Delair-Tech & ISAE create MIDLELAB small UAV research center


Toulouse, France, December 11, 2014– Delair-Tech and ISAE-SUPAERO (Institut Supérieur de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace) have announced their partnership for the formation of MIDLELAB, a joint research center which will bring together the best of both organizations to pioneer and implement new technologies like fuel cells and solar cells to enhance the endurance of small UAVs. The new laboratory will be partially funded by the Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR).

ISAE-SUPAERO is home to some of the great minds in aerospace and is an important training and testing ground for technological breakthroughs in all formats. We already have a rich history of collaboration between ISAE-SUPAERO and ourselves so, naturally, we are well-positioned for what comes next. Our long range, beyond line of sight heritage and experience allows us to bring a lot to the table. We are excited to push the limits of endurance even further with these incredible new technologies.

Michael de Lagarde, CEO, Delair-Tech

“MIDLELAB will foster a common passion shared by Delair-Tech and ISAE-SUPAERO for pushing the limits of long endurance mini-UAVs. Cutting-edge techniques developed in our MIDLELAB laboratories will keep ISAE-SUPAERO research teams on the leading edge of excellence and contribute to further increase the performance of Delair-Tech mini-UAVs, which are already best in class in the field of compact mini-drone surveillance systems. ISAE-SUPAERO is proud to team up with Delair-Tech on this project which will boost our research activity on long endurance mini-UAVs.

Olivier Lesbre, Head of ISAE-SUPAER

MIDLELAB is a Research Laboratory under the scientific supervision of Prof. Jean-Marc Moschetta which formalizes the long standing partnership between ISAE and Delair-Tech. Joint research between the companies will consist of studies for optimizing aerodynamic design using wind tunnels, advanced chain optimization for propulsion systems (batteries, controllers, motors, propellers), exploitation of the aircraft’s natural environmental flight conditions (wind currents), onboard solar cell energy use, and integrating fuel cell technology into Delair-Tech’s small UAV platforms like the DT-18 and DT-26. The main objective of the joint laboratory is twofold: to improve existing performance vectors and to develop those of tomorrow from the perspective of energy conservation and high permanence of flight.

Since its inception in 2011, Delair-Tech has been committed to differentiating themselves with best-in-class range and endurance capabilities. This strategy paid off in the small DT-18 UAV, a promising commercial success which boasts 100 km total range and 2 hour endurance – specifications that are unprecedented for an aircraft of its size. The evolution will continue with the DT-26, a slightly larger UAV with drastically longer flight times and range; up to 4 hours and 200 km, respectively.


Delair-Tech develops and manufactures small, industrial, long range UAV systems. With over 30 employees headquartered in a 700+ square meter facility in Toulouse, France, Delair-Tech has the capacity to produce over 100 in-house manufactured UAV systems per year. Delair-Tech is proud to manufacture the DT-18, the first and only UAV in the world certified for “beyond visual line of sight” (BVLOS) operations.

Delair-Tech has recently made available to their UAV operators its Data Center – a game changing suite of custom, value-adding algorithms which can be applied to a wide variety of UAV-acquired data to automatically extract the most important pieces, saving end users time, money, and enabling them to make better decisions.


Since its creation in 1909, the “Institut Supérieur de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace » (ISAE SUPAERO) has been a worldwide pioneer and reference in higher education programs and research for aerospace engineering. The institute provides 2 high-level Graduate programs in engineering (SUPAERO, CNAM-ISAE), 3 Masters of Science programs, 18 Postgraduate Specialized Masters and 6 PhD Programs. ISAE also develops a very active aerospace research policy, cooperates with the best European and North-American universities (Berkeley, Stanford, Caltech) and has established privileged relations with the main aerospace industrial groups.