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Unmanned Aircraft System

By Wikipedia,
the free encyclopedia,


Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) is the term introduced by The United States Department of Defense (DoD) and adopted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to replace the term Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). A typical UAS consists of the Unmanned Aircraft (UA), the Control System, the Datalink, and other related support equipment. For example, the RQ-7 Shadow UAS consists of four Air Vehicles, two Ground Control Stations (GCS), one Launcher, one portable GCS, two Ground Data Terminals (GDT), one portable GDT, and one Remote Video Terminal. Certain military units are also fielded with a maintenance support vehicle.

In the UK, BAE Systems has recently announced that unmanned aircraft could be used for police and coastal patrol work on Britain’s south east coast from as soon as 2012, following the launch of new project that sees the company partnering with a range of government bodies.

Beginning 2007, French based Dutch helicopter specialist Jan Verhagenhas successfully concluded test flights (assisted by Dutch research organisation TNO) with his Unmanned Aircraft System Verhagenx2. This system consists of a mini-helicopter (6ft - 22 kilo with wireless HD camera), a ground station with data link and automatic tracking antenna. The helicopters flight is fully automatic, from take off, through GPS-controlled waypoint flight pattern to safe landing (target landing accurate to 1 metre). Range: 100 km. Maximum speed: 100 km. Ceiling: more than 3000m. Fuel consumption: 1300 cc/hr. Electrical autonomy 8 hrs. Flight time depending on tank and pay load: approx. 6 hrs. During 2007 the system has made 260 fully automated flight hours.

The implications of this latest development for tactical and civil applications are important. A VerhagenX2 mini-helicopter can hover in place at a certain altitude for several hours, filming every movement on the ground (day or night), without being seen or (depending on surrounding sound and flight altitude) heard. Images are send to ground station for live viewing up to 40 km. Suitable for covert observation in tactical situations, or wild life tracking without disturbance.

Technical Data:

  • Auto start and auto landing
  • Auto-return to start point in case of radio disturbance etc.
  • Return to start point by assignment
  • Mapping (f.i. Google maps).
  • Adjustable waypoint system during flight
  • Adjustable height during flight
  • Adjustable speed
  • Video signal over > 40 km
  • Autonomous flight >100 km
  • On demand control over > 100 km, real time manual control
  • Dual micro processors (safety)
  • Follow-the-camera flight system, (flying in the direction of the pointed camera)
  • Recording of coordinates and video footage at the same time
  • Recording al flight information
  • Making and testing of flight plan in simulator
  • Revolving auto-tracking antenna system
  • Accurate auto landing
  • Compact: entire system including 2 helicopters will fit in family car.
  1. ^ News Releases - BAE Systems
  2. ^ Unmanned mini helicopters for sale - autonomous flight

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Text from Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License; additional terms may apply.

Published - July 2009

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