Boeing Co (NYSE:BA) was recently awarded contracts (over the past year) totaling $974 million to develop a next-generation seeker for the U.S. Army’s Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) Missile system, as well as continue and expand production on current generations of the PAC-3 seeker, in Huntsville, Alabama, as a subcontractor to Lockheed Martin.
BA also recently completed the acquisition of Millennium Space Systems, a provider of agile, flight-proven small-satellite solutions, to help grant it the underlying technology for some of this expanded air and space defense business. According to Boeing, Millennium Space Systems will operate under Boeing Phantom Works as a subsidiary called “Millennium Space Systems, A Boeing Company” and Millennium’s Founder/ Former CEO is a gentleman named Stan Dubyn.
Boeing first announced the agreement with Millennium Space Systems back in August 2018. The deal has closed in 2019 and Dubyn has gone on to become one of the largest shareholders in Signal Advance Inc., (OTCMKTS: SIGL).
Signal Advance story – in terms of tangible catalysts – lies in its Biomedical and Cybersecurity applications. But the company has technology applications for Military Defense, which would presumably involve low-orbit space.
Signal Advance Inc., (OTCMKTS: SIGL) only recently started to report commercial success and financial performance of note. Hence, it’s difficult to appreciate the story from the standpoint of pure financial data, although the for the first 9 months of 2020 Signal Advance Inc., had revenues of $6,347,811 which translates to an EPS of $0.1622 and currently awaiting 2020 year-end financial report. But the key to evaluating it now is by looking at its unique technology and how it may open up opportunities across a number of high-growth industries.
According to the company’s materials:
Sensors are used to detect various physical or physiological properties (e.g. pressure, temperature, speed, heart rate) and convert these properties into analog electrical signals. Typically, these signals are then digitized and processed to generate an output which can be used for monitoring, intervention, process control or similar functions.
SA technology acts to temporally advance the detection of these analog electrical signals and thereby offset or even eliminate circuit transmission and/or processing delays in responsive (control or interventional) systems. This technology can potentially improve the performance of a wide range of devices that process analog signals in areas such as industrial process control, interventional medical devices, alarm/detection systems, flight, and vehicular control, as well as military targeting and weaponry.
In short, the company’s technology effectively reduces the time it takes to get a meaningful signal from sensor-based devices or systems. This has huge implications for anything where time is of the essence.
The Space Race
Nowhere is time so of the essence than in equipment designed for use in aeronautic and space applications. That’s why one might find Stan Dubyn the founder/former CEO of Millennium Space Systems that was acquired by one of the most prominent names in air and defense industry (Boeing), now a major shareholder of Signal Advance Inc (OTCMKTS:SIGL), interesting.
One might conjecture that the list of parties interested in Signal’s temporal advance technology could include other space-tech firms, including SpaceX, Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc (NYSE:SPCE), and Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN), all of which have strong ambitions in the space technology marketplace.
While SpaceX isn’t publicly traded yet, its founder Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), said that he plans to push it out there once revenues become predictable. However, given recent struggles, advancing sensor technology might be a direction the company is interested in going. As the NYTimes put it: “If it exploded last time, try, try again. They did, and it exploded again… On Tuesday, a test flight of SpaceX’s Starship, a huge next-generation spacecraft that Elon Musk, the founder and chief executive of the private rocket company, dreams of one day sending to Mars, came to an explosive end.”
Virgin Galactic is another relatively obvious inclusion here given its model, which is tailored to the space tourism market. The company plans to generate billions in revenues 5-10 years from now carting thousands of wide-eyed space tourists up into orbit.
Amazon, via AWS, is less well known in this department but deserves to be on this list. The company announced the establishment of a new unit called Aerospace and Satellite Solutions, led by former U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Clint Crosier — who most recently directed the establishment of the U.S. Space Force.
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