Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Turkey's MALE UAV Makes Test Flight

Turkey's first medium-altitude, long-endurance UAV made its first test flight Dec. 31.

Dubbed the ANKA, the 600-kilogram UAV flew for 14 minutes, said officials from Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), Turkey's main aerospace company and the UAV's developer.

The whole composite airframe is composed of a monoblock fuselage, detachable wing and V-Tail, retractable landing gear, redundant control surfaces, avionics and payload bays and service doors. The sandwich skin structure is reinforced by composite or metallic frames, ribs and supports. Propelled by a pusher type heavy fuel engine, the aircraft is furnished with fuselage fuel tanks and fuel system, ice protection system, environmental control system, lighting system, redundant electrical system with battery backup and harness system.

The platform is also equipped with a digital flight control system, electro-mechanical actuators, and flight control sensor systems such as pitot-static, air data computer, navigation sensor, transducers, temperature, pressure, displacement sensors, etc. Various tasks are distributed along flight management computers and auxiliary control boxes. Identification and communication units and interface computers are employed in order to establish real time wide band communication and provide test and diagnostics functions. An air traffic radio is also integrated in the communication system for the integration of the aircraft into the civilian airspace. All flight critical equipment are dual or triple redundant and emergency modes of operational scenarios are taken into consideration for fail safe design.

All flight software configuration items embedded on both the air and ground equipment are being developed indigenously by TAI. In a similar manner, all mission hardware and software are aimed to be developed by national sub-contractors, such as Aselsan.

TIHA operations are supported by highly sophisticated ground systems. Whole mission segments of the air vehicle can be managed, monitored and controlled by a GCS. A pre-programmed mission plan can be loaded before the flight begins or can be altered during the flight. All the imagery stream of the payloads can be displayed and recorded in real time and all the payloads can be controlled from the GCS. ATOLS allows the air vehicle to perform its operation without operator intervention, including the most critical phases which are landing and take-off.

In TIES, valuable intelligence information can be obtained by the analysis of bulky imagery data. TIES operators can initiate intelligence missions prior to or during flight. Refined information flows to the upper command layer in order to assist the headquarters to monitor a network of TIHA systems and benefit from the gathered intelligence information. Another interface of the TIHA system is the RVT, with which other friend unions who are close to the target area can utilize the real time imagery that TIHA air vehicle broadcasts.

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