Camcopter S-100 Unmanned Air System
Camcopter S-100 is an unmanned air system (UAS) designed and developed by Schiebel, a company based in Austria. The unmanned system can be deployed for a variety of missions including border and territorial water patrol, reconnaissance, search-and-rescue, countermeasures, anti-smuggling, route surveillance, convoy protection, psychological operations, damage assessment, task forces, pollution and oil spill monitoring, minefield mapping, and other command-and-control operations.
The UAS secured a Permit to Fly from the European Aviation Safety Agency in June 2007. In February 2014, Schiebel received a contract from the Italian Navy to provide a Camcopter S-100 air system, training, integration, and spares for anti-piracy missions.
The UAS successfully demonstrated its maritime capabilities from a Dutch Navy vessel in the North Sea in April 2014.
Camcopter S-100 design and features
The Camcopter S-100 UAS has automatic vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capability and can perform operations in all weather conditions. It can operate on its own or as part of an intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR) network in joint operations.
The unmanned system has a length of 3,110mm, the main rotor diameter of 3,400mm, and a height of 1,120mm. The maximum take-off weight of the UAS is 200kg, while the empty weight and payload capacities are 110kg and 50kg respectively. The UAS can carry 57l of fuel in the internal tanks and also carries an external fuel tank. It can be optionally fitted with a harpoon deck capture system for use with any Nato grid.
Payloads aboard Camcopter S-100 UAS
The Camcopter S-100 UAS is equipped with two payload bays and an auxiliary electronics bay. The stabilized day and night electro-optical / infra-red (EO / IR) sensors and thermal surveillance equipment help capture high-definition images, which are transmitted in real-time to the ground control station (GCS) via a line of sight data link having a 180km range.
The system can carry synthetic aperture radar (SAR), maritime radar, ground-penetrating radar (GPSAR), signal intelligence (SIGINT) and communication intelligence (COMINT), communication relays, ATMID all-terrain mine detector, light detection and ranging (LIDAR) scanners, loudspeakers, transponders, dropping containers and under-slung loads.
The UAS is also equipped with a Remotely Operated Video Enhanced Receiver (ROVER) system for surveillance and two side payload hardpoints.
The system navigates using an inertial navigation system (INS) and a global positioning system (GPS) and is fitted with Riegl VQ-820-GU Hydrographic Airborne Sensor, Thales I-Master radar system and a CORONA 350 airborne sensor, and a Shine micro automatic identification system.
Propulsion and performance of Camcopter S-100
The Camcopter S-100 UAS is powered by a Wankel-type rotary engine, which produces a power of 50hp. The engine runs on 100 octane-grade avgas or 95 octanes lead-free petrol. The drone can be optionally powered by Schiebel’s heavy fuel engine, which supports the use of JP-5 (F-44), Jet A-1 (F-35), and JP-8 (F-34) fuels.
The UAS has a maximum airspeed of 130kts and a typical cruise speed of 100kts. It can execute missions for up to six hours, flying at a loiter speed of 55kts with a payload of 34kg.
The air system has a service ceiling of 18,000ft in international standard atmosphere (ISA) conditions and can operate in temperatures ranging from -40°C to +55°C.
Flight tests of the S-100 UAS
The UAS performed a series of flight tests from an offshore patrol vessel for the Indian Navy in the Arabian Sea in November 2007. It successfully conducted reconnaissance missions from the Pakistan Navy’s Type 21 frigate in the Arabian Sea in April 2008. In September 2008, the German Navy conducted flight trials of the UAS from the K130 Class corvettes for the intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR) capabilities in the Baltic Sea.
The unmanned system demonstrated its maritime capabilities from the French Navy’s Montcalm frigate in the Mediterranean in October 2008. The Austrian Army conducted test flights of the UAS for field exercise in the military training area at Allentsteig, north of Vienna, in December 2008.
The UAS demonstrated psychological operations for the US Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) in December 2009. The UAS also demonstrated its capabilities to the Spanish military and government departments in November 2010.
The Italian Navy conducted a test flight of UAS from its Soldati Class frigate, ITS Bersagliere, in April 2012.