Digital Technology : an innovation booster

Thales, digital by nature

Instigated by global digital giants, a major upheaval has been under way for the past quarter of a century. Thales is a pioneer and a pillar of this connected world.

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Digital technology, an innovation booster

Key players in electronics, cybernetics and information technology are constantly on the lookout for new technologies that have potential to drive growth.

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Driving innovation through cooperation

A truly global group with 64,000 employees and a turnover of 14.9 billion Euros in 2016, Thales's success is founded on a permanent pursuit of new technologies and markets.

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Key Figures


that Thales has been ranked among the world's top 100 innovators by Clarivate Analytics (formerly Thomson Reuters)

25 000

Thales staff dedicated to research and engineering


recipient of the Responsible Supplier Relations quality award

Key innovations in pictures

Focus in pictures on 17 key innovations, from a total of almost 70 demonstrations presented at the InnovDays

  • Open platform for satellite operators

    Open platform for satellite operators

    Smart services

    To satisfy their customers, satellite operators must constantly evolve and adapt the services they offer. Innovative data functionality allows new value-added services to be introduced mid-mission. This open platform will support a host of smart services, such as dynamic flexibility, virtual payload management, multi-site payload control, spectrum management, beam hopping, real-time capacity allocation and big data processing on the ground.

  • Very High Throughput Satellite (VHTS)

    Very High Throughput Satellite (VHTS)

    Optimising capacity of satellite systems

    The capacity of a satellite system is determined by the number of beams and the available power and bandwidth. Thales has developed innovative technologies to improve these parameters, including new antenna feeds, high-performance tubes and very high-frequency conversion elements, using specially designed electronic parts. These key technology building blocks allow Thales satellite systems to offer exceptional capacity.

  • Stratobus


    Co-innovation for an autonomous stratospheric platform

    Stratobus is an autonomous stratospheric platform based on a remotely piloted airship design. Positioned at an altitude of 20 km, with fully autonomous 24/7 operation between the tropics, the solar-powered Stratobus will be used for observation, surveillance, telecommunications, internet, navigation and environment monitoring. Six partners, including three SMEs (one in Norway), have worked on the project with start-ups, university research laboratories and engineering schools.

  • Rapidly deployable 4G base station for the theatre of operations

    Rapidly deployable 4G base station for the theatre of operations

    Miniaturised, lightweight, hardened, flexible

    This miniaturised base station is designed for all types of operations where a rapidly deployable 4G private network is needed. It contains lightweight, hardened components and operates at various frequency ranges with adjustable power levels. Applications include vehicles (vetronics) and extension of LAN or public networks. The proposed architecture allows a single station to be used for multiple platforms.

  • Discreet tactical sign language interpreter

    Discreet tactical sign language interpreter

    Communication aid for front-line troops

    To communicate discreetly in the field, military personnel use a form of sign language, but the message is only seen by personnel in direct line of sight, and commanders have no real-time feedback about mission progress. This device detects the position of users' arms, hands and fingers as well as body posture, then translates the messages into tactical language and relays actionable information to the personnel concerned and to commanders.

  • Biomimetic crowd simulation

    Biomimetic crowd simulation

    30,000 individual behaviours analysed and simulated

    Virtual environments are continuing to evolve. Large-scale crowd simulation used to apply the broad principles of fluid dynamics, but crowds can now be made up of unique individuals, each with their own characteristics and behaviours. With the latest developments, it is possible to visualise a crowd of 30,000 individual people in real time. These techniques will drive real progress in videosurveillance solutions and crowd management.

  • Eiji


    Operator of resilient and secure mobile services

    With the Eiji offer, Thales becomes the first secure mobile operator dedicated to Safety and Critical infrastructure providers. Through optimised access to multiple radio networks (for vehicular, pedestrian and fixed usages), Eiji maximises the operational efficiency of units in-the-field and fosters innovation in "always on" critical multimedia usages, with a controlled communication budget. Eiji services, easy to use, associate standard products and high value-added Thales developments.

  • Eiji

    Passenger Engagement Platform

    Digital Native Connected In-Flight Entertainment Ecosystem

    Connectivity is changing IFE not just by making Internet available to passengers' devices but by changing the very fabric of IFE: connected IFE is an ecosystem that spans ground and air, bringing the unlimited processing power and storage space of cloud computing to the constrained onboard environment, and offering operators new services such as extreme personalisation and editorialisation, real-time bidding of advertising space or analytics based content management.

  • Digitally native cloud-based avionics

    Digitally native cloud-based avionics

    Less is more

    The connected aircraft is a reality, driven by passenger demand and the digitisation of air traffic services. Thales is at the heart of these advances, thanks to its avionics and connectivity solutions, ground infrastructure and cybersecurity expertise. Permanent connectivity paves the way for digitally native cloud-based avionics, which will constitute a step change in operational efficiency, operating costs, safety and even business models.

  • Maintenance: real-time fault prediction

    Maintenance: real-time fault prediction

    IoT applied to predictive analysis

    The Internet of Things allows real-time information on the status of field equipment to be sent directly to central systems. With this system, new digital technologies make it possible to move from preventive/corrective maintenance to predictive maintenance, effectively anticipating equipment failures before they happen and significantly reducing maintenance costs for operators.

  • From automatic to autonomous trains

    From automatic to autonomous trains

    Intelligence on board

    To develop a fully autonomous train, capable of self-location, obstacle detection and situation awareness, a new generation of positioning technologies is needed. The positioning system presented here is based on radars, cameras and lidars (also used in the autonomous vehicle market), as well as a data fusion algorithm to combine the sensor inputs. This new system is more robust than the current generation and requires minimal trackside infrastructure.

  • Cybersecurity in transport systems

    Cybersecurity in transport systems

    A suite of innovative solutions

    With the growth of cyber threats and increased connectivity, transport systems need protection. Designed to the latest standards, Thales cybersecurity solutions include the Secure Interface Gateway to protect supervision systems against external attacks. The Onboard Internet Security Device combines firewall and intrusion protection and blocks external communication in the event of a security breach. CyberOneComm protects onboard systems by only allowing data to be transmitted in one direction.

  • Counter-UAV systems

    Counter-UAV systems

    From detection to neutralisation

    This new concept detects, identifies, classifies and, if necessary, intercepts potentially threatening UAVs. The scenario begins with detection of a hostile drone in a prohibited area. After identification and classification, an interceptor drone is dispatched to neutralise the threat in a safe location, with no risk of collateral damage.

  • The digital transformation of surveillance

    The digital transformation of surveillance

    Automated detection and decision support for land and airborne platforms

    Advances in military surveillance systems have long been driven by new hardware technologies like lasers and thermal imaging. Today the development of digital platforms is driving the emergence of a new generation of surveillance systems for land and airborne applications. New software-defined functionality, based on deep learning and other recent advances in artificial intelligence, will automate scene analysis and provide enhanced decision support for users.

  • A Thales laser in SuperCam

    A Thales laser in SuperCam

    Objective Mars 2020

    SuperCam is a French-American instrument chosen by NASA for the Mars 2020 mission. It is an evolution of ChemCam instrument on MSL Curiosity, which landed on Mars in 2012. The main developments are the spectrometer for Raman analysis at 532 nm, upgrade of the Remote Micro Imager, with high resolution and colour detector, and a microphone to detect sound waves generated by Rover and SuperCam operations. Thales is in charge of the SuperCam laser, under the responsibility of IRAP and CNES.

  • Self-learning and auto-adaptive radar

    Self-learning and auto-adaptive radar

    Real-time algorithms for mission systems and radar operators

    With the addition of self-learning and auto-adaptive capabilities, airborne surveillance radars offer new real-time environment analysis and learning functionality. This enables automatic reconfiguration and, in turn, optimises radar performance. For increasingly complex missions, it reduces the need for user training and also reduces workload during operations.

  • Autonomous Underwater and Surface System

    Autonomous Underwater and Surface System

    Revolutionary hybrid drone

    AUSS is an innovative autonomous underwater and surface system designed for surveillance, intelligence, counterterrorism, mine countermeasures and anti-submarine warfare. 360° vector propulsion in three dimensions and dynamic buoyancy control provide stability and manoeuvrability even when stationary.With its appendage-free design and excellent agility, it is easy to recover from the shore or from a surface vessel or submarine.


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