Preparing the integration of UAVs in civilian airspace
(Le Bourget, June 20, 2009) -- Sagem (Safran group) and Thales are major contributors to the MIDCAS (Mid-airCollision Avoidance System) contract, signed today at the Paris Air Show by the European Defence Agency (EDA) and a European industrial consortium. MIDCAS aims to develop an anti-collision system for "sense and avoid" type drones, allowing their integration in civilian airspace.
Thales and Sagem are responsible for the "sense" function in the MIDCAS program, in particular:
-- Sagem is in charge of coordinating work concerning non-cooperative sensors (infrared imagers and video, radar), as well as the processing and fusion of data from these sensors.
-- Thales is responsible for work on the cooperative sensors (transponder, TCAS/traffic-alert and collision avoidance system, etc.), as well as fusion of data from all sensors.
Within the scope of this work, Sagem supplies the infrared sensors and Thales the radar.
These core technologies play a decisive role in determining the drone's performance in terms of sensing aircraft in the surrounding airspace.
Sagem is also in charge of standardization aspects, liaising with regulatory authorities (Eurocontrol, EASA, FAA, DGAC, etc) as well as the aviation community (aircraft manufacturers, pilot associations, etc.), to develop a European standard for the Sense and Avoid function.
Flight tests will be carried out at the CEV flight testing centre in Istres, to validate the performance of the entire anti-collision function.
The MIDCAS initiative, supported by five countries (Sweden, France, Germany, Spain, Italy), meets the collision avoidance challenge, a key to being able to integrate drones in non-segregated airspace. It also plays an essential role in developing both governmental and civil applications of drones, by developing a permanent solution guaranteeing flight safety.
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