The public participates in drafting the Law on renewable energy in Serbia

As part of setting new energy regulations, the Ministry of Mining and Energy wants to draft a law on renewable energy sources. Some of the clauses that will be changed include a draft law on amendments and changes to Law of Energy, a draft law on amendments and changes to the Law on geological research and mining, and a draft law on energy’s rational use and energy efficiency. The public consultation will take place up to 9th February.

One way to choose projects that will be subsidized; the draft suggests the introduction of auctions. The draft also envisages keeping long-term contracts to small hydropower plants. The state power utility Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS) still has the role of balancing responsibility.


In the draft law, the Ministry of Mining and Energy advocates the following to be given incentives: wind power plants, biogas power plants, biomass power plants, hydropower plants, geothermal power plants, solar power plants, among others.

Feed-in tariffs

The draft law proposes that feed-in tariffs be awarded to small facilities, which are under 500kW. The ministry’s feed-in tariffs will be given in auctions and depend on available quotas set on by the government.

Balancing responsibility

Power plants that get market premiums will be free from balancing responsibility until the establishment of an organized within the day market. Also, power plants that receive feed-in tariffs will be free from balancing costs and balancing responsibility since the universal supplier will assume them.

Power generation for self-consumption

The draft law suggests prosumers be introduced or legal entities and private investors generate green energy for their use and selling. The end-user can connect a renewable energy power plant to the house’s internal electric wiring for its usage as long as its installed capacity does not surpass the approved capacity. This allows the end-user to gain prosumer’s status.

Therefore, prosumers can generate power for self-consumption, store that power, and sell the surplus power to the grid.

Renewable energy communities

In the draft law, renewable energy communities are cooperatives or energy communities. They are legal entities with the mandate to regulate the associations’ legal status. A community can generate, use, store, and sell renewable power.

Innovative technologies: green hydrogen

The draft law suggests that incentives would be given to the development of technologies that use new renewable sources like green hydrogen and other fuels. Green hydrogen is applied in transportation, heat energy, and natural gas.

Heat energy

Heating plants that generate, distribute, and supply heat power to consumers can receive incentives if they use solar energy, biomass, heat pumps, geothermal energy, and other renewable energy sources.


RWE will construct 76 MW power plants in Poland, France

The investment initiative for the development of 76 MW of the onshore wind projects in Poland and France was made by German energy giant RWE AG (ETR: RWE). The firm will use approximately €95 million ($115.3 million) to develop four wind turbines, three of which are in France and the other in Poland. It reported that this 26-MW Les Pierrots project represents its premiere in France for being the first to join construction. Work is expected to start this quarter on two French ventures and one in Poland.

By purchasing last year’s European solar and wind power production pipeline from compatriot Nordex SE (ETR: NDX1), RWE took ownership of the four projects. In the Centre-Val de Loire area, the Les Pierrots wind farm is being constructed, while in the north part of France, the 15-MW Martinpuich and 18-MW Les Hauts Bouleaux will be located. The 17-MW Rozdrazew, a Polish facility, will be built 80 kilometers southeast of Poznan. RWE said that by the end of the year 2022, it plans to increase its net power generating capacity to over 13 GW. The strategy would concentrate on Europe, North America, and the Asia-Pacific region and require some €5 billion of net investment.

All of these ventures resulted from the acquisition of Nordex SE’s European onshore wind as well as solar production business that RWE purchased in November 2020. This purchase added to the RWE’s current 22 GW production portfolio an additional 2.7 gigawatts (GW) in France, Sweden, Spain, and Poland. The majority of the current portfolio is centered in France, with 1.9 GW. A team of over 70 workers with significant expertise in this sector, which is now a portion of RWE Renewables, was also included in the production business.

Katja Wünschel, Chief Operating Officer of Wind Onshore as well as PV Europe & APAC, the RWE Renewables, stated: “We aimed to broaden our market presence, particularly in France, via the purchase of the Nordex program pipeline in the year 2020. By acts, we are already following our words. In France, the very first three onshore wind projects are being built, and construction on one of the projects has already started. We remain persistent with making use of the development opportunities which come our way, as this illustrates. It also demonstrates our commitment to further develop our role as one of the world’s largest manufacturers in green energy.” For over 120 years, night and day, RWE Company has been consistently providing people and enterprises with energy.


What are the prospects of 3D Printing Ceramics in the Space?

Redwire, the latest industry leader in the mission-critical space systems, has performed the world’s first efficient 3D printing of a series of ceramic modules in the space. This feat was achieved by a Ceramic Manufacturing Model (CMM) in December 2020, marking a major breakthrough for ceramic development in space. In June 2020, Redwire was formed when AE Industrial Partners, a private equity group, merged two recently purchased firms, Adcole Space as well as Deep Space Systems (DSS). RedWire is ideally placed to create state-of-the-art solutions to address the greatest problems facing space flights today.

Redwire has risen as the mission-critical space solutions pioneer and is a reliable manufacturer of devices used in the next decade’s space networks. The organization delivers end-to-end strategies, seeking to facilitate the future of the space missions. Redwire reported the performance of its CMM in the 3D printing ceramics in the space through the production of a ceramic turbine bladed disk (blisk), which is single-piece, alongside a collection of general content test coupons in its new production. The pre-ceramic resin pieces refer to SLA 3D printing technology from Redwire, showing its usefulness in carrying out 3D printing onboard the ISS, which is completely autonomous.

The achievement is a groundbreaking opportunity for space-enabled technology and will open the way for potential sector advancements, potentially enabling the 3D printing of ceramic components in the space. Redwire’s project may be a crucial step towards establishing a sustainable working and living in the space. Made in Space, a market pioneer in designing in-space production and assembly technology developed Redwire’s CMM. Now in Redwire’s possession, the CMM is the very first SLA 3D printer to be effective in creating objects in the space. Redwire attempts to illustrate the multitude of advantages provided by ceramic processing in microgravity.

The Redwire team claims that, relative to components made on Earth, the CMM will create ceramics in the space, resulting in products with high strength, excellent heat resistance properties, reduced residual stresses, as well as better mechanical efficiency. The use of these strengthened components will support different systems, like combustion engines, nuclear cores, as well as generators, where even the most modest strength enhancement would result in considerably greater longevity of the component’s lifetime. The CMM is the first orbiting SLA printer ever to work and will significantly increase space-based ceramic processing performance.

Redwire has shown that a single-piece ceramic turbine blisk, as well as a series of the material test coupons, can work entirely independently using the additive stereolithography (SLA) tech to 3D print its commercially built in-space manufacturing center. Via SpaceX Dragon CRS-21 spacecraft, these modules will be sent back to Earth for study. Further analysis will ideally show the improved properties of the component.


Robotic Dogs designed to Explore Hard to Access Caves in Mars

Popularly known as Mars Dogs, these robotic dogs have similarities with the real ones. A good example is a fact that the two are four-legged. Away from that, what’s the inspiration behind the design of the Mars Dogs? They are designed to explore even the roughest terrains of Mars that other spacecraft may not have been able to reach before. Their design must be unique, or else they may not access those areas just like the other rovers that have been there. The robotic dogs will explore Martian caves, which are quite deep pyroducts left behind by flowing lava from volcanic eruptions.

Their focus will be identifying sites suitable for buildings if humans ever go to stay there. Equally important, they will be on the lookout to see if there are signs of life by that time or even before then. Designers and developers have an idea of the Martian terrain. Its surface has large boulders, deep pits, and high inclines. Consequently, the design is in such a way that they adapt to the place perfectly.

It is no secret that wheeled rovers are likely to tip over if the surface is not flat. That’s probably why it has been hard for all the rovers that landed on Mars before to explore the caves. After all, there are high chances that the caves are not flat. Besides, they are lava tubes hence alleviated than the normal land. Therefore if rovers were to land on Mars, they could have to climb up, taking years. In addition to the long journey, problems might not end upon arriving. The cave’s entrances are quite steep. The walls are also a hindrance to communication between the rovers and the scientists on Earth.

That’s where the Mars Dogs come in. They are robotic and smart enough to navigate the rough terrain and also carry out the mission without communicating with the scientists. Courtesy of the California Institution of Technology, in collaboration with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the robotic dogs are artificially intelligent. They will withstand the Martian surface since the testing ground, Lava Beds Navigation in Northern California, has similar terrain.

The Mars Dogs’ speed is 5 km per hour, which means that they are way better than even the Curiosity rover of 2012. The comparison of the two shows that the former is 38 times faster than the latter. These robots will use an algorithm that keeps them upright, but if they topple, it will also manage to recover.

Since the scientists will be sending a pack, all the Mars Dogs will be able to work together for the success of their mission. Besides the tethering system, they will also have a robotic arm for interaction with the environment.


The Space Force is creating a new office to assist the United States intelligence group

The United States Space Force formally became the United States intelligence community’s 18th participant on January 8. The Space Force’s addition to the intelligence community was officially established in a special ceremony at a secret facility located in Bethesda, Maryland. “We welcome the intelligence community to the Space Force today,” National Intelligence Director John Ratcliffe stated in a press release.

Space Operations Chief General John Raymond stated that the U.S. was sticking up for the service to help the defense service, the Space Force Intelligence, Surveillance as well as Reconnaissance Enterprise. The new office will supply strategic intelligence to protect space systems against anti-satellite missiles, such as those produced by Russia and China. Since the Drug Enforcement Administration, which is part of the Department of Justice, was introduced in 2006, the Space Force has become the first major agency to join the intelligence community.

At the National Space Council’s December 9 meeting, Ratcliffe revealed that Space Force will be replacing parts of the United States intelligence community that are now part of the Navy, Army, Marine Corps as well as Air Force. There are two separate organizations in the intelligence community: the Central Intelligence Agency and Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The National Security Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Reconnaissance Office, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and the four-armed forces’ intelligence components are eight parts of the Department of Defense. The remaining seven are the Department of the Treasury, the Department of State, the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Energy. 

In a statement to SpaceNews earlier, Major general Leah Lauderback, who serves as the director in charge of the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance for Space Force, stated that the military enjoys the chance to take advantage of the Intelligence community in the United States. “We see it as a crucial next step in setting up the newest service in the world,” she stated. “We would be able to more effectively lobby for intelligence financing as part of the intelligence community to promote space as an increasing mission area,” Lauderback explained. “We are looking forward to further integration into the intelligence community as well as to collaborating to enhance the community with current users.” The U.S. Space Command depended mainly on the National Air and Space Intelligence Center as well as the National Space Defense Center for Space Intelligence. 


FCC grants polar launch approval for Starlink satellite spacecraft

The Federal Communications Commission will permit SpaceX, on a future mission, to deploy 10 Starlink satellites into the polar orbit. Still, it has postponed a verdict on a much wider license change for SpaceX. The FCC authorized SpaceX approval to deploy 10 Starlink satellites into 560-kilometer orbit with a tilt of 97.6 degrees in an order released on January 8. As part of the Transporter-1, a dedicated Smallsat rideshare project, these satellites will fly on the Falcon 9 no later than January 14.

For weeks, SpaceX has been pressing the FCC for approval to deploy Starlink satellites into the polar orbital plane. Simultaneously, the FCC proposes a license amendment to lower the satellite orbits initially allowed for the higher altitudes. That did include an order for the 58 satellites to be launched into a polar orbital plane on November 17, noting “a chance for the December polar launch,” which it did not name.

SpaceX stated it talked with FCC authorities the day before about this appeal in a January 5 filing with FCC. “SpaceX announced that its upcoming Transporter-1 mission would include the 10 Starlink satellites intended for service in the polar orbits if it gets the legal clearance,” the corporation said. In the filings, SpaceX claimed that attaching at least several satellites to the polar orbits will allow Alaska, not in the coverage area of current Starlink satellites deployed into the mid-inclination orbits, to commence operation.

In its November filing, the firm added that “deploying into the polar orbits would allow SpaceX Agency to introduce the same broadband service of high quality to the most remote locations of Alaska that some Americans have continued to depend on, particularly as the epidemic limits in-person contact possibilities.” Other satellite operators criticized the move. Viasat claimed in a November 19 filing that the ‘commercial expediency’ would not be a valid excuse for the FCC to approve SpaceX to deploy satellites into the polar orbit, raising questions about the stability of Starlink satellites as well as the threats they present to the orbital debris.

The Federal Communications Commission, in its order, decided that it’s in the general public interest to permit SpaceX to deploy the 10 Starlink satellites into the polar orbits. The accurately identifies, “We consider that partial granting of ten satellites would promote the continued production and evaluation of the SpaceX’s broadband service in the high-latitude geographical areas in the near term before further action is taken to resolve arguments in the record concerning both the granting of the complete modification as well as the entire subset of the polar orbit satellites.


Iceye to deploy three SAR spaceships on the SpaceX rideshare mission

On SpaceX Falcon 9 small spaceship rideshare mission planned for launch on January 21, Iceye plans to carry triple Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellites into the orbit. Iceye aims to extend the constellation with the forthcoming release also to include 6 SAR satellites. “In a report, Iceye US Chief executive Jerry Welsh stated, “We are delighted to commence 2021 with the liftoff of 3 latest satellites. This is the beginning of a major improvement in the development of satellites from our enlarged sites in Europe as well as from a new assembly facility in the United States. This will allow Iceye the ability to serve multinational clients while meeting unique U.S. consumer needs as well.

Iceye has set up offices in the United Kingdom, Poland and the United States since the firm started in Finland in 2014. Iceye started assessing potential sites for a U.S. production facility in 2020. The first tiny SAR satellite was deployed in early 2018 by Iceye. The organization has extended its Earth-observation network over the last 3 years as well as launched a dedicated client spacecraft. For an unspecified mission, the forthcoming SpaceX launch involves a second dedicated mission.

In a statement, Iceye United States President Eric Jensen stated, “The extension of the ICEYE constellation enhances our remarkable capacity to provide consumers with a secure service for use scenarios such as regular location monitoring, object tracking as well as fast environmental response. ICEYE revealed a Series C investment round of $87 million last year, taking its overall funding to around $152 million. Iceye said that it “has grand ambitions for the year 2021” in a January 12 press release as well as the forthcoming “launch is just the start of a multi-satellite deployment framework for the coming year.” Before announcing plans to deploy satellites, Iceye appears to delay until flights are inevitable. Iceye is developing another eight spacecraft. 

ICEYE has already launched a record number of more than five SAR satellites, and more will be deployed in 2021. Its SAR spacecrafts were the first small SAR imaging spacecrafts ever, and the spacecraft was planned and developed in-house. Iceye has SAR imaging that is revolutionary because it utilizes comparatively small real physical antennas to build a much wider synthetic aperture compared to the physical aperture of radar antenna itself, paired with rapid motion around a focused imaging area, that in turn ensures that it is capable of creating extremely high-resolution, three & two-dimensional images of areas as well as objects.

News Space

Swarm spacecraft will be the new research tools for understanding the formation of Earth

Rockot launch vehicle was the first to deploy the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia over eighteen years ago. The Rockot space vehicle hosted eight small satellites to their orbits instead of one mega satellite marking the beginning of the small satellite missions. Although the deployment of the rocket took billions of dollars, it was the first mission to initiate the small satellites and their operations in space. These satellites are advantageous because they are easy to develop since their dimensions are small with a single CubeSat measuring 10cm height, 10cm width, and 10cm length. The researchers formulating these satellites were teaching students how to develop satellites. The initial thought was that the learners would apply the knowledge they acquired from these cubesats to develop new space vehicles for satellite development.

In the course of their study, the students discovered that they could use the small satellites for actual missions instead of educational tools, and that is how they transformed. Roger Walker of the European Space Agency (ESA) stated that the brilliant minds in the field of science are downsizing the sizes of the technology that they come up with to save on space and launch numerous and versatile satellites. Moreover, this trend saves on the cost of developing the satellites enabling the companies to develop constellations of satellites to serve the communication needs. This idea allows scientists to conduct more missions without challenges. Soon space will host swarms of satellites from different companies and agencies since they are affordable.

Scott Williams of SRI International, who was part of the initial team in developing small satellites. He narrated the whole ordeal that they navigated through to eventually agree to establish a satellite with this type of technology. William explained that the challenge was how to monitor and work with a swarm of satellites exceeding 1000. One of the scientists’ ideas is using 1000 operators, each running a single satellite to form a regular network pattern that works as one unit. However, they discovered that creating a communication pattern after the satellites are deployed can help them utilize one operator to run the whole constellation saving on the cost of employing 1000 people. In real-time, the operator will create artificial intelligence that directs the operation of all the satellites. Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite constellation is an ideal example of this concept. SpaceX, which runs this constellation, deploys the satellites in a batch of 60 to meet the anticipated target of 12000 satellites to deliver 5G internet connection.