Thales and Sagem take major role in EDA’s MIDCAS contract, preparing the integration of UAVs in civilian airspace

Paris Air Show Le Bourget, June 20, 2009

Sagem (Safran group) and Thales are major contributors to the MIDCAS (Mid-air Collision Avoidance System) contract, signed today at the Paris Air Show by the European Defence Agency (EDA) and a European industrial consortium. MIDCAS aims to develop an anti-collision system for "sense and avoid" type drones, allowing their integration in civilian airspace.

Thales and Sagem are responsible for the "sense" function in the MIDCAS program, in particular:




  • Sagem is in charge of coordinating work concerning non-cooperative sensors (infrared imagers and video, radar), as well as the processing and fusion of data from these sensors.
  • Thales is responsible for work on the cooperative sensors (transponder, TCAS/traffic-alert and collision avoidance system, etc.), as well as fusion of data from all sensors.

Within the scope of this work, Sagem supplies the infrared sensors and Thales the radar.

These core technologies play a decisive role in determining the drone's performance in terms of sensing aircraft in the surrounding airspace.

Sagem is also in charge of standardization aspects, liaising with regulatory authorities (Eurocontrol, EASA, FAA, DGAC, etc) as well as the aviation community (aircraft manufacturers, pilot associations, etc.), to develop a European standard for the Sense and Avoid function.

Flight tests will be carried out at the CEV flight testing centre in Istres, to validate the performance of the entire anti-collision function.

The MIDCAS initiative, supported by five countries (Sweden, France, Germany, Spain, Italy), meets the collision avoidance challenge, a key to being able to integrate drones in non-segregated airspace. It also plays an essential role in developing both governmental and civil applications of drones, by developing a permanent solution guaranteeing flight safety.


Sagem is a high-tech company in the Safran group. It is a world or European leader in solutions and services in optronics, avionics, electronics and critical software for the civilian and military markets. Sagem is the European No. 1 and worldwide No.3 in INSs for aeronautic, naval and land applications. It is also the worldwide No.1 in helicopter flight controls and the European No.1 in optronic and tactical UAV systems. Present across the globe via the Safran group's international network, Sagem and its subsidiaries employ 6000 people in Europe, South East Asia and North America. For more information:

Sagem is now the commercial name of the company Sagem Défense Sécurité.

Thales is a global technology leader for the Aerospace, Space, Defence, Security and Transportation markets. In 2008, the company generated revenues of 12.7 billion euros with 68,000 employees in 50 countries. With its 25,000 engineers and researchers, Thales has a unique capability to design, develop and deploy equipment, systems and services that meet the most complex security requirements. Thales has an exceptional international footprint, with operations around the world working with customers as local partners.
Philippe Wodka-Gallien
01 58 11 19 49

Thales Aerospace
Natasha Harvey
+33 (0)1 34 81 40 50 / +33 (0)6 74 94 23 81

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