Swinburne’s AIR Hub expands Thales partnership to develop new aviation concepts

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Image credit: swinburne.edu.au

Swinburne University of Technology’s Aerostructures Innovation Research Hub (AIR Hub) and Thales Australia have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to explore the development of new operational concepts, such as Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) for next-generation aerostructures. 

The agreement marks the expansion of Swinburne’s existing partnership with Thales, which focuses on advancing research and development opportunities. 

In the latest collaboration, the two entities will zero in on developing Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) to support regional cargo delivery, critical infrastructure inspections, and urban air mobility, including Electrical Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL). 

Swinburne and Thales will also explore the concept of operations for urban vertiports and integration for air traffic management (ATM) and novel concepts of operation for unmanned air traffic management (UTM). 

will research and develop how ATM systems need to tailor their approach to integrate UTM while ensuring compatibility and interoperability. 

“Swinburne’s AIR Hub is delighted to be extending our partnership with global leader Thales to drive the development of next-generation aerostructures and air operations right here in Australia,” said Dr Adriano Pietro, director for Swinburne’s AIR Hub. 

“Future autonomy and UTM will play an important role in the development of AAM. By working collaboratively, Thales and the AIR Hub will undertake concurrent development, feeding data and findings between aircraft and aerostructures development and the sensory and control systems that will be installed into autonomous aircraft,” Pietro added. 

As a global leader in ATM and UTM systems, Thales will tap into its global experience to advance new aviation operational concepts and foster the development of the local skills required to support the implementation of new advanced technologies sustainably. 

“Thales’ collaboration with Swinburne’s AIR Hub is a natural extension to the extensive research and development Thales has achieved globally in advanced air traffic management systems,” Grant Williams, technical director for Thales Australia and New Zealand.