Market participants may want to keep a close eye on KULR Technology Group Inc (OTCMKTS:KULR) during coming events as some of its major partners branch out and begin to integrate cutting edge technologies into primary operations and strategies that could eventually bring KULR into new high-growth technology applications and industries.
One such example is Airbus SE (OTCMKTS:EADSY), the largest aerospace company in the world by revenue, surpassing Boeing Co (NYSE:BA) last year.
KULR announced a partnership with Airbus in October 2020, hooking up with the Airbus Defense and Space division to provide KULR’s passive propagation resistant (PPR) battery design solutions for ongoing research into lithium-ion battery testing and safety for flight applications.
According to that release, the electrical engineers at Airbus do research and develop safe battery solutions for defense, space, helicopter, and aircraft applications. KULR’s PPR design combines HYDRA Thermal Runaway Shield (TRS), LYRA internal short circuit, and NASA’s Fractional Thermal Runaway Calorimeter cell analysis technologies to provide an integrated total solution for battery testing and safety. HYDRA TRS is a sleeve-like shield that surrounds and separates individual cells in multi-cell packs and contains carbon fiber core and liquid coolant. The unique combination and configuration of the shield passively draws intense heat of cell failures away from nearby cells while dousing the failed area in a cooling and fire-prevention liquid.
The company also noted in that 2020 release that, though weight and volume of thermal management solutions are the most critical constraints in flight applications, KULR’s carbon fiber architecture offers superior mass and weight advantages.
“We are excited to work with Airbus to refine and enhance its battery safety research, an agreement that further demonstrates our commitment to battery safety in consumer and commercial applications,” said Michael Mo, CEO of KULR. “We believe our TRS technology can provide a lightweight and effective solution to mitigate thermal runaway propagation risk for Airbus’ high-performance batteries.”
Airbus and Lidar
That forms the backdrop for a recent TechCrunch article out on April 26 noting that Airbus has tapped fast-growing startup Luminar Technologies (NASDAQ:LAZR) for an experimental test of Lidar technology in the aerospace industry. Lidar has been a major piece of the autonomous vehicle puzzle, but has not previously been applied to flying.
Lidar stands for “Light Detection And Ranging” and functions basically like radar, but with light instead of radio waves. Light has a shorter wavelength than radio waves, which allows for more precision in detection.
According to the article, “The effort will be folded into Airbus Flightlab, an ecosystem that offers access to flight test platforms across Airbus’ business lines, including commercial aircraft, helicopters, defense and space. Luminar and Airbus will develop and test how lidar can be used to enhance sensing, perception and system-level capabilities to ultimately enable safe, autonomous flight, the companies said.”
“We’re able to directly re-apply what we’ve accomplished for the automotive industry into aviation, an established nearly $1 trillion industry,” Luminar founder and CEO Austin Russell said in a statement Monday. “We believe that automation and safety enhancements will transform how we move across all modes of transport as we take our technology from roads to the skies. We look forward to accelerating our shared vision to define the future of flying.”
The main gist is likely about urban aircrafts, especially helicopters. Flying between skyscrapers above a crowded street will someday be an unmanned affair, and the machines piloting that tech will need good eyes.
Luminar went public via SPAC deal late last year.
This is yet another example of how KULR has become folded into high-tech frontier technology pathways that now include its exposure to the EV market, space commercialization, and 5G technology.
The company’s applicability to the aerospace theme goes all the way back its roots in 2015. More recently, in the fall of 2019, KULR Technology Group Inc (OTCMKTS:KULR) announced that it completed first phase development for its then-upcoming NASA high-voltage battery safety guide. That preceded its partnership with Airbus.
“If there’s one place that battery failure can be catastrophic, it’s in a space suit, or in an environment where response and assistance options are limited or non-existent,” said Michael Mo, CEO of KULR Technology. “That’s why we’re continuing to work with NASA, and other partners where battery safety and performance are mission-critical, to understand and ultimately prevent these dangerous battery incidents.”
However, one can also imagine a fleet of Airbus autonomous urban aircraft piloting the city streets via Luminar lidar and running on battery systems carrying KULR tech and protections.