News - year 2021

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UNIS aerospace division keeps in the air the projects with the Czech company PBS Velká Bíteš and Ukrainian company Antonov

An evaluation article on the activities of our aerospace division in 2020 was published on the website of the Czech Aerospace Industry Newsroom, the article is introduced on the link. in Czech. The translation of the article is introduced below.

ISTVÁN SZABÓ´s COMMENTARY OF THE UNIS Division of Arerospace and Advanced Control ACTIVITIES IN THE YEAR 2020

Despite the coronary crisis from the UNIS aerospace division, we report a record production load. In addition, in 2020 we successfully completed the development of a new generation of control systems for První brněnská strojírna Velká Bíteš (PBS) engines and started preparations for their serial production. We also continued to test the control unit for the modernized AN-124 Ruslan - a giant transport aircraft that last year helped transport medical devices around the world, which also landed in the Czech Republic several times.

It is still too early for an overall assessment and quantification of the economic results of 2020. However, it can be stated with certainty that the decline in orders compared to 2019 will be noticeable in connection with the coronary crisis.

There have been no major fluctuations in the UNIS aerospace division at this time. A significant part of our projects is based on long-term contracts, production know-how and demanding development cycles. In case of their interruption, it would be several times more expensive and technologically complicated to build on the existing cooperation. However, we have limited investments into experimental research and postponed most grant projects to 2021, as these require a financial participation from applicants and co-applicants. We will renew these plans, provided that we will be able to get the grant from the state programs "Science and Research". However, we continue to invest in development projects that will directly contribute to increasing the competitiveness and quality of our existing products. We are applying for support from the Structural Funds within the "Applications" program, which was announced by the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic in September 2020. We are requesting support for the project "Development of modern aircraft engine control systems".

Long-term partnerships
In 2020, we moved to the next partial phase of testing the D-18T engine control unit of the AN-124 Ruslan aircraft. Most of the tests already took place on an engine test stand directly at the customer - company Ivchenko-Progres. For the company PBS, we managed to develop and produce the first prototypes of a new generation of control systems for their TJ80, TJ100 and TJ150 series engines. In terms of production volume, our division recorded a record load. Production orders covered the entire production capacity and their quantity was historically the largest.

Everything bad is good for something
Given the experience gained by the company during the pandemic, we must admit that we were not fully prepared to operate in the form of a "home office". This applies both to the equipment in general and to the accessibility of the internal network or a insufficient number of functional communication means with the necessary level of security. This extraordinary has shown us where improvements need to be made and what measures need to be taken. However, the benefit for us was the finding that it is possible to solve a lot of things with the customer by teleconferencing, i.e. without the need for personal meetings.

Permanent team
The company strives to keep its staff unchanged. We plan to increase the number of our staff with respect to project plans for 2021.

Year 2021 from the perspective of UNIS
In 2021, we plan to realize flight tests of the D-18T engine control unit on the Antonov An-124 transport aircraft and its certification. We also anticipate the introduction of series production and the completion of type tests of the control system for TJ80, TJ100 and TJ150 engines.

We also committed to launching the development of a control system for the Ivchenko-Progress AI-450 engine and Motor Sich MS-500 engine and to developing knowledge in the field of 270 VDC power supply networks as part of a grant project aimed at developing a new PBS TJ200 engine. We are cooperating on this project with PBS, the National Centre for Research, development and Testing in Aerospace (VZLÚ) and the Brno University of Technology.

As part of our development projects, we also would like to focus much more consistently on the development of unmanned and military equipment. We see perspective and great potential in this market segment.

The future of the aerospace industry
Globally, it can be said that the aerospace industry is stagnating and waiting for what will happen after overcoming the pandemic situation. Many development projects have been suspended or terminated. It will depend on the final customers and subsidy institutions what speed they set to restore the original state. We believe that due to the long-term focus and nature of aerospace projects, this crisis will be successfully overcome.

The author of the article is the Director of the UNIS Division of Aerospace and Advanced Control


Conferences on space

On 26th January 2021 we took part in web-conference "Czech-British Space Industry Day" organized by the Czech Ministry of Transportation together with the Investment and business development agency CzechInvest, Embassy of the Czech Republic in London, British Embassy in Prague, UK Space Agency and, the UK Department for International Trade. Representatives from more than 80 industrial and academic institutions and the Czech and United Kingdom Space Industry Associations were participated in. Bilateral B2B meetings were organized to find common topics for future collaboration in commercial projects and new partnerships in national programmes, and programmes of the ESA, as well as.

Subsequently we took part in web-conference "Czech-Italian B2B Space Business Forum", which was organized by the by Czech Ministry of Transportation. On the conference participated representatives of the Czech and Italian Space Associations, Czech Aircraft Manufacturer´s Association, Czech Association of SME´s, Italian regional industrial clusters, industrial companies and academic institutions. Bilateral B2B meetings were organized to find common topics for future collaboration in commercial projects and new partnerships in national programmes, and programmes of the European Space Agency, as well as.

At both conferences, we gained several contacts with whom we would like to establish cooperation in the field of space research.