Mission Sensor Technology
ADE is in the forefront of the development of Stabilized Gimbal Payload Assemblies (GPAs). As a part of its UAV program, ADE has developed two-axes two-gimbal stabilized payload assemblies for medium altitude NISHANT air vehicle. These gimbal assemblies carry single Electro-optic (EO) payload (DTV) as well as Dual EO payloads (DTV + FLIR). The target acquisition ranges of two-axes two-gimbal assemblies are limited to 5.0 km for a tank sized target. ADE also undertook the design and development of precision stabilized EO Payload System for medium range target acquisition and tracking during day and night. The system, suitable for manned and unmanned aircraft, is capable of detecting a tank sized target at a range of 20 km and recognizing at a range of 8 km.
Flight Mechanics and Control Engineering
ADE is involved in Design and Development of Digital Electro Mechanical Actuators (EMA) and Flight control and guidance sensors. In a continuing effort to augment the indigenous EMA technology, ADE has embarked on the design, development of the Control Surface Actuators (CSA) and FLAP Actuators for RUSTOM II UAV. This is the first CEMILAC certified Digital EMA.
These EMA actuation systems were developed in FMCE Division at ADE that has incorporated various new technologies in par with the systems currently being developed around the world. The field of BLDC motor based digital Electro Mechanical Actuation System is a relatively new one, and encompasses innovative integration of several technologies from different fields of knowledge, both existing and emerging.
These indigenously designed digital EMA actuators can be used for all the current and future projects of ADE. This EMA system developed in ADE integrates both the hardware and software as a digital Actuator Controller Electronics that is enclosed inside a mechanical enclosure.
Flight Control Sensors
The sensors Group has provided state of the art inertial and Global Navigation Satellite System sensors for the UAV flight control and guidance. The novel ATOL scheme, DGPS based on GAGAN (Indian SBAS) augmented with Radio altimeter has been evaluated on manned aircraft and RUSTOM II is the first to adapt this Scheme in India and it has been used successfully. This scheme will be used for all future project of ADE for ATOL.
Airborne Computer Technology for Telemetry
ADE has designed and developed many airborne computers for telemetry and telecommand like Rustom-I, Rustom-2 Airborne Encoder- Decoder (AED), PCM Encoder for Rustom-I and RUSTOM-2.
Antenna Technologies for UAVs
ADE has acquired experience and expertise through innovation driven antenna technologies and solutions for all the indigenous UAV programmes. A large number of state-of-art antennas has been designed and developed for airborne and ground applications with total in-house efforts. A comprehensive multi- disciplinary approach based on simulation and experimental study and analysis has been adopted for antenna configuration and design controls for predicting UAV antenna performance as a system. They have been utilized in solving real challenges offered by the different UAV platforms viz. Lakshya (1&2), Nishant, Micro & Mini UAVs, Rustom-1, Sudarshan, Nirbhay, TAPAS, SWiFT etc. The configuration and type of antennas are unique for every platform as the UAV specifies the features and specific technical requirement of the antennas to be used and they have been designed and tailored accordingly. The antenna products, technologies and methods that ADE has already developed, adopted and associated are :
- Omni Antennas. Dipole, Monopoles, Slotted Blades for airborne application for various datalink in UHF, L, S, C & X- Band operation. The types and configuration of these antennas are varied based on the applicable UAV platform.
- EM Simulation Study & Analysis. Aircraft mounted antenna radiation pattern perturbation analysis to optimize locations for each of the UAV platform. RCS analysis and prediction for various systems.
- Printed Dipole, Printed Monopole, Printed Crossed Dipole antennas in S & C Band for datalink communication. Incorporation of DC short circuit to these antennas through innovative concept & technique. Integrated three-in-one antennae embedded in a vertical mast for critical command, telemetry and payload application.
- Use of Advanced Conformal Antenna Technology. Wrap around telemetry antennas for missile platforms. Novel approach to design Frustum shaped conformal antenna and conformal configuration of GPS antenna.
- Compact microstrip array based monopulse antenna technology with integrated hybrid and scan converter circuit. Steerable microstrip array for airborne relay system.
- Passive radar augmenter using Luneberg Lens for critical airborne targets. Trihedral for remote control target boat.
- Yagi Antennas, LPDA, Collinear Dipole, Low profile omni antennas.
- Conceptual development of Metamaterial based antennas, FSS radomes.
Design & Development of Scoring Systems
ADE has successfully designed and developed scoring systems using state-of-the-art technologies for developing acoustic and Doppler scoring systems. All the design, development, testing, qualification, verification, validation and integration with the Lakshya tow-body have been successfully completed. The Doppler Miss Distance Indicator (DMDI) is used extensively for target practice application. The airborne DMDI operates on FM- CW Homodyne principle. The Acoustic Miss Distance Indicator (AMDI) picks up the shock wave generated by the supersonic projectile. The target echo signals are picked up by the airborne system and then telemetered to the ground control station in real time. The Doppler signal is processed at the ground station. The ground station displays the results to the users in the real time.
Payload Data Exploitation System
ADE has demonstrated target geo-location and artillery fire correction in the absence of laser range finder in Nishant UAV which has been delivered to the user. ADE also designed & developed Next-Generation Ground Image Exploitation System (NG-GIES), comparable in many aspects to the state-of-the-art, and only one of its kind in India, is a platform for extraction, exploitation and dissemination of imagery intelligence to cater to real-time/ near real-time image exploitation and target related activities using the images transmitted from UAV payloads.
Ground Image Exploitation System (GIES) for Nishant UAV
The Ground Image Exploitation System (GIES) is developed with state-of-the-art hardware and image exploitation software to acquire, store, retrieve, process, analyze, interpret, display and disseminate information from imagery obtained during UAV mission. The GIES located in the Ground Control Station of Nishant UAV has undergone successful field trials. Military and intelligence analysts can view live video imagery from the UAV and powerful tools are available for further exploitation.
ADE nurtures a thriving Composite Technology Centre (CTC) with the following key mandates:
- Fabrication of prototype composite components using advanced composite materials and processes.
- Testing and characterisation of raw materials and composites through mechanical testing, thermo-analytical techniques, NDT techniques, physical characterisation and related techniques.
- Develop and standardize improved composite manufacturing processes.
- Perform applied research on advanced polymeric composite materials for futuristic UAVs.
Major composite products & technologies include:
- Polymer matrix composite solutions for airframe structures for UAVs and UCAVs
- Stealth Structures
- Thin wall and sandwich radomes for broadband applications
- Light-weight composites for EMI shielding applications
- Structural Health Monitoring of composite airframes etc.
ADE has numerous publications and multiple international patents in respect of these technologies.
Airborne Guidance and Control System (AGCS) for CADS
ADE along with ADRDE has successfully developed the Airborne Guidance and Control System (AGCS) for CADS. CADS is an aerial delivery system that delivers a payload of 500 kg autonomously to a designated target within a 100m circular error probability (CEP) using Ram Air Parachute (RAP). RAP can be easily maneuvered, as it can glide and turn. Flight Control System of CADS automatically steers RAP to designated point by operating its two lanyards as a function of the cross-track error in the flight path and heading errors etc. Upon completion of descent, a flare maneuver is performed for accomplishing soft landing.