Researchers at the National University of Ireland have developed a quadcopter (right with red light) that can sterilize objects with ultraviolet light. Credit: National University of Ireland
PANDEMIC NEWS UPDATE: Congress looks at the defense supply chain; Rocket Lab to resume satellite launches; France’s aid package; a drone for sanitizing airports
By Cat Hofacker|June 10, 2020
Our weekly compendium of coronavirus news
Pentagon acquisition chief Ellen Lord testifies before the House Armed Services Committee today at 2 p.m. on the Department of Defense’s “COVID-19 Response to Defense Industrial Base Challenges.” The hearing will be webcast, and in-person attendance is limited to lawmakers, witnesses and credentialed media.
Rocket Lab is scheduled to launch a handful of small satellites atop its Electron rocket tomorrow, the first since travel restrictions halted operations at the company’s New Zealand launch complex. Originally scheduled to launch March 27, the rocket will carry three unspecified payloads for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office plus research cubesats for NASA and the Canberra Space team at the University of New South Wales Canberra in Australia.
The French government yesterday unveiled a nearly $17 billion stimulus package to help the aerospace industry “respond to the economic emergency and transform this industry to make it more competitive and more carbon-free,” Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said in a tweet. In exchange for aid in the form of grants, subsidies and loans, manufacturers and carriers including Air France are required to invest in technologies to develop carbon-neutral aircraft.
Researchers at the National University of Ireland have developed a quadcopter that bathes hospital rooms, restrooms and airport terminals in ultraviolet light to sterilize them. The UVCDrone can be programmed to switch on at a particular time, illuminating an area with high frequency, short wavelength ultraviolet light.
Air carriers in the Lufthansa Group will restore their flight schedules to pre-coronavirus levels by September, the group announced Thursday. Specifically, “90 percent of all originally planned short- and medium-haul destinations and 70 percent of long-haul destinations will be served again,” the group says in a press release.
American Airlines expects to fly 55% fewer flights next month compared to July 2019, the company said Thursday. “We’re seeing a slow but steady rise in domestic demand,” Vice President of Network Strategy Vasu Raja said in a statement, but he cautioned that “international demand continued to be diminished.”