121: Advanced Air Mobility – Securing the Supply Chain for UAV and eVTOL

In this episode of Silicon Valley Insider, Keith Koo’s returning guest is Dr. Parimal Kopardekar (PK), Director of NASA’s Aeronautics Research Institute (NARI) who discusses the importance of a safe and resilient supply chain for Advanced Air Mobility (AAM). AAM is dedicated to ensuring the safe operation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) and eVTOL (electric Vertical Take-off and Landing).


PK discusses how his training as a production engineer gives him a unique perspective in thinking about a strategic supply chain. He describes in detail the tiers of supply chain within the aerospace industry and how the supply chain needs to think “end-to-end” from the raw materials to the assembly and to support and maintenance. Throughout the show, PK and Keith give best practices on supply chain management (PK as an expert on supply chains for advanced manufacturing and systems and Keith as the head of vendor management and third-party risk management for Fortune 100 companies).


Later in the show, PK dives into the challenges of ensuring a safe and resilient supply-chain and how he gives his perspective and insight into ways to advance the aeronautic ecosystem such as creating the NARI / US Airforce – Agility Prime working group (which Keith Koo is a member of). Information on how to participate in this industry working group can be found at the NASA website located here:


On this week’s Cyber-Tip, Keith discusses the Garmin ransomware attack which is the latest “massive” hack which caused a lengthy (and ongoing) systemwide service outage. Garmin provides GPS tracking data not just for fitness trackers but also for aviation and marine applications causing issues for some pilots and boat captains that rely on these services. Keith gives a few tips on how to keep from getting hacked and even if you do get hacked, how you can ensure minimal disruption.


On the Pivot, Keith’s special guest is Alexander (Alex) Bilous, Chief Technology Officer of Aeronyde* Corporation a drone-as-a-service company. Alex follows-up on the earlier conversation with PK on how companies involved in aerospace, such as Aeronyde, will address the supply chain issues. Alex talks about the need for technology and regulations to advance and improve so that it can meet the demands of a secure supply chain as well as both he and Keith looking forward to the day that commercial drones can be manufactured in the USA in a cost-efficient manner. Alex discusses the work being done with Aeronyde as part of the Small UAV Coalition (an industry workgroup) to keep our skies safe and secure worldwide.


*disclosure – Keith Koo is a senior advisor and is the fractional Chief Operating Officer of Aeronyde More information on Aeronyde can be found here: http://www.aeronyde.com 


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