A European record for Finmeccanica: SMAT F1 project sees three unmanned aerial systems (UAS)

A European record for Finmeccanica: SMAT F1 project sees three unmanned aerial systems (UAS) operating at the same time in a civil environment.

The final demonstration of the SMAT F1 project (advanced land monitoring system, phase 1) was conducted successfully on Friday 30 September with aircraft flying over Levaldigi (CN), Benevagienna (CN) and Turin.

The project simulated a joint land-monitoring mission for civil purposes, based on three unmanned systems operating at different altitudes; Alenia Aeronautica's Sky-Y, SELEX Galileos Falco (Both Alenia Aeronautica and SELEX Galileo are Finmeccanica Group companies) and the small C-Fly UAS from Nimbus. This represents an important European record as it is the first time that several unmanned systems have operated:

  • Jointly and at the same time in the same air space
  • In a flight area that is not a military firing range
  • Taking off from, and landing at, a civil airport
  • In an area located over land and not over the sea

Also contributing to the result were Italys civil aviation authority ENAC and air traffic control body ENAV, which helped define the safety requirements and procedures necessary to obtain for the first time in Italy flight permission in a civil area, operating from a civil airport.

The SMAT F1 project, created under the promotional committee for the Piedmont aerospace cluster and co-financed by the Region of Piedmont through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), was developed by a working group coordinated by Alenia Aeronautica. The group formed a temporary special-purpose consortium comprising large companies (Alenia Aeronautica, SELEX Galileo and Altec), scientific research institutes (Polytechnic of Turin, University of Turin and the Mario Boella Institute) and 11 small and medium-sized enterprises from Piedmont (Auconel, Axis, Blue Engineering, Carcerano, DigiSky, Envisens, Nautilus, Nimbus, Sepa, Synarea and SPAIC).

The main aim of the SMAT F1 project was to study and test a monitoring system for the prevention, emergency and territorial protection phases in a wide range of events such as floods, fires, landslides, traffic, town planning, pollution and farming. The monitoring system is to operate in an integrated manner with the authorities responsible for managing these events, providing them with timely information and real-time updates through a monitoring and coordination station.

Giuseppe Giordo, CEO of Alenia Aeronautica and Alenia Aermacchi and head of Finmeccanicas Aeronautics division commented; Alenia Aeronautica has added another important piece to the wider project of developing innovative unmanned systems, the most challenging technological frontier for aeronautics products in the 21st century".

This event has resulted in a real record for Finmeccanica and its aeronautics division. Were committed to fostering innovation that will enable us to work with international partners to develop a competitive product in this promising market segment.

Fabrizio Giulianini, CEO of SELEX Galileo, declared; The Falco is the only tactical UAS entirely developed and manufactured by an European Company, from the aircraft to the sensors to the ground control station, sold abroad and used daily for surveillance operations. Within SMAT, the Falco system operates in a fully automated way in cooperation with other unmanned systems, with onboard radar and electro-optical sensor data contributing to the collection and real-time distribution of data relating to the over-flown area. The data transmitted to the ground is then viewed and further processed by the control stations software, which is also part of SELEX Galileos contribution to the programme. SMAT has demonstrated in a real way the effectiveness of SELEX Galileos technological solutions, which are meeting with increasing success in the market.
Falco (3)
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