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UAVOS, KACST demonstrate progressive flight control capability for their Saker UAVs

UAVOS and the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) have used two ground control stations (GCSs) to fly their Saker-1B medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for the first time.

UAVs, with this progressive flight control capability, can automatically land on remote runways located thousands of kilometers away where it can be serviced by a crew before taking off for another mission, according to a UAVOS statement. The company believes this capability will save resources of command stations by eliminating the need to return to the original takeoff point for fueling.

UAVOS and the KACST in late 2019, for the first time, used two GCSs to fly their Saker-1B MALE UAV. (UAVOS)

UAVOS and the KACST in late 2019, for the first time, used two GCSs to fly their Saker-1B MALE UAV. (UAVOS)

“The full scale tests were important to confirm the interactions between the flight control system, command-and-control stations, and the integrated payload,” UAVOS CEO and lead developer Aliaksei Stratsilatau said in a statement.

Control of the flight by two GCS simultaneously makes managing the operational capabilities such as aircraft control, real time planning and updating of routes, updating the UAV behavior attributes, and real time receipt of mission data more effective.

The entire process – including the automatic landing, taxing on the ground after landing, turning the engine off and on, pre-takeoff taxing, and automated takeoff of the Saker-1B UAV – was fully controlled from the two remove control stations.

Stratsilatau told Jane’s on 27 March that flight testing took place in Saudi Arabia in late 2019 and occurred over a series of remote operation flights that lasted up 19 hours at an altitude of 16,500 ft.

The Saker-1B was equipped with a satellite communication (satcom) data link for beyond line-of-sight (BLOS) operation and UAVOS’s gyro-stabelised, two-axis gimbal for day and night surveillance with laser rangefinder.

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