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Small but powerful North Van company powered by cutting-edge technology

A company in North Vancouver that provides small yet powerful components that help drive many clean technologies is one that Ottawa says will benefit from new tax credits.

Federal Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra was stopped by North Vancouver company Accelovant on Wednesday for a first-hand look at the home-grown technology.

The North Vancouver company uses a patented cutting-edge technology to make fiber-optic temperature sensors key to the efficient manufacture of semi-conductor computer chips.

Those chips are used in a vast array of modern technologies, including green transportation options like e-bikes and electric vehicles.

“Last year’s cars have about 30 chips in each one. Electronic vehicles have 3,000 chips per vehicle,” said Accelovant Technologies CEO Michael Goldstein. Chips are key to safe fast-charging of electric batteries in everything from cell phones to cars, he said.

And while the computer chips themselves aren’t new, Acceleovant’s technology has been changing the way those chips are manufactured.

Temperature is key to the process, said Goldstein. What Accelovant provides is a special type of fiber optic sensor that uses light to detect and control temperature more accurately, and under extreme conditions.

Goldstein said he and co-founder Ondrej Mercl started their company six years ago, sinking his retirement savings into the venture and hiring a group of forward-thinking scientists, engineers, physicists and electronics experts.

They spent three years experimenting, without success, said Goldstein. Then in year four, “We hit a breakthrough” that has resulted in worldwide commercial patents and exports into a $100 billion global market.

Today the North Vancouver company’s products support “the tidal wave” of clean tech activity, said Goldstein, including everything from machines that remove dangerous particles from mining smokestacks to powering data centers around the world.

Virtually every chip in the world is made on a machine that uses sensors produced by only two or three companies worldwide, said Goldstein. Accelovant is one of those.

“We’re of course the new kid in town and our growth is currently exponential thanks to the work of Canadian technology. We’re the global tech leader. Our sensors are used in situations that no other device can be used,” he said.

The growth of electrification is further firing the business.

Currently Accelevant employs less than 50 people ranging from technicians to engineers and software and firmware developers. All 20,000 units shipped annually are manufactured in the company’s North Vancouver location. It helps that the finished sensors

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What’s solid-fuel technology and why’s North Korea developing it? | News

A look at the characteristics of solid-fuel technology and how it can help North Korea improve its missile systems.

North Korea says it has successfully tested a new solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), its first known use of the propellant in a longer-range projectile.

But what exactly is a solid-fuel missile and why does it matter to have one?

What is solid-fuel technology?

Solid propellant is a mixture of fuel and oxidiser. Metallic powders such as aluminum often serve as the fuel, and ammonium perchlorate, which is the salt of perchloric acid and ammonia, is the most common oxidiser.

The fuel and oxidiser are bound together by a hard rubbery material and packed into a metal casing.

When the solid propellant burns, oxygen from the ammonium perchlorate combines with aluminum to generate enormous amounts of energy and temperatures of more than 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit (2,760 degrees Celsius), creating thrust and lifting the missile from the launch pad.

What is the advantage of this technology?

Solid fuel is dense and burns quite quickly, generating thrust over a short time. Separately, it can remain in storage for an extended period without degrading or breaking down – a common issue with liquid fuel.

Vann Van Diepen, a former US government weapons expert who now works with the Washington-based North Korea monitoring project, 38 North, said solid-fuel missiles are easier and safer to operate. They also require less logistical support, making them harder to detect and more survivable than liquid-fuel weapons.

According to Joseph Dempsey, a research associate at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, one of the key advantages is that solid-fueled missiles can be “fuelled from the point of manufacture”.

“They, therefore, allow operators to maintain a high state of readiness and the potential to launch within minutes, depending on basis,” Dempsey wrote in an analysis earlier this year.

In contrast, a liquid-fueled ICBM would need to undergo a fueling process before launch, said Dempsey. That could take hours, giving an adversary time to identify, react and neutralize it before its launch.

Who has this technology?

Solid fuel dates back to fireworks developed by the Chinese centuries ago, but made dramatic progress in the mid-20th century when the United States developed more powerful propellant.

The Soviet Union fielded its first solid-fuel ICBM, the RT-2, in the early 1970s, followed by France’s development of its S3, also known as SSBS, a

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