Thales is drawing on its technology expertise to fight global warming.
In the civil aviation sector, for example, optimising aircraft operations has been identified as one of the major ways to achieve the objective of halving emissions by 2050. Optimising air transport would reduce CO2 emissions by 10-15%, or by more than 100 million tonnes of CO2, by 2040. As a world leader in flight management systems (FMS) and air traffic management (ATM), the Group is developing flight path optimisation solutions that would reduce aircraft CO2 emissions by up to 10% in the near-term future.
For Earth observation programmes, the Group is leveraging its global leadership in sensors and satellites to expand space-based surveillance capabilities and better understand climate phenomena. Thales Alenia Space has been selected for five of the six missions planned for the coming years on the Copernicus Earth observation and climate monitoring programme. The company's involvement will include developing instruments to measure the amount of atmospheric CO2 caused by human activity. The instruments will determine the types of emissions with unprecedented accuracy (within 4 m²) to detect peaks in pollution around a given factory or city, for example.
As an expert in critical-decision support solutions, the Group is developing disruptive technologies that will make artificial intelligence more energy-efficient. Thales is the first company to develop "frugal" AI based on algorithms that only require small amounts of energy. Applying the principles of eco-design, Thales researchers are developing low-energy algorithms as an integral part of the design of neural network architectures. Whenever possible, they also prioritise knowledge-based symbolic or hybrid AI, which are much more energy efficient. Thales developers are also shifting their attention from Big Data to Smart Data, favouring quality over quantity, and improving electronics design and implementation to offer electronic circuits that consume very little energy.
Thales is also stepping up the development of its quantum technologies (sensors, communications and post-quantum cryptography), which will deliver significant gains in environmental performance. For example, quantum technologies will revolutionise sensors such as antennas, increasing their performance by a factor of 10 (and by as much as 1,000) with a significantly smaller form factor.
Last but not least, Thales is applying eco-design principles to a growing proportion of its new developments, and intends to adopt these principles for 100% of its new products and services by 2023. The Group is also actively promoting its eco-designed smartcards, which are expected to account for 35% of all its smartcard sales by 2025.