UAVOS and Saudi Arabia’s KACST partner on long endurance drone development

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Drone development company UAVOS and Saudi Arabia-based research institute the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology are partnering on the development of the company’s next generation of drone.

The deal to develop the new version of the Saker Medium Altitude Long Endurance Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), the Saker MALE-1C , includes R&D, flying and maintenance said the company. The goal of the project is to redesign and improve the UAS’s features with the use of advanced manufacturing technologies and integration and autonomy, navigation, communications, sensor processing and system of counter electronic warfare.

The Saker-1C is designed to perform long-endurance surveillance, communications relay and search and rescue operations. It can carry diverse payloads such including a gyro stabilized EO/IR (Electro-Optical/Infra-Red) gimbal, digital video data link Tactical UAV .

The Saker – 1C MALE UAS has a fully redundant control system and avionics. The improved onboard satellite communication system provides an advanced direct link when flying within line of sight, switching seamlessly to a satellite link when flying beyond visual line of sight to transmit real time information. The system has been improved through testing and operation on the different Saker family aircraft.

The aircraft’s payload capacity features have been increased up to 660lbs (300 kg) in comparison to its predecessor the Saker-1B, while also offering double its fuel capacity via the retrofitting of long-endurance wings with greater internal fuel capacity. According to UAVOS the Saker 1-C can fly for a maximum of 30 hours, reach an altitude of 23,000ft (7000 m) and travel at a maximum speed of 110 knots. Due to adding fowler flaps and interceptors lift augmentation capability has also been improved.

The unmanned aircraft also has a stronger body structure via the use of improved manufacturing technologies, allowing for easier maintenance without adding to its weight. The dry weight of the aircraft has been reduced by 600kg by using modern composites.

CEO of UAVOS and lead developer Aliaksei Stratsilatau said, “We are proud to introduce another advanced development and joint successful project of UAVOS and KACST.

“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 the Saker-1C UAS as a leading system with considerable sales potential.”

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Ben has worked all of his career as a journalist and now editor, covering almost all aspects of technology, engineering and industry. In the last 20 years he has written on subjects from nuclear submarines and autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies and commercial aviation. Latterly editor of a leading engineering magazine, he brings an eye for a great story and lots of experience to the team.

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