Ten­der out for Rus­tom-II’s SATCOM An­tenna

SP's MAI - - SP’S EXCLUSIVES -

With its first flight sched­uled for Fe­bru­ary 2014, the Aero­nau­ti­cal De­vel­op­ment Es­tab­lish­ment (ADE) has floated a global ten­der to ac­quire a SATCOM Air­borne An­tenna As­sem­bly Sys­tem (SAAAS) for the Rus­tom-II medium al­ti­tude longe en­durance UAV. The SATCOM an­tenna, a com­mu­ni­ca­tion bridge be­tween the air ve­hi­cle and ground sta­tion will func­tion in the fre­quency range of Ku-band for the be­yond line of sight com­mu­ni­ca­tion, in which the up­link car­ries air­craft com­mand and con­trol, in ad­di­tion to voice in­for­ma­tion while the down­link car­ries multi sen­sor pay­load in­for­ma­tion and mul­ti­plexed teleme­try data as and when re­quired. The SATCOM par­a­bolic dish an­tenna will need to be be­tween 0.6 and 0.73 me­tre in di­am­e­ter. Ven­dors par­tic­i­pat­ing in the ten­der will also need to sup­ply in­er­tial nav­i­ga­tion and GPS sen­sors as part of the pack­age. The ADE has stip­u­lated that the SAAAS needs to be op­er­a­tional at non-pres­surised al­ti­tudes of up to 35,000 feet. The ADE has pro­vided an ex­tremely de­tailed list of spec­i­fi­ca­tions for the SATCOM’s per­for­mance. The work pack­age will be di­vided into two phases, with the first con­sti­tut­ing de­liv­ery of three air­wor­thy sys­tems to ADE and the sec­ond phase com­pris­ing flight test­ing and per­for­mance eval­u­a­tion of one of the sys­tems on a Rus­tom-II fly­ing plat­form. This is likely to take place next year once flights be­gin. ADE has strongly in­di­cated that it prefers a mod­i­fied ex­ist­ing sys­tem to cut down on time. In March this year, SP’s had re­ported how the DRDO had also de­cided to out­source the SATCOM datalink for the Rus­tom-II. The ADE has also called for in­ter­est in de­vel­op­ment of the au­to­matic take-off and land­ing sys­tem (ATOL) for the Rus­tom-II.

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