Safran Data Systems, a subsidiary of Safran Electronics & Defense, offers high-technology equipment and solutions for flight test, telemetry, simulation and testing, mission data management and space communications. Based in Europe, India and North America, Safran Data Systems currently employs over 750 people. Interview with Noel Ballot, Sales & Marketing EVP at Safran Data Systems. Easy Engineering: A brief description of the company and its activities Noel Ballot: As a leader in its markets, Safran Data Systems contributes to its customers’ success by offering them long-term support, high reliability, backward compatibility and scalability. Safran Data Systems guarantees innovation, unrivaled performance and availability. Safran Data Systems is part of the Safran Space Division, within Safran Electronics & Defense For over 50 years now, Safran Electronics & Defense has developed and supplied a wide range of technologies for connectivity, propulsion, navigation, timing, optics and space awareness. Every day in Safran, over 1,200 women and men design, manufacture and support critical equipment that enable Agencies, Governments, Integrators and Commercial providers to build and operate complex systems for Space. Our talents and solutions contribute to strengthen sovereignty, protect the Earth and push the boundaries of Space exploration. E.E: What are the main areas of activity of the company? N.B: FLIGHT TEST INSTRUMENTATION AND TELEMETRY Safran Data Systems provides complete flight test instrumentation and telemetry solutions, from on-board acquisition to data processing on the ground. Safran Data Systems offers standard or tailored equipment and solutions for all platforms: aircraft, helicopters, UAVs, launch vehicles, automative and new mobility (UAM) © Adrien Daste Safran AUTOMATED TEST EQUIPMENT Meeting the most demanding testing requirements from Aero-Defence, Space and Automotive Sectors. Safran Data Systems ATEs are built using COTS products for R&D, HIL Simulation and Production testing. MISSION DATA RECORDING AND PROCESSING Safran Data Systems provides equipment and solutions to meet the most demanding missions requirements, on the ground, in the air and at sea. These solutions are robust and reliable, making it possible, over platforms’ entire lifespans, to offer the best service to users during their missions (pilot training, overseas operations, surveillance, rescue, etc.) as well as debriefing. SPACE COMMUNICATIONS Safran Data Systems offers very high-technology products and solutions for satellite ground stations. The company offers space agencies, satellite operators, service providers and government agencies a competitive advantage due to high performance, modularity, reliability and long-term availability of its products, as well as global customer service provided by dedicated experts SATELLITE COMMUNICATION AND SPACE AWARENESS Safran Data Systems is a key player in space situational awareness. The company provides to customers the ability to have accurate knowledge of satellites orbiting, as well as an accurate picture of frequency spectrum used by satellites communications. This is a huge competitive advantage while space and communication awareness has become a worldwide global strategic challenge Noel Ballot, Sales & Marketing EVP at Safran Data Systems E.E: What’s the news about new products? What are the most innovative products marketed? N.B: VIRTUALIZATION: Virtualization offers the possibility to centralize the data processing, key for our customers, especially in telecommunication satellite stations. Currently, earth observation service providers centralize all of the processing of their data to a single location, to which Safran Data Systems has to ship its high-speed modems (Cortex) : Brazil, Mexico, Australia…etc. . Thanks to our virtualization solution many stations but they only do the digitalization and all the processing is centralized, at the choice of the operator. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE and DEEP LEARNING Since 2020, Safran Data Systems teams have been working on the subject of Deep Learning. Here, the challenge is great as its purpose is to find information lost in a large volume of data and masked by measurement noise. In a sector where data is increasingly massive and omnipresent, it is necessary to use AI methods to automatically process the data Safran Data Systems generate. Today, we are at the “Proof of Concept” stage, which allows our teams to evaluate the feasibility of a project. OBJECTS IDENTIFICATION IN SPACE and ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE All of our satellite operators customers need to qualify all the objects that approach their satellites. It is crucial in Space, but not only, as our airframe manufacturers and EVTOL customers also have this need. © Adrien Daste Safran To be able to obtain this data we have to merge data thanks to our AI capabilities: data from our Wetrack solution (Satellite & Communication Situational Awareness: WeTrack® and LYNKS), but also from radars and other satellites…etc As mentioned above, Artificial Intelligence also allows our customers such as Aircraft Manufacturers to analyze a much larger amount of data on a much more accurate level. Not onlu does it only you to minimize actual tests, but AI also capitalizes on previous tests because of the fact that the data are integrated and allows to better target the particular points to test. INSTRUMENTATION FOR NEW SPACE New space is very broad, we must decompose this market Access to space: for all of the new launchers Those who build satellites Those who make access services to satellites PREDICTIVE MAINTENANCE FOR OUR INDUSTRY CUSTOMERS A key subject of interest for our customers, in order to avoid AOGs. To answer this market’s need, Safran Data Systems has been working on Fiber optic sensing for two years, called the Bragg principle, along with other Safran entities. This new concept focuses on data acquisition, in the sense of instrumentation and physical measurement, by fiber sensing, which consists of transforming an optical fiber commonly used in telecommunications into a physical measurement system. For this to work, a laser makes engravings in the heart of the fiber, which then become as many sensitive elements to measure temperature and stress. This is called the Bragg principle (Fiber Bragg Gratting – FBG). This principle has existed for several years and has reached a high level of maturity in various industries such as wind turbines, bridges, or dams. However, this is not yet the case in the embedded systems sector in aeronautics. © Adrien Daste Safran E.E: What are the ranges of products? N.B: Safran Data Systems offers a wide range of products to a wide range of customers: National agencies, Launch vehicle manufacturers, EVTOL manufacturers, Satellite & system providers, Service operators, Airframe manufacturers, Propulsion, avionics & systems operators, Government test ranges organizations, Industry companies and even some very niche markets like autonomous car driving simulation operators. Safran Data Systems offers COTS products, with modularity and scalability in order to tailor solutions to high-demanding customers’ requirements. E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active? N.B: Safran Data Systems is involved in many flourishing markets, at various stages of development: New and Emerging markets: New Space & Space Domain Awareness, New Mobilities (eg : EVTOL) Fast growing markets: Active electronically steered antennas linked to satellite constellations, More earth observation, More scientific missions (Lunar missions, Mars missions) Mature but evolving: Airframes & Test Ranges It is to be highlighted that regions can also be a growing market, such as the indo – pacific region for space and defense markets. In order to meet those market requirements and the need to have more and more simulations prior to testing, Safran Data Systems acquired Captronic Systems in August 2022. © Adrien Daste Safran E.E: What can you tell us about market trends? N.B: SOVEREIGNTY Due to the international context, countries are more concerned about sovereignty; therefor Safran Data Systems witnesses an increase in their budget for Defense. Our offer in Space situational awareness is one of the key to answer these needs. EARTH OBSERVATION Studying Space is an essential tool for the ecological transition. Satellites are indispensable for monitoring, modeling and understanding the climate, biodiversity, and the evolution of oceans, forests and glaciers. Space also allows us to rationalize human activities to limit our ecological footprint: to reason agriculture and limit water consumption, to detect sources of pollution, to optimize our travel, etc. E.E: What estimations do you have for the rest of 2022? N.B: Our market previsions are extremely positive for all of our market segments. Safran Data Systems is on track to reach the goals set for this year and even exceeding them, with a two digit growth.