Thales received the first full DVR ever granted by EASA to operate light UAS in medium risk, SAIL III. This DVR process set in place in April 2021 by the Agency aims at ensuring safe drone operations. Such a premiere strengthens the Group’s position on emerging civil drone market and represents further progress towards the certification of the Thales UAS100 in the most demanding conditions.

Flying drones represents a tremendous opportunity to convey new missions and operate with lower environmental and economic costs. However, uncontrolled flying objects could pose risks to air traffic as well as installations and people on the ground. The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has defined a set of rules to guarantee the safety of drone operations, according to a risk based and proportional approach.

The Specific Operations Risk Assessment (SORA) enables defining the applicable Specific Assurance Integrity Level (SAIL) and determines the need for a Design Verification Report (DVR) from the agency.

Thales, in partnership with Aeromapper and ONERA, is the first company to be ever granted such a DVR by EASA for a complete drone system enabling operations in SAIL III conditions. Beyond demonstrating the value of the Group's expertise in avionics and certification combined with its innovation capability at the service of civil UAVs, it is a decisive step to deploy long range drones operations in Europe.

This European premiere is the result of close cooperation with EASA to define and validate the means of compliance to the Light UAS Special Condition. The solution is based on Thales ScaleFlyt avionics solution, integrated in AVEM 300 UAV and its CERBERE safety critical autopilot, provided by the innovative startup Aeromapper. ONERA, the French aerospace lab, conducted the safety analysis through the PHYDIAS R&T project financed by the French Authority DGAC.

“We are particularly proud to achieve such a premiere as it paves the way for wider deployment of secure long-range drone operations. The next milestone to make a step change for civil and governmental UAV operations will be to achieve DVR SAIL IV for Thales UAS100. Defence mission will benefit from AVEM 300 proven triplex avionics, CERBERE, since Aeromapper recently joined forces with Thales’ land and air systems activities” Marc Duval-Destin, VP Strategy, Product Policy and Innovation, Flight Avionics activities, Thales.

Thales UAS100 is secured by the ScaleFlyt avionics solutions used for the DVR. Next steps for its certification are already engaged with the agency and flight test campaign is ongoing, notably through a cooperation agreement with Centaurium UAS, a subsidiary of Switzerland-based Centaurium Group, which plans to provide drone services to Swiss authorities and industry players.

Image credit: AVEM 300 © Aeromapper