ASN-104/105 Unmanned Reconnaissance Aerial Vehicle
||ASN-104 (D-4) unmanned aerial vehicle (Chinese Internet)
The ASN-104 (also known as D-4) tactical unmanned reconnaissance aerial vehicle (URAV) was developed by Xi'an ASN Technology Group Company, a commercial company of the Northwest Polytechnic University (NPU) in early 1980s. The ASN-105 is an improved variant introduced in the early 1990s. The ASN-104/105 was the first generation indigenous tactical URAV in service with the PLA, designed for battlefield reconnaissance, day/night surveillance, border patrol, artillery spotting, and aerial photography and prospecting roles.
NPU began to develop a lightweight tactical battlefield surveillance UAV in the early 1980s. The resulted D-4 (ASN-104) made its first flight in October 1983 and entered batch production in 1985. The D-4 was designed for military reconnaissance and civil aerial photographic survey. The onboard optical and night vision cameras can provide real-time TV images of the battlefield within 60km range. The ASN-105 was developed in the mid-1980s based on the ASN-104, but with an extended range of 100km and an improved ground control system.
The ASN-104 has high-mounted wings, slightly tapered from roots to tips. The ASN-105’s wings are high-mounted, straight to the midsection, and tapered from mid-wing to tips. The engine is a single, prop-driven engine in the nose section. The fuselage is round and tapers to front and rear, with fixed landing pads. The tail flats are high-mounted on the body and equally tapered. The fin is equally tapered.
The ASN-104/105 is powered by a HS-510 four cylinder dual ignition air cooled piston engine with a power rating of 22kw. The engine uses ordinary automobile fuel.
A complete UAV system comprises six UAVs and a ground control station. The ground control station consists of a command & control vehicle, a mobile control vehicle, a mobile photo processing vehicle, and a mobile television image processing vehicle. The UAV is launched by rocket boosters from a mobile launcher, and recovered by parachute. The UAV is fitted with an under-fuselage impact absorbing device to minimise the damage caused during recovering.
The UAV is fitted with an aerial photographic camera and a television imaging system with night vision channel. The imagery intelligence can be transmitted to the ground station in real-time, or stored in data storage devices. In a typical mission, the photographic camera can cover an area of up to 1,700 square kilometres. The size of the photo is 18cm X 18cm. Later variants could carry night vision devices and CCD cameras.
||The ground control station of the ASN-105 system (Source: Chinese Internet)
The ground station of the ASN-104 includes the radio tracking system, radio remote-control system, radio positioning and television image processing equipment. Each control station has two crewmembers: a navigator/commander and a UAV controller. If necessary, the radio tracking and remote-controlling systems can be disintegrated from the command and control vehicle and become man-portable. The aerial photographic photos and television images are processed in the mobile photo processing vehicle (dark room) and the mobile television image processing vehicle respectively.
The ASN-105 has an integrated radio tracking/remote-controlling system which can perform the tracking and controlling of the UAVs. The system is fully computerised. The UAV can fly according to the pre-programmed autopilot, and can be switched into remote-controlling mode at any stage of the flight. The system can be assisted by a tripod-mounted signal relay system, which can be carried by crewmembers in the mountain regions to receive and re-send the image signals.
Weight: Max take-off 140kg; Max mission payload 30kg
Speed: Max 250km/h; Cruising 150km/h
Flight endurance: 2 hours
Service ceiling: 3,200m
Remote control distance: 60km (ASN-104), 100km (ASN-105)
Last update: 1 February 2009