Tellumat launches its first unmanned aerial vehicle


Thirty years in the making accompanied by Tellumat’s attention to detail has come to fruition with the company using this week’s Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) exhibition to launch its ASTUS unmanned aerial system (UAS).

ASTUS is Tellumat’s first foray into full-scale UAS systems provision, having developed, manufactured and supported market-leading UAS sub-systems for more than 30 years.

The market introduction of ASTUS further entrenches South Africa’s position in the global UAS/UAV industry, says Willie Malan, senior product manager at Tellumat.

ASTUS UAS is a medium-size, medium-range tactical surveillance UAV system, suitable for lengthy missions needing real-time surveillance data collection and delivery for missions including border and coastal security, environmental protection and peacekeeping. It can also be used for training UAS pilots in beyond line of sight operations of larger UAV’s.

The system integrates an aircraft, ground control system and camera payload capability, in a high-performance surveillance package that is robust, durable, easily transported, quick to deploy and easy to operate.

The ASTUS UAS has a minimum crew requirement of four, comprising a pilot, payload operator, safety pilot and an aircraft technician.
“With UAS demand taking off worldwide, ASTUS provides high-end UAV performance in a medium sized, cost-effective package” Malan said.

Key ASTUS features are 5.2-metre wingspan with 92 kg maximum take-off weight including payload; 210 cc fuel-injected two-stroke motor; eight hours flight time at 5,000 feet above sea level; operating altitude – 9,000 feet; service ceiling – 14,000 feet; dash speed – 80 knots; cruising – 55-60 knots; take-off – 40 knots; stall – 3; visibility and air traffic safety – navigation strobe lights; landing light; Mode S & ADS-B ATC transponder; VHF radio; core avionics package – Tellumat-designed flight mission computer; sensor pack; health control unit; long-range C-Band video & data link system; commercial-off-the-shelf UHF backup data link; power management unit and integrated long-range secure communication system supporting HD video & data downlink; control uplink exceeding 200 km line of sight.

ASTUS can carry payloads up to 10kg including a best-in-class optical/thermal payload in the standard configuration (maximum diameter 250 mm) and a Tellumat-designed training payload.

The modular and portable ground control station (GCS) can be networked to allow control of the ASTUS UAV by more than one pilot and payload operator geographically separated across the mission area. It consists of an operator control unit (OCU) and ground data terminal (GDT) that offer flight and mission control management of the ASTUS UAV.