At Thales, pushing the boundaries of technology within industry is what we strive to do every day. We are driven by the needs, challenges and opportunities for our customers and society, whatever it takes.
In order to succeed, it is imperative that we involve the end users of our solutions, and those who will be impacted by them at the very early stages of the innovation process. This was the premise for Thales’s civil unmanned autonomous systems (UAS) project.
The civil UAS market is growing and maturing as both small and large organisations develop their business and operational models. Many commercial drone operations and service companies face large challenges in delivering profitable growth due to the burden of acquiring, as well as retaining, particular skills in a number of areas. These include commercial, compliance, assurance, asset management, aviation operations and flight planning. This constrains the ability for organisations to scale up, deliver profitable business, and deliver high performing services.
At Thales, we believe digital transformation has the potential to unlock viable, sustainable and scalable business for companies across the civil UAS value chain.
Collaborating through complexity
Bringing together a world of connected, safe and efficient civil drone operations sounds complicated, and that’s because it is! At Thales, we want to combine the diversity of thinking and collaborative problem solving from different sectors, industries, academia and start-ups to find solutions to our customer’s problems within the civil drone market.
During the initial stages of the project, Thales engaged with up to 40 UK UAS operators, regulatory authorities and universities from the UK to better understand the challenges within the UAS industry, and how our technology could help solve the needs of the end users.
It became apparent that we needed to adapt as well as help shape a rapidly emerging market, which was underpinned by our customer-driven and collaborative innovation process: co-creation. Our approach resulted in building a proof-of-concept demo of the system which enabled us to rapidly validate the need for a centralised drone operations solution, with minimal technical investment.
Flying in formation
After the completion of the initial proof-of-concept development, the creation of the product Soarizon is being led through the collaboration of Thales’s Digital Factory in Paris and Thales UK’s Avionics business. Our agile and digital approach to innovation will enable Thales to rapidly bring added value to the UAS market.
We are also currently looking for more UAS operators to join our user testing group for Soarizon. To find out more, register your interest here.