Echodyne has formed a strategic agreement with, and received minority investment from Hyundai Motor Group’s AAM company Supernal, which is developing an eVTOL vehicle for commercial flights in 2028. The collaboration between the two companies will focus on how to leverage Echodyne radars to enhance safety in Supernal’s vehicle and across ground-based operations.
Supernal chief technology officer Ben Diachun commented: “Echodyne offers radar detection capabilities that Supernal can utilise in Advanced Air Mobility development, with resilient and powerful radar aids for airborne situational awareness to improve safety in the air.”
The Echodyne radar will provide all-weather airspace monitoring for advanced vehicles like Supernal’s in the near-term, and potential automated applications in the future. On the ground, the radar will deliver situational awareness data that complements the airborne radar, further enhancing safety and ‘surpassing any product in its weight class’.
“Supernal is reimagining airborne mobility with the same ‘safety above all’ mentality we have here at Echodyne,” added Eben Frankenberg, CEO of Echodyne.
“As its team continues to shape the future of the AAM market, we are pleased Supernal recognises the value of radar as it tracks towards market entry. We have a significant technology advantage and this partnership demonstrates our intention to remain a significant contributor to airspace safety solutions across the industry.”
Echodyne serves customers across the defence, national security, critical infrastructure protection, uncrewed aircraft systems, and advanced air mobility markets worldwide. Its commercial radars, built on proprietary metamaterials electronic scanning array technology, are US designed and manufactured under US Commerce Department export control regulations.
Echodyne is based outside Seattle, Washington, and is backed by Bill Gates’ Madrona Venture Group, Baillie Gifford, and Northrop Grumman among others.
Meanwhile, Inmarsat and Supernal will partner on advanced air mobility vehicle connectivity to optimise hardware and network systems for eVTOL vehicles into the airspace.
During the testing phase, Supernal will connect its eVTOL to Inmarsat’s Velaris SatCom service to assess capabilities such as aircraft state and telemetry monitoring. Supernal will work with Inmarsat as part of its ‘open ecosystem’ approach to addressing emerging technology needs of AAM.
“Supernal is pleased to collaborate with Inmarsat to test the feasibility of integrating space-based and terrestrial data links to serve the Advanced Air Mobility industry,” said Supernal chief technology officer Ben Diachun.
Inmarsat Aviation Senior VP of aircraft operations and safety Joel Klooster noted: “We can deliver the safety services required to allow these vehicles to fly Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations and continually improve the customer experience.”