Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) UAV Will Be Evaluated For
The European Defence Agency (EDA) has selected an Astrium and
EADS Defence & Security (DS) consortium to lead a six-month
study to demonstrate that by using satellite communications it is
feasible to integrate UAVs into civil airspace. DS has more than 30
years of expertise in UAVs, and Astrium, Europe's largest space
company, will determine how and what satellite-based services are
needed to operate the UAVs safely in civil airspace.
EADS MALE UAV Photo Courtesy
"All teams involved are proud to be selected by the European
Defence Agency in competition against top companies in this sector.
This shows that our ability to develop synergies between civil,
security and military applications is increasingly recognized. For
Astrium Services this is an opportunity to develop our activities
in the expanding UAV market", said Eric Beranger, CEO Astrium
Services, during the contract signature.
Today UAVs are only operating in segregated airspace for
military operations. Integrating UAVs safely into civil airspace
would enable them to be used to assist in a variety of civil and
para-civil applications. These include maritime patrol, border
surveillance, agricultural monitoring, weather/atmospheric data
collection, and high-altitude geological and infrastructure
"EADS Defence and Security, the leading manufacturer of
UAVs in Europe, is proud to bring its expertise to this very
important study under the leadership of the European Defence
Agency. The outcome of this study will further reinforce our
capability to propose leading-edge and secured solutions to our
customers" said Bernhard Gerwert, CEO Military Air Systems, an
integrated Business Unit of EADS Defence & Security.
As part of the six-month feasibility study, the consortium will
meet key European civil and military stakeholders. The purpose of
these meetings will be to receive their endorsements on safety and
regulatory policy, and on future applications. On completion of the
study, EDA and the European Space Agency (ESA) are expected to
jointly fund a demonstration program.
In preparation of this demonstration, DS will investigate the
possibility to fly a MALE UAV that will be controlled via a
satellite communication link provided by Astrium Services. The two
companies already collaborate in Afghanistan, where a Harfang UAV,
developed by EADS Defence and Security, is being operated by the
French air force.
"Enabling the integration of UAVs into civil airspace fits
within the implementation of the Common Security and Defence Policy
(CSDP) of the European Union. The Astrium and DS teams are
combining their expertise for EDA and ESA, to help define with the
European authorities what legislation will be required to assist in
the development of UAV based innovative applications", continued
Eric Beranger, CEO Astrium Services.