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UAV Predator
 
      UAV   RQ-1A  Predator is a medium-altitude, long endurance unmanned aerial vehicle system ( UAV= Unmanned Aerial Vehicle). UAV system is for surveillance , reconnaisance and target mission (and later model can also attack). A contact was awarded to General Atomics Aeronautical Systems in January 1994. The Predator system first flew in 1994 and entered production in Auust 1997.
     "R" is the department of defense designation for RECONNAISANCE , "Q" is unmanned aircraft system, "1" refers to it being the first of the series, "A" is the first version of RQ-1 system series. The Predator system is composed of : the air vehicle with its associated sensors and communications equipment , the ground control station (GCS) , a Trojan Spirit II Satcom communication system.
      Air vehicle is a mid-wing monoplane with a slender fuselage housing the payload and fuel. The wings have a high aspect ratio. Air vehicle has inverted V tails. A four cylinder Rotax engine that requires 100-octane aviation gasoline powers the air vehicle.
      Each Predator air vehicle can be disassembled into six main components and load into a container nicknamed " the coffin " . The GCS (Ground Control Station) is the largest component and it is designed to be transport into an C-130.
     Trojan Spirit II consists of a 6.1 meter satellite dish , a 2.4 meter dish, and associated support equipment. It provides communications between the ground station and the aircraft when it is beyond line-of-sight and is a link into secondary intelligence dissemination networks.
      UAV Predator was operated in Bosnia since 1995. Their intelligence gathering capabilities have been exploited by NATO ,UN , and US forces in over 600 missions. In October of 2001 the Predator was deployed to Afghanistan to provide intelligence and a strike capability to the war against the torror. On February 2001 a Hellfire-C, Laser-Guided missile was fired from a Predator successfully. This weaponization of Predator includes installing hard points on the wings and reinforceing the wings to support the Hellfire missile. This adaptation of Predator was direct result of lessons learned during the NATO air campaign against Yugoslavia in 1999. When Predator located military targets, by the time the attack aircraft arrived on the target, the military targets were already gone. With armed Predators, targets located by Predator can be attacked immediately with its Hellfire-C missiles.
      In January 2000 , the Predator B program became a jointly-fund by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. (GA-ASI) and NASA . Predator B-001 is equipped with a GE TPE-331-10T turboprop engine. The Predator B series will have increased speed to allow it to transit and be repositioned quickly to new operating areas and capable of carry of more payloads such as larger and more capable camera system, a laser target designator , weapons and other detection systems.
      Payload: Sensors Electro-Optical (EO) / Infrared (IR) , two day-light video cameras and an IR camera mounted on a stabilized gimbal. Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) will produces a series of spot ( approx. 800m x 800m box at 15000 AGL) continuous, near real time, high resolution and transmitted over KU band data link via satellite relay to ground control station (GCS). Data Link, all onboard data link equipment is located in the forwaed airframe compartment. The GCS is linked to a TROJAN SPIRIT II, capable of SATCOM (Satellite Communication) relay. The GCS will have HF, UHF, VHF and SHF available.
      Control of air vehicle and transmission of imagery from air vehicle to the GCS is through one or more of the following links ; C-band Line-of-Sight 5.25-5.85 MHz, an Ultra High Frequency (UHF 244.0 MHz - 318.0 MHz), or KU band 11.45-14.5 GHz.
 
UAV Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Specification
 
Power Plant Rotax 912 4 cylinder four-stroke
Number of Engine   1
Engine Power 2555 rpm 85 hp
Propeller Pusher 60 inches adjustable variable pitch
Fuel Aviation gasoline 100 Octane
Fuel Capacity   100 gall.(665 lbs)
Wing Span   14.8 m.(48.7 ft)
Fuselage Length   8.1 m.(26.7 ft)
Speed   up to 80 mph (70 kt)
Empty Weight   950 lbs
Max Takeoff Weight   2,250 lbs
Takeoff Distance   470 m.
Runway Requirement   5,000 ft.
Operation Radius   400 nm.
Ceiling   25,000 ft.
Payload   450 lbs
Pilot   Without Pilot
Armament   laser guide missile
 
UAV Ground Control Station
 
1 nm.(nautical mile) = 1.15155 miles, 1 kt (knot) = 1.15155 mile / hr.
1 mach = 761 mph.(SL,ISA)


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