Jul 26, 2017: Thales along with Cranfield University is creating a new £65 million Digital Aviation Research and Technology Centre (DARTeC).
DARTeC will be built at Cranfield University and will lead the UK’s research into digital aviation technology, and will offer research facilities unprecedented in Europe.
Steve Murray, VP Strategy & Marketing of Thales UK said, “Thales is excited to be a key part of this digital centre of excellence for aviation in the UK, where we can come together with ecosystem partners to develop digital solutions for the airlines, airports, aircraft and air traffic management of the future. Thales is uniquely placed with its skills & capabilities to take an enterprise approach across all of these domains”.
The Centre will address such research challenges facing the aviation industry as:
1) the integration of drones into civilian airspace
2) increasing the efficiency of airports through technical advances
3) creating safe, shared airspace through secure data communication infrastructures
4) increasing the consistency and availability of aircraft through self-sensing, self-aware technologies
Ground-breaking technologies including a virtual air traffic control tower and next-generation radar technologies on the University’s licensed airport will also offer a Civil Aviation Authority-approval route that promises increased efficiency, flexibility and capacity.
Funding for DARTeC will be supplied from a consortium of top aerospace and aviation companies including Thales, Raytheon, SAAB, Monarch Aircraft Engineering Limited, Boeing UK and Aveillant – as well as Cranfield University. The Centre is also benefiting from £15.5m of funding from the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF), a scheme led by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).
Peter Gregson, Chief Executive and Vice-Chancellor of Cranfield University, said, “This is a fantastic example of business, academia and Government coming together to create world-leading research facilities. Together with the Aerospace Integration Research Centre and the University’s own airport, the construction of DARTeC will see Cranfield offering the leading aerospace and aviation research facilities in Europe.