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

October surprise

News
Sunday, October 12, 2014
roundup-logo-thumb-14BY LINDA BAKER

Cylvia Hayes, tabloid vs. watchdog journalism and the looming threat of a Cascadia earthquake.


Read more...

Gone Fishing

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY LORI TOBIAS

Business has been good to Laura Anderson, leading some to suggest she must be awfully lucky to find such success in a business notorious for failure. But luck’s had little to do with it.


Read more...

The Backstory

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014

In our cover story this month, Wendy Collie, CEO of New Seasons Market, and Kim Malek, owner of Salt & Straw, discuss their rapidly growing businesses and Portland’s red hot food scene. The conversation provides an interesting lens through which to explore trends in the grocery store and restaurant sectors.


Read more...

Back to School

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY LEE VAN DER VOO

By now we’ve all read the headlines: Starbucks is giving away free degrees. Except it isn’t.


Read more...

True Blood

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY JOE ROJAS-BURKE

Antibiotics really aren’t magic bullets.


Read more...

Two Sides of the Coin

Contributed Blogs
Friday, September 26, 2014
0926 iphone6-thumbBY JASON NORRIS | GUEST BLOGGER

This post focuses on the recent release of the new Apple iPhone as well as Alibaba's IPO, the largest U.S. IPO in history.


Read more...

The Alchemist

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

David Howitt explains why Portland consumer brands like Stumptown and Voodoo Doughnuts are taking the world by storm.


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