November 13, 2013

Tender out for Rustom-II's SATCOM Antenna

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 0.6-0.73 metres 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 upto 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.


1 comment:

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