Tellumat Defence will be sharing is expertise at IDEX 2011 next week. The show, at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, takes place from February 20 to 24 and will feature a South African pavilion.
Tellumat sales manager Shareef Hoosain says the business is now “focusing on UAS (unmanned aerial system) sub-systems development to satisfy operational requirements such as fully redundant flight systems, sense and avoid technology, both commercial and military radios for aviation and ground communications as well as identification friend or foe.
“Additional focus is placed on transferring ground station control to remote communication systems for extended communication range, the ability to interface and carry multiple payloads, high definition video data links, increased endurances and the capability to land at satellite airfields manually (MTOL) or automatically (ATOL). To achieve this we need to view the UAS as a complete package and not the sum of its individual parts,” he says.
Looking at the state of play in the UAS environment, Hoosain added that the “three major hurdles that need to be overcome are the training of UAS personnel, the development of UAS technology and the integration of the UAS into the command and control structure”.
Hoosain says the operational use of UAS shows “an ever increasing need for trained personnel with the necessary background, qualification and training”. The use of trained pilots to operate a UAS worked well during the nineties but the lack of suitably qualified and available trained pilots pose operational challenges to end-users today, he adds. The shortage of general manpower due to less personnel recruitments into the military and the associated training costs are prohibitive to the UAS industry. The lack of a UAS rating and the uncertainty of a career path for recruits are not what potential operators want to hear. “The requirement for UAS certified personnel is on the rise and the demands for suitable training establishments are at an all time high”, he adds.
The many UASs we see today were derived from military requirements that were established almost two decades ago. “Very few of these systems allow for the simple distribution of the payload data (mainly video) to their clients (mainly the commanders in the field). In addition the integration of the system within command and control systems (C4I) is usually very poor. The original design concept of receiving the payload video at the ground station is limiting and prevents the UAS from exploiting its true potential.”