UAV. UAVOS and the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) of Saudi Arabia are developing a new medium altitude long endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle, the Saker-1C, according to a company statement.
The Saker-1C can carry payloads ranging from synthetic aperture radar (SAR), imagery and coherent change detection, gyro-stabilised electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) gimbal, and digital video datalink.
The aircraft is designed to perform long-endurance surveillance, communications relay, and search and rescue missions, among others. Saker-1C has a 300 kg payload capacity, which is larger than found on the smaller Saker-1B.
Aliaksei Stratsilatau, UAVOS CEO and lead designer, told Janes on 28 May that the company had to make many trades, mostly for safety, to accommodate this larger payload capacity.
The tail was modified to aid mass distribution in the fuselage and an increase of inertial moments.
Advanced wing mechanisation, such as flaps, spoilers, and winglets, Stratsilatau said, was also implemented to support flight controls in different aircraft configurations and changes of payload weight.
He said one of the Saker-1C’s requirements is to be able to land fully-loaded, just after take-off, in case of emergency.
UAVOS, thus, had to implement emergency fuel drain, improve landing gear capacity, and redesign many safety procedures to be approved to operate in airspace.
The increased payload capacity, Stratsilatau said, also made an impact on the power distribution system, which was redesigned.
“The successful flight demonstrations and operational tests reflect Saker’s reliability and quality, together with its advanced technological capabilities. There is no doubt that Saker – 1C gives its users significant operational advantages. We consider Saker – 1C UAS as a leading system with considerable sales potential.” says UAVOS CEO and Lead Developer Aliaksei Stratsilatau.
Designed to conduct various types of missions including long-endurance surveillance, communications relay, and search and rescue operations, the Saker-1C is equipped with the most progressive technologies developed by the two companies to date.
Described as a versatile aircraft, the Saker-1C is capable of carrying various payloads including SAR imagery and coherent change detection, Gyro Stabilized EO/IR Gimbal, and Digital Video Data Link Tactical UAV.
The Saker-1C has a fully redundant control system and avionics.
Thanks to an improved onboard satellite communication system, an advanced direct link is provided when flying within Line of Sight (LOS), and switches seamlessly to a satellite link when flying Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS) to transmit real time information.
Testing and operation on the different Saker family aircraft has facilitated the improvement of the system.
The aircraft’s payload capacity features have been increased up to 660 pounds in comparison to the Saker-1B. Via its retrofitting long-endurance wings with greater internal fuel capacity, the UAS also offers 100-plus percent more fuel capacity.
The UAS is equipped with fuel tanks for 30 hours maximum endurance, and it can reach an altitude of 23,000 feet and a maximum speed of 110 knots.
Additionally, the lift augmentation capability has been improved thanks to the addition of fowler flaps and interceptors.
The Saker-1C has a stronger body structure thanks to improved manufacturing technologies, which allows for quick and easy maintenance without adding to its weight.
The use of modern composite technologies has also reduced the dry weight of the aircraft to 600 kilograms.
With ambitions to redesign and improve UAS features extending from engineering to operation, UAVOS and KACST are focusing on using advanced manufacturing technologies.
Integrating next-generation capabilities including state-of-the-art autonomy, navigation, communications, sensor processing and system of counter electronic warfare.
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