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    2014.11.20 | | Sagem demonstrates Patroller drone’s ability to operate in civilian airspace

    Boulogne Billancourt, November 20, 2014 - Sagem (Safran) has just completed a series of flight tests demonstrating the feasibility of a drone being integrated in a shared (manned/unmanned aircraft) airspace, in compliance with civil aviation regulations and air control procedures. The series of about 20 flights used the company's Patroller drone, and took place near Toulouse from October 26 to November 7. It was carried out within the scope of Europe's SESAR program. Sagem is teaming up with the French air navigation and safety agency DSNA (Direction de la Sécurité de la Navigation Aérienne), the laboratory run by the national civil aviation school ENAC (Ecole Nationale d’Aviation Civile) and Rockwell Collins France through the ODREA project (1). Sagem demonstrated a complete anti-collision function during these flights, one of the keys to integrating drones in a civilian airspace shared with manned aircraft. The "see and avoid" system developed by Sagem and integrated in the Patroller's control system, combines traffic detection sensors, including an infrared optronic (electro-optical) sensor, and an automatic risk collision estimation and avoidance flightpath generation module. During the flight tests, this system was successfully operated using different conflict scenarios with a "dummy" aircraft provided by ENAC, thus enabling Patroller to detect the risk of a collision and avoid it, without requiring an operator. The ODREA project also demonstrated Patroller's ability to carry out approaches to the Toulouse-Blagnac airport according to procedures defined by air traffic control (ATC). This demonstration confirms that a drone is capable of operating in the terminal zone of an international airport, without impacting traffic or safety. The series of demonstration flights, a real first in Europe, followed a major simulation validation project by the ODREA consortium. It marks a major step forward in demonstrating the state-of-the-art technological solutions for integrating drones in civilian, non-segregated airspace. Developed in France by Sagem, the Patroller is a 1-ton class tactical drone system carrying multiple sensors. Because of its modular design it can carry a payload of up to 350 kg, in the fuselage or in pods (optronics, radar and electronic warfare), and offers 20-hour endurance with a ceiling of 20,000 ft. Sagem deploys the full range of expertise needed to develop and build modern drone systems: day/night gyrostabilized very-high-precision optronic assemblies, real-time data transmission, inertial navigation and flight control, ground segments, mission planning and playback, systems integration and interoperability with the joint services, allied digital battlespace. (1) SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research) is a European program that aims to modernize civilian air traffic management. It is financed by the European Commission and the RTE-T, the trans-European transport network. ODREA stands for Operational Demonstration of RPAS (remotely piloted aircraft systems) in European Airspace. Sagem, a high-tech company of Safran, holds world or European leadership positions in optronics, avionics, electronics and safety-critical software for both civil and military markets. Sagem is the No. 1 company in Europe and No. 3 worldwide for inertial navigation systems (INS) used in air, land and naval applications. It is also the world leader in helicopter flight controls and the European leader in optronics and tactical UAV systems. Operating across the globe through the Safran group, Sagem and its subsidiaries employ 7,500 people in Europe, Southeast Asia and North America. Sagem is the commercial name of the company Sagem Défense Sécurité.
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    2014.11.17 | | Morpho places first in NIST 2014 MINEX fingerprint benchmark

    November 17, 2014 - Morpho (Safran) announced today that its fingerprint matching technology placed first in the ongoing Minutiae Interoperability Exchange Test (MINEX) sponsored by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)*. Results published by NIST reveal that Morpho ranked first in all 3 major categories. All tests are done with fingerprint “templates” which are digital representations of fingerprint images created for matching and storage. Over 30 companies submitted technology for NIST testing. Morpho achieved top performance in the following areas: First in fingerprint matching accuracy using Morpho templates and matching algorithms. Morpho’s matching results are 60% higher than the next closest vendor. First in template interoperability in which Morpho templates out performed all other templates no matter which vendor’s matcher was used. Morpho’s template interoperability results are 10% higher than the next closest vendor. First in matcher interoperability, where Morpho’s matcher out performed all other matchers no matter which vendor template was used. Morpho’s matching interchangeability scored 44% better than the next closest vendor. “The 2014 MINEX benchmark results confirm Morpho’s leadership in the field of biometric identification,” observed Celeste Thomasson, CEO of the U.S. company MorphoTrak. “For government agencies tasked with ensuring security and safety, using superior technology helps avoid security lapses, missed identifications and other serious vulnerabilities for law enforcement, border control, access control, traveler safety, etc. The results of Morpho’s continuing R&D investments are apparent in these tests and in our growing list of worldwide customers who choose security as their top priority.” Interoperability among various vendors and deployed systems is key to the exchange of records, and accuracy in matching for meaningful identification. Morpho-encoded fingerprints provide the greatest number of accurate matches, under the broadest range of conditions. *The NIST program’s mandates are to measure and publish performance and interoperability of template and matching capabilities, and to establish compliance standards for template encoders and matchers for the U. S. Government's Personal Identity Verification (PIV) program. Test results for all compliant ongoing MINEX vendors are published on the NIST website at http://biometrics.nist.gov/cs_links/minex/ominex/test_status_table2a.pdf. In this table, Morpho is represented as 4S. MorphoTrak, a subsidiary of Safran USA, provides biometric and identity management solutions to a broad array of markets in the U.S. including law enforcement, border control, driver licenses, civil identification, and facility/IT security. Reporting to Morpho, Safran’s security division, MorphoTrak is part of the world’s largest biometric company. Morpho is a leading innovator in large fingerprint identification systems, facial and iris recognition, as well as rapid DNA identification and secure credentials. With over 36 years’ experience, Morpho has captured more than 3 billion fingerprints and Morpho products are used by more than 450 government agencies in over 100 countries. MorphoTrak is headquartered near Washington D.C., with major corporate facilities in Anaheim, CA and Federal Way, WA. Morpho, a high-technology company of Safran, is a global leader in security solutions. The company employs more than 8,400 people in 40 countries and reported revenues of 1.5 billion euros in 2013. Morpho’s unique expertise lies in providing cutting edge security solutions for government identity, public security, critical infrastructure, transportation and business markets. Morpho is the world leader in multibiometric identification technologies, biometric identity documents, Automated Biometric Identification Systems (ABIS) and Explosives Detection Systems (EDS). It is one of the leading suppliers of SIM cards, smart cards, trace detection equipment and gaming terminals. With systems operating in more than 100 countries, Morpho’s solutions simplify and secure the lives of people around the world.
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    2014.11.11 | | Bell Helicopter Bell 505 Jet Ranger X completes first flight with Turbomeca’s Arrius 2R

    Mirabel, November 11, 2014 - Turbomeca (Safran) is proud to be part of the Bell Helicopter Bell 505 Jet Ranger X first flight with its new Arrius 2R engine, which is the newest member of the successful Arrius family. The Bell 505 Jet Ranger X took the sky for the first time on 14 November, at the Bell Helicopter Mirabel facility. Turbomeca Chairman & CEO Olivier Andriès said, “The Bell 505 first flight is a historic milestone for Turbomeca. Our very first cooperation with Bell Helicopter has been a success, and we are honored and delighted that a company with such a high reputation for product quality and support trusts us to support such an important program”. The development of the Arrius 2R is on track: launched in 2013, the Arrius 2R is following an aggressive development schedule that included a first ground test on April 29 2014 at the company’s Bordes factory. FAA, EASA and Transport Canada engine type certifications are planned for the end of 2015. The Arrius 2R is designed to deliver performance and power within the 500 shaft horsepower range, while improving safety and lowering pilot workload via a Full Authority Dual-channel Engine Control (FADEC). The twin-module configuration helps reduce fuel consumption and leads to lower operating costs. The engine will be assembled at the Turbomeca USA facility in Dallas,Texas. More than 3,000 Arrius engines have been sold by Turbomeca, accumulating 6.6 million flight hours for 430 customers in 60 countries. This proven reliability is built into the 2R and reinforced by a 3,000 hour Time-Between-Overhaul to be offered at service entry. The engine will also benefit from Turbomeca’s renowned service and support capabilities. The Bell 505 Jet Ranger X was unveiled last February at the Heli-Expo 2014 convention in Anaheim, California, and approximately 200 letters of intent have already been signed, indicating a high level of market acceptance. Turbomeca (Safran) is the leading helicopter engine manufacturer, and has produced 70,000 turbines based on its own designs since the company was founded. Offering the widest range of engines in the world and dedicated to 2,500 customers in 155 countries, Turbomeca provides a proximity service thanks to its 16 sites, 30 proximity maintenance centers, 18 Repair & Overhaul Centers, and 90 Field representatives and Field technicians. Microturbo, the subsidiary of Turbomeca, is the European leader in turbojet engines for missiles, drones and auxiliary power units.

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