Thales concludes European civil UAS study


Thales has completed a year-long study in collaboration with over 20 other companies in nine countries to find a pan-European position on the most appropriate command and control radio frequencies for future military unmanned aerial system integration into the civil air traffic environment.

The study, abbreviated as SIGAT (Study on military frequency spectrum allocations for the Insertion into General Air Traffic of UAS), aimed at defining and promoting a common European position on the appropriate command and control radio frequencies for future military UAS integration into the General Air Traffic within the framework of the next world Radio Communication Conference (2012).

Thales says SIGAT identified four possible options including frequency spectrum needs with associated levels of difficulty, performance and timeframe. “Each of these four paths would enable military UAS to integrate civil airspaces while providing appropriate safety to other air traffic.”

The finding represents a major outcome for European Defence ministries as it widens the number of potential solutions and provides the relevant regulatory and technical elements to enable a balanced choice to be made between optimal cost,result and timeframe solutions for military UAS integration, Thales says in a statement.

Thales senior vice president in charge of defence mission systems Pierre-Eric Pommelletsays one “of the major issues at the heart of UAS development today, is the integration of these vehicles into civil airspace.
“We need to ensure proper segregation of existing air traffic and maintain a high level of safety for all airspace users to the standards of international civil aviation, commented Thales provides solutions to meet these challenges through the development of sense & avoid anti-collision systems for UAS which are remotely piloted through a radio-frequency data-link”, he continued.

Thales successfully led a consortium of 23 European companies representing nine countries in order to carry out the SIGAT study for the European Defence Agency. The company adds it is also involved in other research around the insertion of UAS into civil airspace an developing “sense & avoid” technology.