Satair and MTI sign deal for innovative laser strike protection

Satair and Metamaterial Technologies Inc. (MTI) and its optical filters division Lamda Guard of Halifax, N.S., signed at the MRO Europe exhibition an exclusive global multi-million dollar distribution agreement to bring MTI’s metaAIR laser glare protection eyewear and visors to all aviation and military markets.

Two pilots sit in an airplane cockpit with a laser glaring through the windshield.
A laser attack can distract pilots, cause glare that affects their vision, or temporarily blind them. Transport Canada Photo
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The products covered are eyewear and visors and are applicable to the full range of pilots–commercial, military fixed wing and rotary, and covering a multitude of operations such as commercial and business aviation, military, search and rescue, police and medevac.

The technology is superior to other products currently on the market due to a unique and patented dielectric (non-metallic) optical metamaterial filter, which has been scientifically engineered to ensure that the pilots’ vision and interpretation of the surrounding environment is not disturbed during critical phases of flight.

Laser strikes on aircraft and helicopters have risen over the years and laser pointers are increasing in power and decreasing in price.

Lasers can distract and even harm pilots during critical phases of flight and can cause temporary visual impairment.

Over 6,750 laser incidents were recorded in the United States in 2017 according to the Federal Aviation Administration. In 2016 there were over 1,750 laser incidents reported to the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority and Transport Canada Civil Aviation.

The introduction of these new products will bring enhanced safety to pilots globally, answering the need to address a rising threat to pilot safety, income and to passenger safety/airline operational continuity.

Signing the distribution agreement, George Palikaras, MTI founder and CEO, said: “Today marks a key milestone for MTI. We have worked closely with Satair since signing our initial MoU in June 2017 and which has led to today’s agreement for our eyewear, and visor products. We are very pleased to have Satair as our exclusive distributor. Through our partnership with Satair we will introduce our products to not just the commercial aviation market originally envisaged, but to service the growing needs of a much wider market to offer a solution to the increasing threats of laser strikes in global fixed-wing and rotary-wing aviation, law enforcement and defence.”

Satair is moving this relationship to commercialisation and will deploy its global presence and extended distribution and parts support services to all commercial aviation and defence market segments with metaAIR eyewear and visors products.

Signing the agreement, Bart Reijnen of Satair added: “This deal is very unique in the sense that through a combined Airbus effort we have brought a start-up company to production maturity. We have utilized cross-functional resources internally in Airbus to bring MTI to this stage.

Departments such as Start-up-2-Partner within Corporate Innovation, Airbus Aircraft Security, Airbus Defence and Space and Satair have all taken responsibility as project sponsors. The result is the signature of today’s distribution agreement”.

BACKGROUND

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The agreement builds upon the memorandum of understanding signed by the two parties at the Paris Air Show in June 2017 and which, at the time, was focused on the potential distribution of MTI’s laser protection product metaAIR to the civil aviation market.

Detailed market research and discussions with potential customers since then has confirmed that the overwhelming preference is for this innovative new product to be introduced to the market through individual eyewear and visor products which incorporate MTI’s laser glare protection technology.

The distribution agreement covers eyewear and visor products that are developed or manufactured by MTI.

These include, without limitation, all sub-components, sub-assemblies, piece parts, software and hardware.

Satair’s involvement follows in the footsteps of two previous agreements signed between Airbus and MTI’s Lamda Guard division over the past four years.

In 2014 MTI entered Airbus Corporate Innovation’s Start-Up-2-Partner program, which aims at building mutually beneficial partnerships with disruptive innovators and start-up companies.

While setting the ground for future business arrangements, with the support of the Airbus Aircraft Security team, the program also evaluated, tested and tailored metaAIR for potential application on to its aircraft.

Early in 2017, a new agreement for the validation, certification and commercialisation of the product was announced, followed by the initial distribution MoU signed with Satair in June 2017.

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