Thales buys Cambridge radar tech pioneer to boost drone surveillance

Paris aerospace heavyweight Thales has paid an undisclosed sum for Cambridge Consultants spin-out Aveillant – a pioneer of holographic radar technology ideal for drone surveillance.

Also a powerhouse in transport, defence and security, Thales had sales of €14.9 billion last year. The deal will accelerate Aveillant’s global commercial rollout and enhance surveillance of drones for Thales customers around critical infrastructure, such as airports worldwide.

Holographic radars perform very differently to standard surveillance techniques by establishing a permanent and complete picture of the total air space volume.

This technique is ideally adapted to the growing drone market – enabling the detection, tracking and classification of very small, moving targets such as UAVs.

The holographic radar is a software defined staring radar based on a modular and sclable hardware platform.

With this acquisition Thales, a pioneer itself of digital technologies and with a growing Cambridge UK presence, will be able to offer customers a new capability complementing its existing surveillance offerings.

Aveillant CEO David Crisp (pictured) said: “We are delighted to join a worldwide group the size of Thales, which will provide Aveillant with the resources and backing needed to accelerate its growth potential.”

Serge Adrian, senior VP for surface radar activities at Thales, added: “Our customers are increasingly faced with significant challenges to ensure the protection of large infrastructures, critical sites and airports.

“Aveillant’s holographic radar technology will provide a key building block for integrated solutions to provide this type of protection.”

Thales employs 64,000 people in 56 countries.

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