilateral agreements upwards of 70%, the helicopter operating world can legally install this product.

 

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