Friday, 01 March 2019 10:45

Thales, Telstra build system to manage drones

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Thales, Telstra build system to manage drones Pixabay

French defence giant Thales and telco Telstra are jointly developing an ecosystem for the safe operation of drones and air taxis alongside manned aircraft.

The two companies said in a statement that they had prototyped a data and communications solutions to prepare for the integration of both types of traffic.

Thales is said to be a leader in air traffic management and the platform developed, called Low Altitude Airspace Management, will include automated drone flight approval and airspace management.

Chris Jenkins, chief executive of Thales Australia, said: "“With the huge increase in drones in the airspace, flights per day will go from thousands to millions.

"The challenges are enormous, as are the opportunities. In Australia drone use will drive efficiency and financial benefits to a large proportion of Australian businesses.

"Thales is partnering with Telstra to contribute to the creation of a seamless sky where we help our customers integrate unmanned aircraft into controlled airspace as well as supporting drone users to perform their missions in an orderly, safe and timely manner.”

Andrew Scott, head of Technology at Telstra Labs, said: "“There are extraordinary opportunities for the widespread take-up of unmanned aerial vehicles in Australia.

"To unlock this potential, we are investigating how we can leverage our 4G and 5G technology and IoT capabilities to enable robust communications, navigation and monitoring of UAVs.

"The work we’ve been doing with Thales to build a prototype, which is underpinned by continuous investment in our networks, proves that it is possible for unmanned and manned aerial vehicles to collaborate effectively and safely.”

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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