Thales & NASA to Develop Solutions to Control Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Thales has signed a Space Act Agreement with NASA to support its Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) Traffic Management (UTM) activity. Under the agreement, Thales will collaborate with NASA for the research, development, testing and evaluation of low-altitude airspace control of UAS operating at or below 400 feet. To support NASA’s milestones for developing UTM, Thales will engage with industry and government stakeholders to share expertise, concepts and perspectives on the integration of unmanned systems. The agreement also includes further cooperation with existing Technology Capability Level activities being conducted by NASA.

This framework agreement allows Thales to engage with NASA on a technical and program level to continue to establish UTM in the United States, and allows Thales to leverage its global expertise in UTM. Thales will support NASA’s goal to develop a UTM concept that can be transferred to the FAA in 2019 for deployment in the national airspace system (NAS).

Thales is already working with other NASA partners at the FAA’s New York Test Site at Griffiss International Airport in Rome, NY, and will be deploying technologies in support of NASA initiatives. Through existing agreements with Syracuse University, Griffiss International Airport, CenterState CEO, Empire State Development and the NUAIR Alliance, Thales is supporting the development of UTM in New York including integration and monitoring of the FAA’s System Wide Information Management (SWIM) capabilities. Thales also continues to work with the FAA on the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) program for small unmanned aerial system integration.

Thales is a global leader in air traffic management solutions and is developing a secure and flexible UTM solution based on the ECOsystem digital aviation platform. It leverages Thales capabilities in big data, cyber security, artificial intelligence and connectivity to provide decision support for air traffic management stakeholders for manned and unmanned operations. Thales intends to leverage this preexisting expertise of UTM throughout its engagement with NASA and its network of UTM partners. With a focus on digital transformation concepts across New York, Thales has brought many other innovative solutions to the state including innovative rail signaling, airport security, airline operations and passenger experience solutions.