Metamaterial Technologies Inc.(MTI) announced the closing of their Series A funding round on April 11, with $8.3 million raised. The financing round was led by Radar Capital Inc, and saw participation from a variety of investors including Innovacorp. The funds are earmarked for metaAIR™, MTI’s aerospace laser protection product, and “ the development of production tools for its smart material platform technology.”
In the press release on the eleventh company founder and CEO, George Palikaras stated, “We look forward to working with our new institutional investors to accelerate the commercialization of metaAIR™, expand our team and move MTI from pilot production to scaled-up manufacturing.”
Innovacorp vice-president, Charles Baxter added, “We are pleased to make a follow-on investment in MTI and have Radar Capital as a co-investor. MTI continues to demonstrate the world-class capabilities of its technology platform as it commercializes its laser-protection solution for the aviation industry. We are confident in MTI’s ability to address significant challenges in many other verticals.”
MTI was founded in London, England in 2010 and is now headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, following a move in 2011. The company still operates an office in London however and has expanded its reach with the opening of a new location in Pleasanton, California last year following the acquisition of Rolith’s Business.
Now, getting back to metaAIR™, you may be surprised to know that there were more than 7700 laser attacks reported by the FAA(Federal Aviation Administration) in 2015 alone. But what exactly is a “laser attack?” (To all you Star Wars fans out there, relax, it’s not what you think.)
A laser attack or laser strike occurs when a laser beam or similar source of extremely bright light hits an aircraft windshield and disturbs the pilot’s ability to see.
A post on MTI’s website explains, “When a laser beam hits an aircraft windshield, tiny scratches and dirt on the windshield create a glare effect which spreads the light across the pilot’s field of vision. Pilots do not see this light as a small beam or dot; they experience a large glow which can be difficult to see through. A laser beam becomes wider over long distances and may grow to a few inches or even a few feet in diameter. The laser strike can cause considerable distraction or temporary flash blindness to a pilot during a critical phase of flight, such as landing or takeoff.”
Technically speaking, metaAIR™ “is a dielectric (non-metallic) optical metamaterial filter which has been scientifically engineered to provide laser protection.” Basically, it’s like a screen protector for airplane windshields that prevents lasers from interfering with the pilot’s vision.
Following the renewal of MTI’s partnership with AirBus in February of 2017 and the success of this latest financing round, the future is looking bright for the young Canadian company and a little safer for pilots and their passengers across the globe.
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