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07 September 2016

Land Forces 2016: Schiebel Displays CAMCOPTER S-100 UAS

Schiebel’s CAMCOPTER S-100 UAs on display above its stand #3G10 at the Land Forces 2016 exhibition is capable of fully autonomous takeoff, waypoint navigation and landing, and is powered by a 50HP rotary engine, which enables a cruising speed of 55 knots. “We are using a data link which is capable of downloading information such as camera and video feed in real time up to a distance of 200km in a line of sight operation,” Regional Sales Director Nikolaus Weihs claimed.

The S-100 is optimised for surveillance – optional payloads include stabilised day and night EO/IR gimbals, synthetic aperture radar (SAR), maritime radar and ground penetrating radar (GPSAR). It can carry a payload of up to 50kg; however, the standard configuration is a 34kg payload, which provides a flight time of up to six hours. With an additional tank, this flight time can be extended to up to 10 hours.

The key advantage of a rotary UAS is the VTOL capability, and the S-100 requires no supporting launch or recovery equipment for take-off and landing. “You do not need a runway or catapult to take off, you don’t need a runway to land, and you don’t need a catching device or a net to land,” Weihs stated. At the same time, the number of people required to operate the S-100 is significantly less than for a fixed-wing UAV. “You just need three guys; two to operate it and one for maintenance,” Weihs claimed. “A fixed-wing needs 10-12 people. For a 50kg payload, you would need a very big fixed-wing aircraft, a very big runway and a large ground station. We do not need that.”

Schiebel has sold over 200 S-100s to more than 10 customers worldwide, in places such as the UAE, Germany, France, North America, and Asia, according to the company.

Timothy Dempsey