Argentinian Airforce develops the VIGIA 2. A class 2 MALE UAV designed for performing tactical and search and rescue missions, among others. This fully autonomous UAV is endowed with a 50kg payload capacity enabling a wide variety of operations.VIGIA 2 MALE UAV is the evolution of the AUCAN, a class I fixed-wing UAV. AUCAN is a 150Kg aircraft designed for tactical operations and operator training. The installation of the Veronte Autopilot within the AUCAN has permitted to use it for pilot training and payload testing before its integration within the MALE UAV version.
Veronte Autopilot in MALE UAV
Veronte Autopilot provides tactical and MALE UAV systems with fully autonomous capabilities permitting to operate the system in a fully automatic mode from takeoff to landing. This high level of UAV automation is achieved thanks to the versatility given by the Veronte Autopilot. Flight phases, control loops, automation, and many other functionalities have been custom configured for end-user needs.
The MALE aircraft system is aimed for Medium-Altitude High-Range operations. For this, the Veronte Autopilot has been extensively tested to ensure that it will withstand the severe conditions found in real operation. High temperatures, severe maneuvers, high altitudes, short and harsh runways… must be supported by the system. In addition to mechanical testing, Veronte Autopilot is developed in compliance with DO178 standard for onboard software so software reliability can be warranted.
Advanced gimbal control is configured within the system so Fly-By-Camera operations can be performed. This advanced control mode is aimed for surveillance and SAR (Search And Rescue) missions. When operating in Fly-By-Camera mode it is possible to guide the UAV by pointing the gimbal camera. The aircraft flies in the direction in which the camera is pointing reducing operator workload and easing the MALE UAV control.Long-range operations are permitted with the use of Veronte Tracker. This autonomous antenna pointing system installs high gain directional antennas for video and communications. This device embeds all sensors needed to automatically point the antennas in aircraft direction. Maximizing the operation range in the MALE UAV system.
In order to manage UAV flights, the ground control station is installed within a vehicle. The mobile control station provides a high grade of versatility to the system, permitting to easily transport the center of operations to the area of interest. This advanced control station for UAVs contains multiple screens and joysticks with a redundant architecture that makes it robust to any system failure.
Argentinian Airforce is a reference when it comes to inhouse development of a MALE UAV for air force operations. At Embention we are very grateful that we can be part of this exciting project.