Azur Drones and Thales are co-developing PHEBUS, a connected mini-drone and a secure communications cell for defence forces and security services.
Azur Drones and Thales are co-developing a new concept combining a connected mini-drone and a secure communications cell for defence forces and security services.
The concept, called PHEBUS, is described as a Skeyetech mini-drone operating inside a secure communications cell. Skeyetech — a specialist in fully automatic drones for surveillance and inspection — was acquired by Azur Drones in October.
The two companies say that PHEBUS is designed to meet a growing demand from defence forces and security services for operational unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to support surveillance operations and protect military personnel and security professionals in the line of duty.
Permanently connected to vehicles on the mission thanks to a secure LTE cell, the Skeyetech drone can collect optical and thermal images, as well as offering the high levels of mobility and security needed to deploy payloads during an operation. It is designed for long endurance and features obstacle avoidance and automated mission management software to enhance flight safety.
Personnel in the field will have direct access to geolocalised data gathered by the drone and can utilise the system's integrated chat and 3D mapping functions to communicate with other network users.
A number of public and private sector organisations have already shown interest in the system, and are working with the two companies as part of a collaborative innovation process. The market launch of the system is planned for early 2019.