Euclid: UAV command and control from a ground station

מסובב אנטנה

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Euclid antenna pedestal
Euclid antenna pedestal

Unmanned aerial systems (UAS) deployed on combat missions complete with aerial imaging or bombing (using a combat payload) are usually operated from afar by pilots who control the flight’s altitude and direction, as well as the system’s weaponry.

UAS have greater and better endurance and operation radius, currently reaching hundreds of kilometers. Their speeds and altitudes are also constantly improving. Control and reception of the data UAS produce (such as real-time video imaging) are achieved through radio signals transmitted from the UAS to the ground command and control center.

The further the UAS gets from the command and control station, the weaker the radio signal received from it on the ground. Without constant elevation of the control antenna on the ground to the UAV’s azimuth at every second, the flight, intelligence and battle systems cannot be controlled properly, and the UAS might even be lost.

The exact monitoring of the UAV out on an operational mission (far away from the ground control station), by the control antenna is done thanks to a device called ‘pedestal’, which very rapidly moves the attached antenna at very high precision (of up to 0.004 degrees).

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Unmanned systems conference 2014 – Israel

Another interesting application of the antenna pedestal is defending territorial waters or busy sea ports. Any vessel, manned or unmanned, operating in the open sea gathering a great deal of intelligence on crafts and ships travelling in its vicinity, can be fitted with a pedestal. This can be used to make continuous transmissions of the data to a permanent beach reception station, thereby overcoming the vessel’s movements as well as the discontinuations in communication which may result from an intermittent radio link to the beach station.

Euclid and UAS ground station
Euclid antenna pedestal and UAS ground station

The developer, Euclid, is an Israeli company which has been manufacturing antenna pedestals since 2007. Some of its pedestals are integrated in tracking systems installed onboard UAVs made by COMMTACT, a subsidiary of Aeronautics, as well as onboard other companies’ UAVs.

Euclid produces, per highly stringent operational specifications, antenna pedestals which are unique in that they meet the most difficult environments, including extreme weather, overweight, speed and precision.

Antenna pedestals can also carry cameras and other devices which require ongoing precision calibration and movement, so they are produced in a variety of weights and configurations in line with various applications.

Some of Euclid’s products will be showcased in the upcoming AUS&R EXPO at Rison LeZion Lake November 25-26 2014.