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Saab co-ordinates European MIDCAS development project

18th June 2009 - 10:20 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


Saab has been appointed co-ordinator for the MIDCAS consortium, which has been awarded a contract by the European Defence Agency to address the sense and avoid issue, relevant for the possibility to let unmanned aircraft systems fly in regular airspace. The value of the contract is approximately Eur 50 million, of which Saab has been awarded approximately MSEK 105.

Before unmanned aircraft systems can be allowed to fly among regular, manned aircraft in so-called non-segregated airspace, there is a need for a system that can see and avoid any potential collision threats. The European MIDCAS project aims at contributing towards finding such a solution.

Saab has been appointed co-ordinator for the consortium, consisting of 13 European aerospace companies, and will be responsible for project management, overall coordination and avoidance technology.

The overall objectives of MIDCAS are two:

  • To demonstrate technology for a sense and avoid system for unmanned aircraft systems which is able to fulfill the requirements for traffic separation and mid-air collision avoidance in non-segregated airspace.
  • In close co-operation with European organisations, provide the technical background for them to establish a sense and avoid standard.

'The project brings together 13 of the leading European aerospace companies who will combine the multiple European initiatives on sense and avoid to achieve a coherent route forward, supported by the European Defence Agency’s route map to unmanned aircraft system traffic insertion,' says Lennart Sindahl, executive VP for Saab and head of the business segment Aeronautics.

'Only by close cooperation we can reach a high level of acceptance and a common European agreement on how to resolve the sense and avoid issue. The technology is a key element to start exploring the great potential of using unmanned systems for civil security and military use.'

The MIDCAS consortium consists of 13 companies from the five contributing member states: France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Sweden, appointed as lead nation, with Saab as the co-ordinating industry.

The Shephard News Team


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