Czech company develops multimission Cantas unmanned aircraft system

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The Czech company New Space Technologies is developing a multipurpose Cantas unmanned aircraft system. The new Cantas UAV is designed for complete vertical launching and landing so it can be used without using any kind of launcher.

The Cantas family has three members – CANTAS A, CANTAS E and CANTAS S. Each has its mission but wide speed range and advanced maneuverability are guaranteed for any of the family members. Thanks to a detachable front container, the capabilities can be further enhanced by adding supplementary equipment according to specific mission. An innovative on-board software enables to choose between an autonomous and a manual flight mode.

The CANTAS A combines simplicity, efficiency and flexibility through an optimized powerplant which includes two electric motors and a jet engine. The combination of two kinds of power units allows both the vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) and the high horizontal speed. Thanks to an innovative on-board software, CANTAS is able to execute a fully autonomous flight or it can be manually controlled through a ground control station.

With the maximum payload weight of 10 kg (22 lbs), various types of sensor systems and associated recording devices can be installed. To achieve the best results, it is necessary to determine the main purpose of CANTAS in regard to mission requirements.

The CANTAS E is designed with the purpose of reaching the best endurance characteristics. This member of the CANTAS family is equipped with two electric motors in a combination with an internal combustion engine. Such combination allows our UAS to fly 18 hours in an economy mode while a high power engine mode provides the ability of vertical take-off and landing (VTOL).

The CANTAS S  is fit mainly for military purposes. Its airframe and power system are specially designed with the aim of reaching both the high-speed flight and the excellent maneuvering capability. Thanks to these characteristics, CANTAS S is perfectly fit to serve as an aerial target for Air Defences or as a loitering munition. CANTAS S is not VTOL as both CANTAS A and E so it is necessary to use a catapult system. For the recovery it uses a parachute system.

An innovative on-board software allows CANTAS S to execute a fully autonomous flight or it can be manually controlled via a ground control station. With the maximum payload weight of 10 kg (22 lbs), various types of sensor systems and associated recording devices can be installed as well as a proper charge for an attack mission. Nevertheless, to achieve the best results for you, it is necessary to determine the main purpose of CANTAS in regard on mission requirements.

CANTAS types A, E can be ideal for observing tangible structures, particular areas and movements of enemy forces. Objects can be monitored from the maximum height of 3.000 m (9,800 ft) above ground. While observing, CANTAS can simultaneously provide additional information such as weather conditions or terrain maps. Operator can decide whether CANTAS executes a mission autonomously following a predefined path or it is manually controlled. Switching between these two modes during a flight is possible. Thanks to the 18 h endurance, long-range or long-time missions, such as border patrolling, can be easily accomplished by CANTAS E. Ground control station receives video data as well as telemetry in real time.

The combination of high-speed flight and the excellent maneuvering capability makes CANTAS A and CANTAS S ideal for military missions such as an attack or as an aerial target. Flight can be executed autonomously or manually – operator receives video as well as telemetry in real time and it consequently gives him an opportunity to flexibly react on any change of situation on the ground. CANTAS S can be effectively used as a loitering munition when charge is loaded.

The Ground Control System is designed to control unmanned aerial vehicles and their payloads. The system is not limited to one vehicle at a time but can receive telemetry data and sensor imagery from multiple vehicles in parallel. Multiple levels of interoperability are feasible between different UAVs and their Ground Control Stations (GCSs). According to customer’s requirements, it is possible to implement new features into the control system with different interface specifications, for both the military and the civil purposes.


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