Archive for the ‘UAV’ Category

Role Military UAV
Manufacturer ADE, DRDO
Designer ADE, DRDO
First flight 1995
Status Production
Primary user Indian Army
Produced 12+
Unit cost $4.47million

The DRDO Nishant is an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) developed by India’s ADE (Aeronautical Development Establishment) a branch of DRDO for the Indian Armed Forces. The Nishant UAV is primarily tasked with intelligence gathering over enemy territory and also forreconnaissance, training, surveillance, target designation, artillery fire correction, damage assessment, ELINT and SIGINT. The UAV has an endurance of 4 h 30 min. Nishant has completed development phase and user trials.

The 380 kg (840 lb) Nishant UAV requires rail-launching from a hydro-pneumatic launcher and recovered by a Parachute System. Launches at a velocity of 45 m/s are carried out in 0.6 second with 100 kW power and subsequent launches can be carried out in intervals of 20 minutes. The Mobile Hydro-Pneumatic Launcher (MHPL) system mounted on a Tatra truck weighs 14,000 kg (31,000 lb) and boasts of a life cycle of 1000 launches before requiring overhaul. Nishant is one of the few UAVs in the world in its weight-class capable of being catapult-launched and recovered by using parachute, thus eliminating the need for a runway as in case of conventional take-off and landing with wheels.

Development

To meet the Army’s operational requirement of an RPV it was decided in September 1988 that the Defence Research and Development Organisation would undertake the indigenous development of the UAV. The General Staff Qualitative Requirement (GSQR) was finalised by the Army in May 1990. The Nishant RPV made its first test flight in 1995. In July 1999, for the first time the Indian army deployed its new Nishant UAV system in the fight against guerilla forces backed by Pakistan in Kashmir. Nishant, which had been developed for battlefield surveillance and reconnaissance needs of the Indian Army, was test flown again in early 2002. The indigenous Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) Nishant developed by ADE,DRDO had completed its 100th flight by June 15, 2002. The Indian Army has placed an order for 12 Nishant UAVs along with ground support systems. Nishant Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) developed by DRDO for Indian Army was successfully flight tested near Kolar on 20 June 2008. Nishant has completed development phase and user trials. The present flight tests are pre confirmatory trials before induction into services.

Test flight

On Sunday 5 April 2009 DRDO launched a test flight of the Nishant UAV. The main goal was to test the performance of the Wankel engine used on the UAV. An abandoned World War II runway at a village near Kolar played host to the first ever flight of this indigenous rotary engine-powered UAV. The flight took off on early Sunday morning and climbed to an altitude of 1.8 km (5,900 ft) effortlessly before cruising for a duration of 35 minutes. The air vehicle was recovered safely at the intended place at a dried-up lake, after a total flight duration of 40 min. The engine, a Wankel rotary type, was the developmental project of the DRDO and was jointly designed and developed by NAL, a CSIR laboratory, VRDE, Ahmednagar and ADE, Bangalore. The provisional flight clearance for the first indigenous prototype engine was given by the certifying agency, RCMA. The engine was cleared for flight after rigorous ground endurance test runs. The Wankel engine weighs about 30 kg (70 lb), and this engine type is known for its high power-to-weight ratio in a single rotor category.

DRDO was satisfied with the test results. The performance of the engine during the flight met the requirements of the first flight of a engine in the air vehicle. This 55 hp indigenous engine is expected to replace the present imported engine of Nishant. The critical core engine, including the special cylinder composite nickel–silicon carbide coating and special aluminium alloy castings, was designed and developed by NAL. VRDE developed engine peripherals such as the ignition and fuel systems and ADE developed flight testing. The reconnaissance UAV, which has completed its user trials with the Indian Army, is expected to be handed over to the army shortly.

Nishant UAV again underwent crucial confirmatory user trials at Pokhran in April 2010. The trials began April 20 and were supposed to last for one week. A senior Army official at Pokhran said the trials are moving forward in a very satisfactory manner. “We are checking three crucial parameters: video quality, tracking ability and fall of gunshot [missed distance after firing]. These input performances are critical to our operations in the forward areas,” the official said. DRDO has delivered the first four UAVs to the Indian Army at a cost of 800 million INR ($17.9 million).

According to the Times Of India, two UAVs crash-landed in Jaisalmer district near the India-Pak border due to change in wind direction on Apr 28th and Apr 30th. Confirming the news, a DRDO official said, “The user trials were going on and during the flight there were some technical snags owing to which the craft was landed using parachutes.” He said, “But the landing was done safely and no one was hurt in the process. Though before our officials could reach to get the craft back, villagers damaged the aircraft and took away some equipment.”

On 3rd Feb 2011 Nishant UAV has successfully completed confirmatory trials conducted by the Indian Army at Pokhran, Rajasthan

Features

  • Day/night capability training vehicle
  • Battlefield reconnaissance & surveillance,
  • Target tracking and localization
  • Artillery fire correction
  • All terrain mobility
  • Target designation (using integral laser target designator)
  • Endurance: 4 h 30 min

Ground support systems

  • Mobile hydropneumatic launcher (MHPL)
  • Ground control station (GCS)
  • Antenna vehicle/Ground Data Terminal(GDT)
  • Avionics preparation vehicle(APV)
  • Mechanical maintenance vehicle
  • UAV transportation vehicle
  • Power supply vehicle

characteristics

  • Crew: None
  • Payload: 45 kg
  • Length: 4.63 m (15.2 ft)
  • Wingspan: 6.57 m (21.6 ft)
  • Empty weight: 380 kg (840 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × RE-2-21-P or RE-4-37-P, ()

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 185 km/h
  • Cruise speed: 125 km/h to 150 km/h
  • Range: 160 km (100 mi)
  • Service ceiling: 3,600 m (up to 11,800 ft)

Launch & recovery

  • Launch: Mobile hydropneumatic launcher (MHPL) system
  • Recovery: Parachute + landing bags

courtesy:- wikipedia.org

                                                     Rustom  is a Medium Altitude Long Endurance unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) being developed by DRDO for the three services, Indian Army, Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force of the Indian Armed Forces. Rustom is derived from the NAL’s LCRA (Light Canard Research Aircraft) developed by a team under the leadership of late Prof. Rustom B. Damania in the 1980s. The UAV will have structural changes and a new engine. Rustom will replace/supplement the Heron UAVs in service with the Indian armed forces.

Rustom-1′s basic design is derived from the NAL light canard research aircraft (LCRA). The aircraft has been named after Rustom Damania, a former professor of IISc, Bangalore who died in 2001. DRDO decided to name the UAV after him because it is derived fromNational Aerospace Laboratories’ light canard research aircraft (LCRA) developed under Rustom Damania’s leadership in the 1980s.

With the Rustom MALE UAV project, DRDO intends to move away from traditional ways of developing products whereby laboratories under DRDO, like the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), which is involved in this project, develop and finalise the product and transfer technology to a production agency.

DRDO will follow a practice of concurrent engineering where initial design efforts also take into consideration production issues, with the production agency participating in the development of the system right from the design stage. The agency will also follow up issues related to infrastructure and expertise for the product and its support, thereby overcoming time delays in crucial projects.

Rustom-1 which bears an uncanny resemblance to Rutan Long-EZ designed by Burt Rutan has a wingspan of 7.9 metres[7] and weighs 720 kg, will be launched by the conventional method and not the launcher as in the case of the DRDO Lakshya. Rustom will be able to see the enemy territory up to a distance of 250 km and carry a variety of cameras and radar for surveillance.

Rustom-H, built on a different design, owes nothing to Burt Rutan’s Long-EZ design. It is a Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (MALE UAV), a twin engine system designed to carry out surveillance and reconnaissance missions. Rustom H will have a payload capacity of 350 Kg.

The range of advanced technologies and systems include the following:-

  • Aerodynamic configurations, High aspect ratio wing, Composite airframe integrated with propulsion system, De-icing system for wings
  • Highly reliable systems with built-in redundancy for flight critical systems like flight control and navigation, data links, power management, – and mission critical payload management system
  • Digital Flight Control and Navigation System, Automatic Take off and Landing (ATOL)
  • Digital communication technologies for realizing data links to control and operate the mission and relay UAVs
  • Payloads with high resolution and precision stabilized platforms.
  • Variants

    There will be three variants of the Rustom UAV.

    • Rustom-I: Tactical UAV with endurance of 12 hours (based on NAL’s LCRA which was inspired by Burt Rutan’s Long-EZ)
    • Rustom-H: Larger UAV with flight endurance of over 24 hours (completely different design from Rustom-1), higher range and service ceiling than Rustom-1.
    • Rustom-II: An unmanned combat air vehicle based on Rustom-H model. It is often compared with Predator drones by Indian scientists and media.
    • Rustom-1

      The first flight of Rustom-I UAV took place on 16-11-2009 at the Taneja Aerospace Air Field near Hosur. The demonstration resulted in the prototype crashing to the ground. Stated by the DRDO, the taxiing and takeoff was exactly as planned. Due to misjudgment of altitude of the flight, the on-board engine was switched off through ground command which made the on-board thrust developed to go to zero. Despite the mishap, the state-owned Defence Research and Development Organisation stated: “The flight proved the functioning of a number of systems such as aerodynamics, redundant flight control, engine and datalink, which go a long way towards the development of a complex UAV.”

      The second “maiden” flight took place on 15th Oct 2010. In this test flight, the UAV flew for 30 minutes at an altitude of 3000 feet. The test was conducted in Hosur. The Indian army was impressed with Rustom-1 and will use it as a MALE UAV.

      Rustom-1 made its 5th successful flight on morning of 12 Nov 2011, flying for 25 minutes at 2300-ft AGL at a speed 100 Knots. It completed its 8th successful flight on 8 Dec 2011. It flew at an altitude of 6000-feet (max) and at a speed of 90 knots (max) during its 30 minutes flight near Hosur, claims DRDO. The highlight of the flight was that Rustom-1 was test flown with the ‘gimbal payload assembly carrying daylight TV & Infra-Red camera for the first time. Good quality pictures were received from the camera in gimbal payload assembly.

      The 14th Successful Flight of Rustom-1 was reported on 8 May 2012, with the attainment of about 11500 ft above ground level and speed of above 140 Kmph during 2 hrs 10 minutes of operation.

      Rustom-2

      Rustom-2 is an unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) developed by India on the lines of the American Predator drones.

      In October, 2010 A senior DRDO official stated,

      The American RQ-1 Predator is an obvious template for the Rustom program. We’ve built a credible unmanned flying platform. The way the Americans converted a robust surveillance drone into a combat drone is something we are confident we can replicate for the Rustom-H. It will have a great deal of mission flexibility. [..][Work] is underway to define the weaponization process.

      In February 2012, ADE Director P S Krishnan stated,

      Designing of Rustom-2 has been completed, purchase orders have been placed and we are on schedule to fly for the first time in February 2014.

      Specifications

      • Crew: none
      • Payload: 75 Kg (165.3 lbs) and 350 kg (771.6 lbs) (for Rustom-1 & Rustom-H respectively)
      • Length: 5.12 m (16 ft 10 in) and 9.5 m (31 ft 2 in) (for Rustom-1 & Rustom-H respectively)
      • Wingspan: 7.9 m (25 ft 11 in) and 20.6 m (67 ft 7 in) (for Rustom-1 & Rustom-H respectively)
      • Height: Rustom-1: 2.40 m (7 ft 10 in)
      • Empty weight: 720 kg (1587.33 lbs) & 1,800 kg (3968.32 lbs) (for Rustom-1 & Rustom-H respectively)
      • Powerplant:
        • Rustom-I: 1 × Lycoming O-320 engines Four-cylinder air-cooled horizontally opposed engine, 112 kW (150 hp)
        • Rustom-H: 2 × NPO-Saturn 36MT engines  wing-mounted turboprop, 73.55 kW (~100 hp)

        each

      Performance

      • Maximum speed: 225 km/h (139.81 mph)
      • Range:
        • Line of sight: 250 km (156.25 miles)
        • Relay Communication: 350 km

        (218.75 miles)

      • Ferry range: 1000 km (625 miles) for Rustom-2
      • Service ceiling: 26,000 ft for Rustom-1 and 35,000 ft for Rustom-H (8,000 m and 10,668 m respectively)