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Marc Fabreguettes: How Thales is investing in Clean Sky

Dec 02. 2010 

Marc Fabreguettes, programme manager for Thales’s Clean Sky activities, told Onboard how Thales is investing in this Pan-European initiative. In addition to overseeing a full-time Clean Sky management team, Fabreguettes coordinates operations with external partners and Thales’s various competence centres.

What is Thales’s role in Clean Sky?

Clean Sky is organised around research areas called Integrated Technology Demonstrators (ITD), and Thales is the leader of the “Systems for Green Operations” ITD, as well as a contributor to other ITDs.

We also coordinate the Technical Evaluator, a tool that assesses the impact of different Clean Sky technologies. Basically, it integrates data from the ITDs and translates it into easily understandable, quantifiable benefits for the environment. It lets us see just how effective our research will be!

How does Thales specifically contribute to “Systems for Green Operations”?

Within this ITD, there are a number of different projects, each with short- and long-term goals. For example, Thales Electrical Systems is working on optimising energy management onboard existing airplanes, while preparing a breakthrough solution that would involve completely redesigning aircraft power management and significantly improving its environmental impact.

In the same way, our Flight Management System (FMS) team is investigating “green functions” that would optimise aircraft trajectories – thereby optimising fuel consumption and reducing noise.

What international initiatives are likely to follow Clean Sky?

A number of other regional initiatives are driving research in similar directions: notably SESAR in Europe and NextGen in America. The objective in the not-too-distant future should be to harmonise these programmes and create a coherent, worldwide blueprint for the air transport industry in terms of environmental and logistical challenges. EUROCONTROL and the FAA are both working in this direction – and at Thales, we are present as an expert both in Europe and on several NextGen projects. So, we’re certainly heading in the right direction!

What is the advantage of Clean Sky for Thales customers?

Clean Sky puts us on the cutting edge of green technology. That means we are able to directly address the needs of clients as they try to keep pace with evolving environmental standards and to use less fuel. As our clients begin to integrate the effects of CO2 and noise taxes into their strategies, this research will allow them optimise their costs.

We work closely with major European airframers, helping them to develop innovative aircraft for the future. In return, we get insight into future market needs and to develop the kind of green functionalities that our clients will be demanding.



Clean Sky is an EC-backed Joint Technology Initiative that brings together some of Europe’s leading aeronautics companies. Their common goal is to develop breakthrough technologies that will help reduce the environmental impact of aviation.




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