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Atlas Technologies – maker of the Lightyear solar car – goes bankrupt

The car business is a stern taskmaster. Netherlands-based Atlas Technologies (Atlas) producing Lightyear - set to be the world’s first mass produced solar car...

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Aerones raises €30m to clean & inspect wind turbines

Latvia-based Aerones was founded in 2015 by Dainis Kruze (CEO) & Janis Putrams, with friendly support from Andris Dambis. The company started with a focus on heavy-load drones, before pivoting to (non-drone) remotely-operated maintenance robots in 2019. "Aerones robots clean & inspect wind turbines so humans don’t have to" (note: wind turbines have a typical lifespan of 20 years, but better maintenance can prolong this). One issue you run into with wind turbines is (among others) that they tend to leak oil, which corrodes blades, increases wind resistance & pollutes the ground below. Aerones robots clean towers & blades by blasting them with a liquid detergent, while funnels beneath (the blades) collect the mucked-up liquid...

Archangel Lightworks raises €4m Seed, for optical ground stations to enable free space optics

UK-based, Archangel Lightworks (Archangel) is building TERRA-M, a miniature & portable optical ground station, which enables secure, resilient & high-volume connectivity to & from space using laser-based communication (lasercom) (sometimes referred to as free space optics). (ps: on the secure-side, the startup closely collaborates with Singapore-based SpeQtral, which designs & manufacturers satellite-based quantum communication systems & provides it with end-to-end distribution of quantum encryption keys). <Quick primer on lasers: they can transfer 10-100x more info to & from satellites than radio waves (commonly used). They’re also cheaper (radio frequency spectrum is limited/ expensive) (lasers are license free) & safer from attacks and disruptions (e.g. a space-based lasercom internet won’t suffer from undersea cables linking continents...

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