First Airbus app developer event “Critical App Challenge” has concluded with fresh communication concepts for public safety

Turning ideas into smart communications solutions

The Airbus secure application ecosystem is evolving quickly as the first developer event “Critical App Challenge” has concluded with fresh communication concepts for public safety

Elancourt, 8 February 2018 – Airbus has succeeded in giving birth to new secure applications during the first Critical App Challenge last weekend. This competition for app developers, which brought together 24 international representatives from eight companies, created fresh ideas for secure communications. These applications will run on the Tactilon Dabat to facilitate the daily work for police officers and rescue personnel. This brand new Airbus device  is the first 2-in-1 Android smartphone and Tetra radio.

Three participating companies received awards for their exceptional solutions during the event: “Intelligence on Wheels” created a warning system preventing deadly train collisions by equipping railway engines with Tetra and Long Term Evolution (LTE) devices. Furthermore, the Finnish company “Tactical AI” invented an app accelerating criminal conviction. The app is capable of matching pictures or footing recorded by surveillance cameras with police suspect databases. Thirdly, the company “Steerpath” enables team leaders of security personnel or police to conduct operations in buildings, i.e. airports or hospitals, with the help of real-time geolocation through Tetra or LTE. Airbus will invite all three developers to the Critical Communication World exhibition in Berlin in May 2018.

“The Critical App Challenge was a unique event which put all partners in a win-win situation,” said Eric Davalo, Head of Strategy and Marketing for Secure Land Communications at Airbus. “Thanks to the developers’ sophisticated ideas, Airbus is growing its ecosystem for smart and secure communications solutions. At the same time, start-ups and developers are gaining insight into the world of mission-critical communication through us.” This is the reason why Airbus will continue to organise more Critical App Challenges this year. The dates for next event will soon be announced.

Eight companies from Finland and Germany were selected by Airbus for the Critical App Challenge to find best high-tech solutions for the Tactilon Dabat. During this collaborative event, the aim was to invent, in a limited amount of time, new smartphone applications for public safety users, such as police and rescue personnel. The concept is based on the idea of Hackathons in which software developers, user interface designers, and business managers work together intensively to create proofs of concept of innovative solutions.

Outside the event, application developers interested in cooperating with Airbus can register for free to the SmarTWISP programme on the “Secure Land Communications” website and find a starter kit which helps with the making of new mission-critical applications. Once approved for a free membership, developers can access guidelines, tools and the application programming interface (API). Furthermore, developers themselves benefit from special training, tools, and reward schemes.

Copyright photo: Airbus



Airbus is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. In 2016, it generated revenues of €67 billion and employed a workforce of around 134,000. Airbus offers the most comprehensive range of passenger airliners from 100 to more than 600 seats. Airbus is also a European leader providing tanker, combat, transport and mission aircraft, as well as Europe’s number one space enterprise and the world’s second largest space business. In helicopters, Airbus provides the most efficient civil and military rotorcraft solutions worldwide.

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