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Invest in Active Safety System Technologies Inc.

Amazing safety systems to protect US soldiers/citizens from IEDs/eVTOL crashes

Highlights

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Novel technologies patented in the US and globally, already proven by both US Army & UK tests.
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$3.3m in revenue generated so far from ABBS technology portfolio, including $900,000 from US Army.
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Two key innovations: A Safety Eco-System for eVTOLs and an Armored Vehicle IED Protection System.
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3 registered US patents and 2 pending US patents (one approved November 2021) cover both markets.
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Working at highest levels in our markets: The Pentagon, DARPA, Armed Forces, Aviation Authorities.
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Discussions ongoing with Pentagon Rapid Reaction Technology Office and the US Army GVSC Detroit.
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Artificial Intelligence Look-Down system to monitor emergency landing sites under flight path.
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Developing eVTOL retrorocket crash prevention system with US Ballistic Parachute supplier.

Our Team

The awful injuries and high fatalities caused by IEDs and land mines in Afghanistan and Iraq needed a solution. Roger Sloman identified a potential solution in 2008 and has invested 13 years of his life and over $2.6M in pursuing it. In 2013 he also saw that the same technology using rocket motors could save lives in helicopters and eVTOLs.

Pitch

Active Safety Systems that Save Lives

ASST is a subsidiary of Advanced Blast and Ballistic Systems Ltd. (ABBS) based in the UK.

Download ASST Pitch Deck

We develop technology that protects American soldiers and citizens - both on the battlefield and here at home. Our two major product areas are our Armored Vehicle Protection Systems and our Safety Eco-System for eVTOL (electric Vertical Take-off and Landing) Aircraft.

The Armored Vehicle Protection Systems are built on our exceptionally powerful VGAM™ (Vehicle Global Acceleration Mitigation) system for counteracting mine/IED explosions. The systems are being developed with funding from the US Army under a multi-year Cooperative R&D Agreement (CRADA)

Our Safety Eco-System for eVTOL is built on our proprietary active “Zero Altitude - Zero Speed” system and combines parachutes and retro-rockets with specific sequences for each emergency circumstance to control the descent rate and achieve a safe, soft landing.

Whilst one system is clearly defence-related and the other serves the aerospace market both of these safety systems are built around different versions of the same SAFE/ARM and sensor control/initiation technology and powerful rocket motors as core elements of both systems.

ABBS/ASST Armored Vehicle Protection Systems

Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were the largest cause of civilian and military death during recent wars. In Afghanistan alone, 42% of US military deaths and 49% of UK military deaths were caused by IEDs.

When a vehicle hits a mine or IED it is often accelerated very quickly up into the air. This is known as the Global Acceleration of the whole vehicle, and above a certain level (about 30feet/second) it can result in spinal compression injuries. The occupants can be killed or severely injured just by this rapid acceleration upwards even if the vehicle cabin is not penetrated by the blast.

Our Armored Vehicle Protection Systems counteract the lifting forces of the mine, keeping the vehicle on or near the ground and preventing injuries to the occupants.

The ABBS/ASST VGAM System

Our Vehicle Global Acceleration Mitigation (VGAM™) system uses patented high-impulse Linear Rocket Motors (LRM™) to keep the vehicle on or near the ground to prevent fatal or disabling spinal injuries.

At the same time, carbon fiber reinforced belly plates and active floor systems protect the occupants from the other threats from underbelly mines and IEDs, with stroking blast seats dealing with any residual Global Acceleration.

The full suite of systems provides protection against all threats to the occupants from under-belly mines and IEDs.

The combined result is a lightweight, effective system for protecting modern armored vehicles from the effects of mine and IEDs, with the possibility of even the biggest IEDs being defeated. Funding for the urgent development of this very large IED capability is being pursued in a coordinated approach to the US Army, the Pentagon, and DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), which currently has an open call for proposals with the title "Redefining Possible" which describes in two words exactly the potential of our VGAM technology. No other technology can do what VGAM does.

ASST’s target customers for the Armored Vehicle Protection Systems are the US and Canadian armed forces, to which we expect to sell our systems after they have been certified for use. We also plan to sell our systems to aid agencies such as the United Nations and other non-governmental bodies operating in war zones and former war zones where legacy mines and IED’s are a pervasive and enduring threat. ABBS is similarly pursuing the global market outside the USA and Canada.

Our system is completely modular and depending on the specific elements and specifications required, the value per vehicle could be anything from $20,000 - $400,000.

      Recent and Planned Developments

      Forward-looking projections cannot be guaranteed.

      Proven VGAM Technology – Snatch Land Rover Testing in UK 2017

      The full suite of systems was first tested in the UK in 2017 on a Snatch Land Rover which was a basic lightly protected UK Army patrol vehicle.

      Further Major US Army Test in the USA

      The 2017 UK proof test was followed by a much larger US test carried out in 2018 by BAE Land Systems on behalf of the US Army. This is still classified but it can be reported that it was completely successful. Further testing by the US Army to determine the best configuration for the Linear Rocket Motors continued during 2020.

      Media Interest Led to the Pentagon’s Direct Response

      The British Forces Broadcasting Service video below outlining how the technology works has been viewed over 1 million times and was seen by someone in the Pentagon Rapid Reaction Technology Office, who then contacted ABBS in the UK directly .

      This led to us being invited to present at a Pentagon Technology Discovery Event at which we will liaise with the relevant personnel and discuss possible funding routes for the full certification of the VGAM technology, supported by personnel from the US Army Ground Vehicle Systems Centre in Detroit. The potential DARPA Tactical Technology Office interest which has only become apparent very recently will also be brought into this discussion.

      We do anticipate that the further R&D and certification costs for our VGAM system will be funded by the Pentagon/US Army/DARPA so that capital from this raise will not have to be spent on it.

      Forward-looking projections cannot be guaranteed.

      Belly Plate Development for Light Commercial Vehicles

      Even without our top-mounted VGAM system, our newly designed shockwave-mitigating, energy-absorbing Composite Reinforced Belly Plate mounted on a Toyota Hilux can offer full protection for occupants against major injuries in the event of a 4kg TNT equivalent under-body mine blast, and partial protection (no penetration) against 6kg. This level of protection is far more than has ever previously been demonstrated on such a light civilian vehicle.

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      ABBS/ASST Safety Eco-System for eVTOL Aircraft

      ASST is not just focussed on protecting the armed forces.  We want to ensure that passengers and the general public on the ground are safe in the burgeoning Urban Air Mobility market where the new breed of electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft and larger delivery drones will be allowed to operate at low height above cities.

      eVTOLs will be commonplace in major cities across the United States within the next 5 years. Companies like Archer Aviation, Joby, Volocopter, Lilium, and Vertical Aerospace have announced multi-billion $ contracts to supply hundreds of eVTOL aircraft to major brands like United Airlines, JetBlue, Virgin Atlantic, American Airlines, lessor Avolon, helicopter group Bristow, Iberojet, and Japan’s Marubeni group.

      By 2030, the market is expected to be worth $15B+ and ASST systems could be used in all of these eVTOLs. In principle, some individual elements of the complete ABBS/ASST system could be provided on all the anticipated 50,000 aircraft in the US, creating a potential almost $1billion annual market for ASST to target.

      The Problem

      Though eVTOLs are about to play a large role in our daily lives, there are some safety hazards that relate specifically to these large, multi-rotor drone-like aircraft that currently do not have solutions other than the multiple redundancy of systems that the designers are building into their designs.

      Manufacturers are currently more concerned with building eVTOLs that can be certified and commercialized as soon as possible, while the regulators are under pressure to quickly revise and update their certification standards before eVTOls enter public service, but the varied novel design concepts are making this process very difficult.

      eVTOLs currently have multiple redundancy measures (i.e. backup systems) built in, but redundancy does not deal with all the possible critical issues, especially large bird strikes.

      Without reliable certified solutions for these scenarios, eVTOLs which have a serious malfunction are at risk of an uncontrolled descent, possibly crashing into pedestrians, cars, or buildings on the ground.

      The ABBS/ASST Solution

      ABBS is developing a crash prevention solution that will work in practically all circumstances, even when everything else fails, by using a combination of parachutes, retro-rocket motors, and stroking crashworthy seats.

      We have entered into a collaboration agreement with our US partner, Aviation Safety Resources - a leading provider of ballistic parachute recovery systems for light aircraft and eVTOLs - to create a robust Emergency Descent Arrest System (EDAS) that is fully safe and will meet all aviation safety requirements. Our US patent for 'Emergency landing of aircraft' was approved on 19th November 2021.

      Our “Zero Altitude - Zero Speed” EDAS system controls the descent rate to achieve a safe and soft landing.

      The 45kg/100lb system illustrated here is for a 2-seat 2,000kg personal aircraft which includes a parachute, retro-rocket motor system and stroking seats priced at about $30,000 to $50,000. For larger 4/5 seat UAM eVTOLs the full system could cost up to $250,000.

      Elements of the Eco-System could be offered at lower cost for use on delivery drones where protecting the public from the potential of a drone falling out of the sky is essential to ensuring confidence in the use of this delivery method.

      Recent and Planned Developments

      Forward-looking projections cannot be guaranteed.


      Proven Patented Technology, Major New Developments & Secured Agreements With Partners – The Vision for ASST

      The full ABBS technology and product portfolio which consists of a mixture of proven systems and those requiring further development and certification provides ASST with a huge opportunity to exploit both the armored vehicle and eVTOL markets in the USA and Canada.

      What's Next for ASST

      Both of the major products, the VGAM and the eVTOL EDAS systems are in the late stages of development with defined routes to certification. We are preparing to commercialize these technologies and aim to make our leading-edge patented technologies the unique go-to solutions for the major safety issues in the military and eVTOL markets globally.

      IP Overview

      We have a robust patent portfolio that protects both our eVTOL and Armored Vehicle solutions. It was valued by Inngot in October 2019 at $6,300,000 - $9,000,000 on a 'value contribution basis' and $11,000,000 - $12,200,000 on an 'invested value basis'

      We have several potential R&D contracts, trials and commercial buyers in the pipeline in both of the major market areas.

      We want to raise up to $3M to get these products to market through further development and trials. We anticipate that this will be used mostly for our eVTOL safety systems since the VGAM element of our Armored Vehicle Protection System R&D is expected to be funded by DARPA/the Pentagon/US Army and/or the major European defence industry player with which we have a current discussion.

      Hence $2.2m is earmarked for continuing R&D for our eVTOL safety eco-system to be used on delivery drones and eVTOLs for Urban Air Mobility.

      Forward-looking projections cannot be guaranteed.

      Potential Exits - Past History - The Advanced Composites Group in the UK.

      Roger Sloman started his first company in 1975 in the spare room and garage in his house making carbon fibre components for the Formula 1 motor racing cars and this was developed over 29 years into the Advanced Composites Group which was sold for $60.76m in 2004 at about 1.26 times T/O and 11.6 times Operating Profit. (Note:- $50million went to VC investors and staff.)

      This high valuation for a private company buy-out was based on the combination of four key elements:

      •  Technology protected by patents.
      • Unique prepreg carbon fibre material products for the aerospace and motor racing industries that gave a technical and/or cost advantage.
      • A global marketing and sales footprint.
      • Production in the USA.

      ASST is based on the same combination of:

      - Technology protected by patents.

      • Unique products/technology that solve key safety problems for armored vehicles and eVTOL aircraft.
      • A strong presence and existing contacts within both the US military and the eVTOL market in the USA.
      • Cooperative Manufacturing and Marketing Agreements for some parts of the business already established, with potential for further evolution in due course.

      Potential Exits - Most Likely Scenarios
      • Multiple potential exit routes are available due to the two different markets and technologies, but the most likely scenario in the near/intermediate future is for a global defence industry player to want to get access to, or control of the VGAM mine/IED protection system technology as this is truly unique, difficult to replicate due to the propellant manufacture and rocket motor expertise required, and very fully covered by granted patents in the key countries globally. We currently have one such discussion starting in January 2022.
      • The newly identified US Army requirement for a solution to the large IED threat and the potential Pentagon and DARPA interest in the technology is creating potentially strong 'user pull' for the technology which means that the market for the product should develop in the relatively near term to repay the investment required to fully develop and certify the technology for production.
      • A similar rationale applies to the suite of eVTOL safety systems ABBS has developed, with the rapidly developing US market being a major part of the global potential.

      Forward-looking projections cannot be guaranteed.

      Financials

      ASST Inc is currently a start-up Company and has no trading history. However, as a subsidiary within the larger UK-based Advanced Blast & Ballistic Systems Limited group  ASST will be granted an exclusive distribution agreement to cover USA and Canada for all products sold by ABBS.

      Previously ABBS has sold $900,000 of VGAM-related products for evaluation by the US Army,  including for the very successful full scale vehicle test in 2018, and further rocket motor testing in 2020.

      ABBS has the following financials:

      Investment Raised since 2011: $5.0M

      Total Revenue since 2011: $3.3M, including:

      - $900,000 from the US Army as above

      - UK R&D Grants Received: $1.27M

      Short Term Debt within ABBS: $NIL

      Debt within ABBS: $67,500 (repayable over 6-10 years)

      Founders Long Term Interest-free Loan (Roger Sloman): $186,000

      Cash in Hand within ABBS: $150,000

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      More Detailed Information

      The Origin of the VGAM Concept, Why Existing Armored Vehicle Mine/IED Protection is Insufficient, and the Potentially Game-Changing Development Being Discussed With the US Army, the Pentagon RRTO and the DARPA TTO.

      Roger Sloman's first involvement in armored vehicle blast protection was in 2008 when, having retired after the sale of Advanced Composites Group, he was acting as a consultant for a small UK company which claimed to have a blast protection system for vehicles. He quickly proved the system did not work so he organized further testing using an ex-Russian BRDM2 armored vehicle.

      On viewing the high-speed video Roger observed that while the vehicle was overturned by the 6kg blast under a front wheel, the complete vehicle did not begin to move upwards for about 10ms after the mine exploded. He concluded that this 10ms delay in movement was a time window during which it would be possible for some form of action to be taken to prevent the vehicle being blown into the air. But it was not until after he had left the company later that year in July that he realized that simply pushing down on the vehicle with very fast-acting powerful rocket motors could provide a solution. The initial patent application on the concept was made in December 2008, identifying a novel rocket motor configuration that might be suitable for the purpose. After experimenting with different forms of countermeasure the Linear Rocket Motor concept was developed and implemented in testing, which proved to be an excellent solution, being lightweight and easily fitted anywhere on the top surface of the vehicle without any significant increase in the vehicle height.

      Due to heavy losses from mines and IED’s in Iraq and Afghanistan the US Army developed new vehicle designs with high ground clearance and deep V shaped hulls to help divert the mine blast forces out to the side, but the concept does have many disadvantages.

      The high center of gravity results in instability and poor handling with roll-over accidents being quite frequent and the high vehicle presents a larger target for the enemy. The increased size and additional armor also made the vehicles very heavy with extremely high fuel consumption and almost no ability to move off-road for fear of getting bogged down in soft ground.

      The combination of the V-hull, high ground clearance and the high weight did however reduce the issue of Global Acceleration injuries to the crew to a large extent, but after Afghanistan it was concluded that this type of design was impractical for general service and these big heavy vehicles with high fuel and maintenance costs have now largely been phased out, and new designs are more focused on light and medium weight designs, which of course are now more susceptible to the Global Acceleration problem, which is now the critical parameter limiting the mine/IED protection levels of modern armored vehicle designs.

      Specifically, it is the limited capability of the stroking blast seats (about 30ft/s upwards velocity) in the vehicles to deal with the global acceleration level that determines the overall mine blast capability of the vehicle, which for light/medium weight vehicles is often in the 6kg or 8kg range, which is far below the size of many mines and IED’s used in Afghanistan.

      The addition of the VGAM system to a vehicle can dramatically increase the level of its mine blast capability, potentially to the 50+kg or even the 100kg level, and this is what ASST and ABBS are now promoting to the global armored vehicle industry. 

      The key factor is that the VGAM system can make the vehicle 'weigh' up to 1,000tons for just the 20 to 50ms required to counteract the blast lifting forces for the addition of just 0.5tons system weight added to the base vehicle design.

      A Whole New Tactical Mobility Capability is Now Possible.

      A whole new generation of armored vehicles with massively increased mine/IED protection levels is now possible, enabled solely by the availability of the VGAM technology to eliminate the Global Acceleration threat. And this new capability is now being put forward to the US Army as a game-changing development which will enable a major change in army tactics where mines and IEDs are a threat. 

      Currently mine fields are used conventionally to deny ground for manoeuvre by land forces, and in Afghanistan 'mobility' was often reduced to walking pace by the need for a individual to walk in front of a convoy to check for mines and IED's with a hand-held mine detection device, and then being stopped while threats are cleared manually. Additionally, if a convoy is on a narrow track, especially in hilly or mountainous regions, the tactic of hitting the lead vehicle with an IED to disable it and block the track is a critical ambush threat. In Afghanistan this did sometimes lead to very serious casualties, the Taliban being able to continue firing down from prepared elevated positions at the stationary convoy for a long period until air power and landing troops from helicopters could be used to control the situation.

      The VGAM technology can be used to make armored vehicles so IED-resistant that they can sustain large IED hits and remain mobile, so that minefields and the tactic of disabling the lead vehicle in a convoy are no longer effective in restricting mobility.

      The Tactical Technology Office (TTO) of DARPA (the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) currently has an open challenge named "Redefining Possible" and in the Ground System section they state very clearly that:-

      "The future ground battlefield will be one of chaos and unpredictability where stationary forces will be subject to lethal attacks".

      TTO’s interest in Ground Systems includes "technologies to provide small units or even individual war-fighters improved mobility and lethality to enable undeterrable presence anywhere on the globe."

      ABBS/ASST will shortly be submitting a proposal to the DARPA TTO to open a discussion with them about a full project proposal. This approach is being coordinated with our main CRADA contact at the US Army Ground Vehicle Systems Centre and the Pentagon RRTO to try to establish a clear coordinated plan to develop the full anti-IED capability that is now technically possible, enabled solely by our patented VGAM technology.

      A perfect example of "Redefining Possible".

      Without the ABBS VGAM system and Carbon Fiber Belly Plate the vehicle is very badly damaged having been blown over 5m (16ft) into the air, and the occupants would all either die or be very seriously injured

      The Detailed Sequence of Events

      Effects on the Occupants

      When performing our tests for the Snatch Land Rover with the full range of ABBS Armored Vehicle Protection Systems, we used a Hybrid lll Anthropomorphic Test Device (a replica of human body with strain gauges to determine loads at key positions) in a stroking blast seat inside the vehicle to ascertain the forces on personnel within the vehicle. The results were all within the acceptable range as shown in the table below.

      The same belly plate design can be used to improve existing blast protection on vehicles being designed by OEMs for both military and civilian use and can offer reduced deformation with up to 30% weight savings compared to steel armor belly plates.

      A separate discussion is also ongoing with a major European defense industry group for which the VGAM system would be an excellent fit within their product portfolio, so this may provide another independent route to full certification of the system.

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      The Origin of the ASST Safety Eco-System for eVTOL Aircraft

      Any single novel aircraft design concept can have un-predicted undesirable flight or failure characteristics and now we have over 400 new eVTOL projects being designed and built to many different aerodynamic concepts using various power sources (lithium ion batteries, hydrogen fuel cells, hydrogen or green hydrocarbon turbines).

      The combination of commercial pressure and these multiple, varying novel design factors could have some unpredictable and unfortunate safety consequences in due course while the industry and the regulators go up a very steep learning curve.

      In addition, fundamentally all aircraft in the VTOL phase of flight are very vulnerable to any power or control problem, or any Foreign Object Damage from anything thrown up by the downwash during landing.

      Lack of forward movement means no lift is provided by fixed wings and hence the electric motors need to be at maximum power and full lift, resulting in very high loads on the power system and motors which will reach maximum operating temperature very quickly during the hover/descent and there are serious concerns about system and battery overheating which could result in battery fires which cannot be extinguished. It is known that at least two eVTOL designs have been destroyed due to battery fires while testing on the ground. and one electric conventional design aircraft has crashed killing the test pilot and passenger, almost certainly due to a battery pack fire in flight.

      The Harrier accident rate is 10X that of conventional fighter aircraft.

      eVTOLs currently have multiple redundancy measures (i.e. backup systems) built in, but redundancy does not deal with all the possible critical issues, especially large bird strikes.

      The Bird Strike Threat

      The regulators have adopted the current helicopter requirement of a 1kg (2.2lb) bird for the bird strike certification test. To increase the bird weight to 2 or 3kg to deal with at least some of the heavier water birds which frequent the rivers, lakes, or seas around which most cities are built would probably add so much weight to the eVTOL designs that they would become uneconomic. It therefore seems very likely that there will be serious bird strike incidents which will in due course cause aircraft operating in the Urban Air Mobility/Taxi role to perform emergency descents, which might be uncontrolled. Without at least a ballistic parachute recovery system which is effective at low level, a strike with a large bird may well result in a completely uncontrolled descent to the ground as the aircraft will only have been tested with a 1kg bird during certification.

      The ABBS/ASST Eco-Safety System can help manufacturers to bridge that safety gap.

      The Detailed Sequence of Events

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      Alongside these major active elements, passive systems and third-party products which are also important parts of the whole safety system concepts have been added to the portfolio as the opportunities have arisen. One example is the stroking crashworthy/blast seats which can be used in both eVTOLs and armored vehicles. Another is the Video/AI Look-Down system that applies to both markets in different ways and which has had an enthusiastic reception from major players in both.

      Stroking Blast Seats

      Stroking blast seats are an important part of the whole system to protect the vehicle occupants from the effects of Global Acceleration and ABBS has an agreement with a leading Israeli stroking seat supplier for the development of seats for specific vehicle applications, and for the eVTOL market. These seats will be available to ASST to sell in the USA and Canada.

      Ballistic Protection Development Agreement With Graphene Composites Ltd.

      Our activity in the armored vehicle market means that we have the opportunity to sell third-party products alongside our own systems to the same customers, hence maximising the return on the investment in sales and marketing activities.

      In this context we have an agreement with Graphene Composites Ltd (GC) to collaborate by exploring the opportunities to incorporate their products in ABBS systems, and potentially also develop new applications in armored vehicles for their graphene reinforced ballistic protection products. Currently they have developed their products primarily for the personal protection and police ballistic shield markets, but it is possible that the graphene-based technology has applications in blast protection systems as well.


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