Thales to head European geofencing solutions research

Thales is to manage a European research project supported by Aeromapper, AirMap, Atechsys and SPH Engineering to develop new services for safe, efficient and secure airspace access for a large number of drones.

SESAR Joint Undertaking (SESAR JU) is heading the project called Geosafe to support the European Commission’s U-space vision and forms part of the founding services for the development of drone operations.

The project centres on developing geofencing solutions as key safety enablers by securing operating areas that avoid determined zones.

In Europe, these will become mandatory to ensure that drones do not fly in protected perimeters around critical infrastructures, such as power plants or airports. The objectives of Geosafe are to establish state-of-the-art geofencing solutions regarding U-space regulation and to propose improvements and recommendations for future geofencing system definition.

Geosafe will be based on a one-year long flight-test campaign, assessing a number of commercially-available geofencing solutions in order to propose improved geofencing system for tomorrow and technological improvements for automated drones.

Thales, well experienced in military drones, commercial avionics and air traffic management, designs systems ensuring the highest security and safety levels for future air mobility. As the leader of the project, the group will organise all tests and will provide recommendations for the European geofencing system.

“Thales is playing a leading role in shaping the autonomous world,” said Christian Bardot, Thales VP in charge of the business’ helicopter and UAV avionics interests. “Together with SESAR JU and the Geosafe partners, we will strengthen the foundations of drones safe and secure operations unleashing the potential of this tremendous market.

The 280 flight tests will be conducted in France, Germany and Latvia, and will test all possible situations that an automated drone will face in urban and rural areas.