Thales and VoltAero today announced a cooperative agreement “to pursue innovative airborne data collection and computing solutions that promise significant enhancements for the autonomy, sustainability and operability of VoltAero’s Cassio electric-hybrid aircraft family….Thales FlytLink Edge Computing system enables real-time processing of imagery from on-board cameras with artificial intelligence supporting such functions as the detection of obstacles and air traffic.”
According to joint press release: “The initial validation of such technologies are now underway using VoltAero’s Cassio 1 testbed aircraft. Thales installed a demonstrator of its FlytLink Edge Computing system on Cassio 1. This ultra-compact computer, natively connected to the cloud, enables the collection and real-time transmission of data from onboard sensors and avionics, along with the processing of data in flight or on the ground using the latest-generation algorithms, as well as the hosting of applications that facilitate piloting tasks.
Jean Botti, VoltAero’s CEO and Chief Technology Officer, said: “Potential future uses of Thales’ FlytLink Edge Computing solutions on production versions of the Cassio electric-hybrid aircraft family include optimizing route planning for flight operations that are even more efficient and environmentally friendly. The real-time processing of imagery from on-board cameras with artificial intelligence could also support such functions as the detection of obstacles and air traffic, an asset for flight safety.”
VoltAero is developing a family of electric-parallel hybrid aircraft based on the company’s proprietary electric-hybrid powertrain. Its Cassio 1 testbed has undergone extensive airborne evaluations since 2020 with VoltAero’s full-power 600-kilowatt electric-hybrid powertrain, logging some 10,000 kilometers in flights in France and to the United Kingdom.