ISO 9001 & UKAS Registered, Electron Beam Services in the United Kingdom ISO 9001 & UKAS Registered, Electron Beam Services in the United Kingdom

22/10/19
The space industry in the UK and the rest of the world was excited to hear that NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has observed an impressive interstellar comet.

It took the image of the comet 2l/Borisov last Saturday (October 12th), showing a central concentration of dust around the nucleus.

The photo offers astronomers the clearest view of the comet to date, with this being the second intersetellar object that has been captured passing through the solar system.

Two years ago, an object named Oumuamua was pictured within 24 million miles of the Sun before it disappeared out of the solar system.

David Jewitt, from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and leader of the Hubble team who saw the comet, said: “Whereas Oumuamua appeared to be a rock, Borisov is really active, more like a normal comet. It's a puzzle why these two are so different."

This could help the space industry learn more about interstellar objects, including their chemical composition, dust characteristics and structure.

Borisov was snapped 260 million miles away from earth heading past the sun. NASA believes if it continues its trajectory, it will get nearest the sun on December 7th, at which point it will be twice as far from the sun as it is from earth.

It is travelling at 110,000 miles per hour, meaning it will pass Jupiter 500 million miles away by the middle of next year.

This was such a rare sighting, it is thought it will journey for millions of years before getting close to another star system.

Later next year on February 5th, NASA, together with the European Space Agency, will launch the Solar Orbiter, with the spacecraft designed to find out the behaviour of the sun by looking at its outer atmosphere and the constant outflow of solar wind.

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04/10/19
A new package of funding for the UK space industry has been announced by science minister Chris Skidmore. He unveiled the new funding plans at the UK Space Conference in Newport earlier this week.

£20 million will be allocated from the government’s strategic priorities fund to deliver upgrades to the capabilities in space weather modelling and measurement in the UK. A further £1.3 million will also be made available for horizontal spaceport plans in England, Scotland and Wales.

There are also opportunities for businesses to tap into new funding, if they can come up with new business ideas that could benefit from a flight to the International Space Station. The UK Space Agency will provide £1 million of funding, which will be matched by the industry.

Mr Skidmore commented: “There are huge opportunities as space becomes more commercial and to meet them we must harness the inspirational effect space has on young people and bring even more people into this fast-growing sector.”

He also praised the “incredible strength” of the UK’s space industry, adding that its contribution to life across the UK is “inspiring”.

This comes after the latest PwC report ranking the world’s top markets for aerospace investment put the UK in the top four.

Aerospace Manufacturing reported on the rankings, which saw the US come out on top in terms of the attractiveness of its aerospace market for investment. Canada and Singapore took second and third place respectively, with the UK in fourth, making it the highest ranked market in Europe.

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04/10/19
A new package of funding for the UK space industry has been announced by science minister Chris Skidmore. He unveiled the new funding plans at the UK Space Conference in Newport earlier this week.

£20 million will be allocated from the government’s strategic priorities fund to deliver upgrades to the capabilities in space weather modelling and measurement in the UK. A further £1.3 million will also be made available for horizontal spaceport plans in England, Scotland and Wales.

There are also opportunities for businesses to tap into new funding, if they can come up with new business ideas that could benefit from a flight to the International Space Station. The UK Space Agency will provide £1 million of funding, which will be matched by the industry.

Mr Skidmore commented: “There are huge opportunities as space becomes more commercial and to meet them we must harness the inspirational effect space has on young people and bring even more people into this fast-growing sector.”

He also praised the “incredible strength” of the UK’s space industry, adding that its contribution to life across the UK is “inspiring”.

This comes after the latest PwC report ranking the world’s top markets for aerospace investment put the UK in the top four.

Aerospace Manufacturing reported on the rankings, which saw the US come out on top in terms of the attractiveness of its aerospace market for investment. Canada and Singapore took second and third place respectively, with the UK in fourth, making it the highest ranked market in Europe.

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23/09/19
Finding a new source of oil is always a landmark moment for fuel companies, and this is no different for Panoro Energy ASA, which recently made an oil discovery close to Gabon.

The independent Norweigan oil Exploration and Production firm revealed it found the fuel on the Dussafu Marin Permit, offshore Gabon.

In a statement, Panoro Energy said: “[We are] pleased to announce that the Hibiscus Updip well (“DHIBM-1”), currently being drilled on the Dussafu Marin Permit offshore Gabon, has encountered hydrocarbons.”

It went on to say: “Logging operations and evaluation of the oil discovery are currently underway, following which Panoro expects a side-track of DHIBM-1 to be drilled. Further updates will be provided following completion of these activities.”

Following the discovery, the organisation revealed it has drilled on the Hibiscus Updip project and managed to reach a depth of 3,538 metres.

It was added the oil discovery in the Gamba formation has been found to have an overall hydrocarbon column of 33 metres while offering average porosities of between 21 and 23 per cent.

A spokesperson for the company said these results are “highly encouraging”, before adding that the discovery may be bigger than anticipated and could provide more than the 12 million barrels of oil that was previously estimated.

This comes after Eni made a new oil discovery off the shore of Angola, with the well potentially containing 250 Mmbbl of light oil, reported World Oil.

Electron beam services are important for oil exploration and discoveries – to find out more, get in touch with us today.
31/07/19
Wales could be the new centre for medical developments if plans for Monmouthshire County to become a successful healthcare technology hub are successful.

London corporate firm Capital Kinetics recently approached the local authority about developing a business incubator facility in the area, with Monmouthshire Med Tech (MMT) to be based in Magor, South Wales Argus revealed.

MMT will take over the council’s old Innovation House offices, with the local authority keen to use this as an opportunity to lure other medical technology businesses to the area.

The publication revealed a report to the cabinet that stated: “MMT will advocate for the county as a great place for this type of business to start, locate and grow.”

According to the document, MMT could also “become central to an emerging eco-system fuelled by a number of successful companies already based here”.

It was added that it would also provide great potential to create more businesses and generate “above-average salaries”.

Indeed, the council intends to offer finance for 15 companies via loans from its £50 million investment fund.

Businesses will be able to access loans of up to £25,000 for a year, and a steering group will decide whether applications should be made to the council’s investment committee, with 100 companies able to be assessed at any one time.

Capital Kinetics has had a significant part to play in the development – and potential growth – of MMT, with work to establish the centre having begun in November 2018.

It will initially launch as a nine-month pilot scheme, but if it is successful it could become an important centre for medical technology in Britain.

This comes after Nottingham Trent University submitted plans for an £8 million medical technology centre as part of its Medical Technologies Innovation Facility (MTIF). The hub will help new technologies advance much more quickly, which would improve treatments for patients across the country.

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19/07/19
Drilling geothermal wells is challenging and often not cost effective. A team of researchers at the University of Oklahoma in the US is currently developing smart lost circulation materials to help make geothermal drilling less expensive.

Phys.org reported on their research, explaining that they’re focusing on the development of shape memory polymers, which are activated by geothermal temperature. The aim of using them is to prevent fluid escaping from the fractured rock around the wellbore.

Speaking to the news provider, Saeed Salehi, project principal investigator and professor of petroleum and geological engineering at the university, commented: “The shape polymers under development for this project are novel expandable and programmable polymers that activate when drilling a high-temperature geothermal drilling operations.”

He added that the current cost of geothermal drilling is “prohibitive” without new technologies such as these polymers being developed.

This is also just the first phase of the project. After investigating lost circulation prevention methods and smart wellbore strengthening materials, the team will move onto phase two. This will focus on flow loop tests of the materials they develop.

The final phase will involve running computational models to find the best combination of techniques, material sizes and concentration to be used in real wells.

A recent post for Think Geoenergy explained that drilling fluids are a “critical component” of drilling operations because they help maintain the stability of the wellbore, they provide pressure, and they allow drilling tools and the downhole environment to cool.

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25/06/19
The government has shown its support for growing aerospace companies by launching a research and development (R&D) fund for the industry to the value of £24 million.

This will go towards the Open Collaborative R&D competition, with up to £12 million of this finance coming directly from the government and a further £12 million from the industry.

This programme is aimed at helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to prosper, by encouraging businesses with high-risk, high-impact, revolutionary projects to submit a bid.

Business minister Andrew Stephenson said: “Innovation and R&D are crucial for the UK aerospace sector.”

He added: “Through our Industrial Strategy, we are ensuring the UK remains a world-leader by boosting R&D activity, developing new technology and increasing the UK’s share of the growing aerospace market.”

The competition will launch in October 2019, but SMEs that are interested in submitting their projects that “demonstrate future-thinking revolutionary and disruptive solutions to UK aerospace challenges” have been advised to get in touch with the Aerospace Technology Institute to discuss how to prepare their bids.

In addition to this, Mr Stephenson launched the new round of the National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP 3). This is designed to support SMEs in the development of innovative technology for the industry; this may include virtual reality training for cabin crew and 3D aerospace structures to make aircraft lighter.

While this investment is encouraging for those aerospace businesses that are up-and-coming, firms that are already established are likely to be preparing for several potential Brexit outcomes when the country leaves the European Union on October 31st.

Earlier this year, the Guardian reported how airlines have been stockpiling parts in the event of a no-deal exit.

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19/06/19
If you require our electron beam services for innovative work within the aerospace industry, then news that the government is looking to fund work that will strengthen the UK's standing in the field.

According to Aerospace-Technology, the UK government is launching a new competition, through the channels of Innovate UK and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), for companies to come to them with innovative ideas that will keep the country relevant and part of the conversation when it comes to aerospace advances.

The competition, which will take place between the 1st July and 24th July, is aimed at 'emerging markets', and Innovate UK and the UKRI are looking for expressions of interest to participate to claim some of the £150 million bounty. According to a spokesperson, “The competition is intended to seek expressions of interest in funding for industrial research or capital investment projects in the aerospace sector”, however it has also been expressed that the projects should have the potential to be applied to the civil aerospace sector.

They also outlined that UK businesses, research and technology groups, as well as academic organisations such as universities, could lead bids for the fund, depending on its application in the industry. The bids should also align with Aerospace Technology Strategy, and key areas highlighted include smart, connected aircrafts, future-proofing systems and any innovations which can help to strengthen whole aircraft design and production in the UK.

This investment is a part of a larger £3.9 billion fund from the UK Aerospace Research and Technology (UKART) programme.
23/05/19
Eni has announced a new discovery off the shore of Angola, with the well potentially containing up to 250 Mmbbl of light oil.

The Ndungu-1 NFW well, in Block 15/06, has been drilled by the Poseidon drillship just a few kilometres away from Eni’s West Hub site.

According to a report in World Oil, the drill reached a water depth of 1,076 m, achieving a total depth of 4,050 m.

It is thought the well could have a production capacity of as much as – or more than – 10,000 barrels of oil per day.

Ndungu represents the first important oil discovery near the coast of Angola that is inside a Development Area.

As it is just 1.24 miles from the Mpungu field, production could occur at a faster rate as it is already close to the Sub Sea production system. This will allow the oil to be routed to the N’goma FPSO, which would extend the company’s current West Hub plateau.

The Block 15/06 project is a joint venture between Eni, Sonangol P&P, and SSI Fifteen Limited. Its exploration was re-launched in the middle of last year, and Ndungu is the fourth commercial find since then.

Prior to Ngungu, Kalimba, Afoxe and Agogo were discovered over the last year. It is thought they provide a combined production of 1.4 billion barrels of light oil.

This comes after Uganda’s energy and mineral development minster Irene Muloni revealed the government will enable companies to bid for oil exploration licences on seven new exploration blocks on the Albertine Graben site, All Africa reported.

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09/05/19
Element Materials Technology has announced it will invest in more immersion ultrasonic testing (IUT) for aerospace equipment in Mexico.

It currently already offers IUT services elsewhere across the world, including in Houston, Texas; Hartford, Connecticut; Rancho Dominguez, California; and Sheffield, England.

However, there has been demand for it in Monterrey in Mexico too, which is why the technology company is planning to expand its offering south of the US border, reported Aero-Mag.

As a result, it will become the only Nadcap and GE approved independent materials testing laboratory in Central and South America to provide IUT services for the aerospace industry.

Executive vice president for aerospace at Element Materials Technology Rick Sluiters told the news provider the company’s IUT offering is something “customers across North America and Europe value highly”.

This has led to a demand for the services in Mexico, which is why Element has decided to invest in the area so it can meet clients’ needs.

“We are committed to maintaining a high level of service, as well as our technical proficiencies and our improved capacity will allow us to maintain the turnaround our customers expect,” Mr Sluiters stated.

More than 3,000 people work for Element Materials Technology, whether they are technicians, engineers or scientists, dedicating their knowledge and experience to commercial and military aerospace testing.

It prides itself on being the “largest, independent provider of materials testing, product qualification testing, calibration and advisory services to the global aerospace testing sector”.

The company has more than 100 years’ experience, enabling it to offer a range of testing services for varying components, products, materials and systems regarding aerospace technology.

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