Home Archives January 2009 Finding hidden bombs

Finding hidden bombs

| Print |  Email
Thursday, January 01, 2009
SkyResearch.jpg Sky Research’s MD530 helicopter equipped with a magnetometer sensor array that detects bombs.

ASHLAND “Do you lift weights?”

Before I can answer, Sky has handed me something large, metallic, and, I am guessing, heavy. I brace my legs before cradling the cool, metallic bomb. “That is an improvised explosive device,” he says. “The IED has killed more troops in Iraq than any other weapon, and it has wounded soldiers in horrific ways. We can find these from the air, and we can find them on the ground.”

Sky, co-founder and vice president of Ashland-headquartered Sky Research, doesn’t have much to say about his unusual name, other than “Sky? That’s my name. I’m a pilot.” But he has plenty to say about Sky Research, a $13 million, 85-employee operation with four offices in North America.

He and Anne Sky, the company’s president, came up with their business plan while living in a Sioux tepee in the Illinois River Valley in 1979. Now they run the only company in Oregon that locates, maps and removes unexploded bombs. They’re cleaning up 12 Air Force bases and three Army bases throughout the nation and preparing for a monumental job at a Navy site south of Puerto Rico.

Unfortunately, there’s no shortage of unexploded weapons buried in the earth. Sky projects revenues will grow 20% to 30% in 2009 as the company expands its research and development contracts and branches overseas. But for all of Sky Research’s growth, it remains puny compared to the companies that dominate the industry, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.

“We’re competing with $50 billion companies,” he says. “But we can do the job faster, cheaper and better.” He’s hoping the incoming Obama administration will help give the company a chance to prove it.             

BEN JACKLET


Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

Report Card

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Strong public schools shore up the economy, survey respondents say. But local schools demonstrate lackluster performance.


Read more...

Community colleges and sustainability

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, July 31, 2014
sustainabilityBY MARY SPILDE | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

Faced with the aftermath of the “great recession,” increasing concern about the environment and dwindling family wage jobs, we have some very important choices to make about our future.


Read more...

Molecular Movies

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

Dr. Chong Fang isn’t God. But the assistant professor of chemistry at Oregon State University is getting closer to figuring out how he put everything together. 


Read more...

Green Endeavor cleans up

News
Wednesday, August 06, 2014
080614 ULnew greenendeavorBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Portland startup Green Endeavor strikes gold, inking a partnership with Underwriters Laboratories, an Illinois-based consulting and certification company with offices in 46 countries.


Read more...

Managing family assets: The importance of planning ahead

News
Friday, August 22, 2014
Unknown-1BY CLIFF HOCKLEY |  OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

When business intersects with family, a host of  situations can arise. Without a clear vision and careful planning, hard-earned investments can become stressful burdens.


Read more...

Poll Wrap-Up

News
Friday, August 15, 2014

2014 NewPoll-report-newsletterthumbIn this week's poll, we asked readers: "Who should pay for the troubled Cover Oregon website?" Here are the results.


Read more...

Podcast: Interview with Pete Friedes

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, August 27, 2014

082714-thumb friedesbookTom Cox interviews Pete Friedes, author of "The 2R Manager," about becoming a Best Boss.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS