UMEX 2020: Tellumat introduces ASTUS UAS to UAE market
Tellumat, a South African leader in defence and security products, systems and services supply, introduced their ASTUS unmanned aerial system (UAS) to the market at the regional market at UMEX 2020, Abu Dhabi.
ASTUS unmanned aerial system (Picture source: Tellumat)
The ASTUS UAS is a medium-size, medium-range tactical surveillance UAV system, suitable for lengthy missions requiring real-time surveillance data collection and delivery for a variety of missions such as border and coastal security, environmental protection and peacekeeping. It can also be used in the training of UAS pilots for beyond line of sight operations of larger UAV’s.
The system integrates an aircraft, ground control system and camera payload capability, in a high-performance surveillance package that is robust, durable, easily transported, quick to deploy and easy to operate.
The ASTUS UAS has a minimum crew requirement of four, comprising a pilot, payload operator, safety pilot and an aircraft technician.
1. The aircraft
The ASTUS UAV has the following key features:
- 5.2-metre wingspan with 92 kg maximum take-off weight including payload
- 210 cc fuel-injected 2-stroke motor
- 8 hours flight time at 5,000 feet above sea level
- Operating altitude – 9,000 feet; service ceiling – 14,000 feet
- Dash speed – 80 knots; cruising – 55-60 knots; take-off – 40 knots; stall – 33 knots
- Visibility and air traffic safety – navigation strobe lights; landing light; Mode S & ADS-B ATC transponder; VHF radio
- Core avionics package – Tellumat-designed flight mission computer; sensor pack; health control unit; long-range C-Band video & data link system; commercial-off-the-shelf UHF backup data link; power management unit
- Integrated long-range secure communication system supporting HD video & data downlink; control uplink exceeding 200 km line of sight
2. Payload capability
The ASTUS UAV can accommodate various types of payloads with a maximum mass of 10kg, including a best-in-class optical/thermal payload in the standard configuration (maximum diameter 250 mm) and a Tellumat-designed training payload.
Payload control and monitoring is available via the on-board Ethernet and serial data interfaces.
3. Piloting and control
The modular and portable ground control station (GCS) can be networked to allow control of the ASTUS UAV by more than one pilot and payload operator geographically separated across the mission area. It consists of an operator control unit (OCU) and ground data terminal (GDT) that offer flight and mission control management of the ASTUS UAV.
The robust OCUs are housed in a waterproof container and incorporate sunlight-readable, full-HD, touch screen monitors.
The GDT provides the long-range ground communication element of the UAS. It is incorporated into a small, tripod-mounted automatic GPS monitoring and precision positioning system, the robust and weather-proof AP-1100.
4. Auxiliary equipment
The ASTUS UAS is provided with all the necessary support equipment, operational spares and base spares to allow for extended operations without external support.
ASTUS unmanned aerial system at AAD 2018 (Picture source: Army Recognition)
Tellumat’s first prototype aircraft design and integration began in 2011, and a second-generation aircraft prototype was completed in early 2017, followed by the full-scale industrialisation of the UAS culminating in the market launch of the ASTUS at AAD 2018.