The ATLAS C4EYE (Advanced Technology Light Acquisition/ATAK System) is a new fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) developed by C-Astral, a part of the Terra Drone Group.
The micro UAV was deployed by C-Astral in a series of flight and feasibility trials conducted with Nato units in 2019.
It can be used in surveillance, convoy support, target detection, search-and-rescue, special operations, first responder missions, fire control, civilian defence, infrastructure control, and security missions.
ATLAS C4EYE design and features
ATLAS C4EYE UAV features a blended wing body (BWB) fuselage made of advanced composite materials. Its airframe offers high stability and low radar signature.
The aircraft’s fuselage integrates IP-67 rated connectors and seals to enable landing in water. Advanced aerodynamics and low noise signature further make ATLAS UAV stealthy and quiet.
The unmanned aircraft can operate at extreme temperature, while its modular construction allows for rapid in-field repairs and replacements. Its scalable architecture enables the integration of sensors in future.
ATLAS C4EYE has a length of 82cm and a wingspan of 155cm. It is compact and light in weight, enabling to be hand-launched and recovered with a parachute flight termination system, ensuring full payload safety.
The UAV is designed to be launched in less than three minutes. Its maximum take-off weight (MTOW) and payload capacity are 2.7kg and 0.3kg, respectively.
The UAV is installed with an EYE-X HD stabilised multi-sensor gimbal integrating a high-resolution, uncooled long-wave infrared (LWIR) thermal camera and an optional laser pointer. The LWIR thermal imager works in black hot, white hot, and false colour modes and produces clear IR images with 640×480 resolution.
The small camera offers superior magnification and features two electro-optical (EO) imagers with different fields of view (FOV) and digital zoom.
The unmanned aircraft can identify, monitor, track, and geo-locate targets, points of interest, and infrastructure during day and night.
ATLAS C4EYE navigation and communications
ATLAS C4EYE features a modular data link bay, which enables the operator to switch between different radios, frequencies, transponders, or encryption levels, in accordance with the mission requirements and regulatory guidelines.
It can be integrated into different command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence (C4I) platforms through C-Astral’s command, control, communications, and planning software for operations in controlled airspace. The software allows the operator to plan and implement flight operations and control flight parameters and payload in real-time. It also supports data collection and post-mission analysis.
The ATLAS avionics suite installed in the aircraft further ensures interoperability with the BRAMOR series of ground segments and command and control software.
The UAV can be optionally equipped with anti-collision strobe lights and navigation lights, as well as an emergency beacon locator.
Ground control station
ATLAS C4EYE is operated by an ergonomic, user-friendly, and rugged ground control station. The man-portable system is stowed into a MILSPEC, water-resistant case or backpack. The ground control station is manned by a single operator or pilot.
The optional tactical remote viewing station further ensures high-speed wireless IP networking for encrypted voice communication.
Engine and performance
The UAV is equipped with a C-Astral brushless electric motor powered by a lithium-polymer battery pack. The electric motor drives a two-bladed propeller.
The electric propulsion system provides a cruise speed of 15m/sec and a maximum speed of 30m/sec. The UAV has an operational range of 15km and can reach a maximum altitude of 5,000m. It offers a maximum endurance of 90 minutes.