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24 Nov 17. Azur Drones and Thales are co-developing PHEBUS, a new concept combining a connected mini-drone and a secure communications cell for defence forces and security services. With the growing use of unmanned systems, defence forces and security services need operational UAVs offering ever greater levels of safety, security and autonomy to support surveillance operations and protect military personnel and security professionals in the line of duty. Azur Drones and Thales are co-developing PHEBUS, a new surveillance and communications concept based on a Skeyetech mini-drone operating inside a secure communications cell. Permanently connected to vehicles on the mission thanks to a secure LTE cell, the Skeyetech drone collects optical and thermal images and also offers the high levels of mobility and security needed to deploy payloads during an operation. The drone is designed for long endurance and features obstacle avoidance and automated mission management software to enhance flight safety. With the advanced connectivity functions of PHEBUS, personnel in the field will have direct access to geolocalised data gathered by the drone and can utilise the system’s integrated chat and 3D mapping functions to communicate with other network users. To protect critical infrastructure or maintain operational superiority on the digital battlefield, vehicles deploying the PHEBUS mini-UAS will provide security personnel and defence forces with a clear operational advantage. Development of the PHEBUS system is underway at Azur Drones, with Thales providing technology expertise and its in-depth knowledge of operational applications and use cases. A number of public and private sector organisations have already shown interest in the system, and are working with the two companies as part of a collaborative innovation process. The market launch of the system is planned for early 2019.
23 Nov 17. French military services will soon have the ‘active digital map of the 21st century.’ A five-strong consortium has won the 10-year Sysnav contract, a key element in an information system designed to provide an active digital map for the French services, Airbus Defence and Space said.
The contract is part of an information system, dubbed SI Geode4D. The system is intended to be a “single and secure portal” to allow the services to access information on geography, hydrography, oceanography and weather, , Airbus D&S said in a Nov. 22 statement.
Airbus D&S and the Direction Générale de l’Armement procurement office declined comment on the value of the contract. The contract was signed earlier this year, Airbus D&S said.
The information system “will allow all Ministry of Defense actors to access and share the same geophysical environment data, and select and present them in a coherent way, according to the ‘one card for all’ principle,” the company said.
Airbus D&S leads the group, which includes Magellium for geography; Météo France International for meteorology, hydrography and oceanography; Bertin for decision-making aids; and Deloitte for change management.
“One of the major challenges for the SI Geode4D, which can truly be qualified as the active digital map of the 21st century, is also to assist our armed forces with their digital transformation,” said François Lombard, head of the intelligence business cluster at Airbus D&S.
The system is intended to manage information for early threat detection and identification, and provide the forces with an understanding of geographical layout, as set out in the NATO concept of a recognized environmental picture, the company said.
A part of the contract includes modernization of three data centers, to allow higher data volume and greater speed needed to see the environmental data on the planned portal. (Source: Defense News)
21 Nov 17. AFRL awards fin