Thales Technodays 2012

Last week, Thales very kindly invited ATC Network to attend their 'Technodays' event in Paris 15-17 February, which was a very enjoyable and interesting experience. The chance to see demonstrations of new innovative technologies in five markets was one not to be missed.
The setting for the event was the 'Palais des Congrès'. An exhibition hall, with almost 100 stands, lecture theatres, press events and more. The general feel when walking into the event was that you were at an exhibition, not an event organised by one organistaion.
Our day started with an introduction from Mr. Marko Erman, head of Research and Technology at Thales. We would be escorted to various demonstration stands by a personal guide to ensure we were able to visit the stands of our specific interests.

Five markets were represented at the event: Space, Civil Aerospace, Ground Transportation, Security and Defence.

Our interest was of course Civil Aerospace, but we would also visit demonstrations on Simulation and HMI (Human Machine Interface) in other markets.
eventThales Technodays 15-17 February 2012

Information-based ATM Integration in Europe

The first demonstration of the day was SWIM (System-Wide Information Management). The new network which will enable easier transfer of ATM data between ANSPs and other stakeholders. The recent 4D flight is an example of how this future concept can improve the efficient use of airspace. The concept is already being tested.

Thales has been a major contributor in the development of this new interoperable infrastructure. We watched a simulation of a flight between Vienna and Paris and how external incidents such as Volcanic Ash and airspace closure will be more effectively handled through the SWIM network.
In the second demonstration we saw Wide Area Multilateration (WAM). Thales have recently won an open call for tender to install such a system in the Frankfurt area for DFS. The demonstration showed the effectiveness of the surveillance system in extremely congested airspace. The demo illustrated precision approach monitoring capabilities for a major international airport.
Next up was a simulation of an integrated briefing (Flight plan, NOTAMS and weather). This is a concept already in use but the Thales initiative offers real-time updates using a personal tablet device and a ground server.

Before boarding the aircraft, the pilot can start his mission preparation on his personal device or from the company's briefing room, as he is connected to the ground administrative manager.

The demonstrator also explained how this concept could then offer the pilot to download real-time Meteorological conditions to the ANSPs. Something we reported in our 'Met Special Bulletin' last week. A service pilots are looking forward to use.

Other Civil Aerospace Demonstrations

Also on show was a demonstration of a future avionics cockpit display. Horizontal Situation Indicator tool, touch-enabled display and versatile virtual control panel, bichromatic Head-Up display with synthetic vision and a helmet mounted sight and display.

And the latest in-flight entertainment systems. Gesture control technology was demonstrated using infra-red cameras to detect finger movement.
Future In-flight entertainment with hand gesture control technology
"Thales are currently investing 20% of their annual revenue (€2 Billion)into R&D", explained Director General Luc Vigneron.

The purpose of the 'Technodays' event is to show it's own employees, customers and partners how innovation and competiveness will enable future growth.

Thales employees 22,500 researchers and engineers, 3,000 of which are dedicated to Research and Development in 18 countries.

350 inventiions were filed in 2011, and a portfolio of more than 11,000 patents.
ATC Network