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Echodyne and Supernal Partner on radar for enhanced AAM safety

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.”

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Jason Pritchard

Jason Pritchard is the Editor of eVTOL Insights. He holds a BA from Leicester's De Montfort University and has worked in Journalism and Public Relations for more than a decade. Outside of work, Jason enjoys playing and watching football and golf. He also has a keen interest in Ancient Egypt.

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