Drone Aviation, a manufacturer of tethered drones recognized in the 2018 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program for Best Persistent Aerial Monitoring Solution, has concluded U.S. Army operator training on the newly delivered Winch Aerostat Small Platform (WASP) Elevated Relay System (ERS) at a U.S. Army base in the Pacific ocean.
WASP ERS is the latest generation of tactical aerostats, and features simultaneous multi-mission capabilities for extended range communications up to 40km.
This capability utilizes multi-frequency and multi-wave form radios operating in parallel with high performance ISR payloads designed for day/night Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions.
The WASP tactical aerostats were part of a 1.7 Million U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) contract delivered in October 2018, and was the third repeat order for the WASP, as a result of a growing number of successful international deployments with military personnel.
(The Pentagon announced in March that it had ordered camera-toting, helium-filled balloon-style drones known as the Winch Aerostat Small Platform, or WASP. Courtesy of United News International and YouTube. Posted on Mar 28, 2018.)
“We are proud that our team was able to work closely with our Army customer to complete the soldier training on the WASP ERS’ enhanced multi-mission capability,” said Jay Nussbaum, Chairman and CEO of Drone Aviation.
“This is the third WASP order from this customer, a testament to the positive feedback we continue to receive from the soldiers, and we look forward to further meeting their evolving mission requirements and supporting their future operations.”
The WASP is a highly tactical and mobile aerostat system which can be operated by as few as two soldiers and can provide day/night video, secure multi-frequency and multi-wave form wireless communication range extension capability at the edge of the battlefield from either a stationary position or while being towed.
(See a brief overview of the WASP tactical-sized aerostat. Courtesy of Drone Aviation and YouTube. Posed on Feb 19, 2018.)
Over the past four years, U.S. Army-owned WASP systems have successfully completed thousands of hours of soldier training operations, various DoD exercises, and customer operations.
WASP is currently being utilized by the DoD as a mobile, tactical aerial solution that can support multi-mission profiles involving ground and aerial-based assets through communication retransmission.
Operating at altitudes of up to 1,500 feet AGL, the WASP system can significantly extend ISR capabilities and secure communications in remote and austere locations.
The soldier-operated systems can be rapidly configured to support a variety of mission requirements for days, weeks or months with customized payloads.
WASP Operational Description
“Today’s military and security forces are increasingly demanding persistent, mobile, small footprint tactical solutions that can do more without high acquisition costs and significant contractor logistical support, requirements that the WASP is uniquely able to meet,” explained a representative of Drone Aviation.
- Mobile, rapidly reconfigurable aerostat
- HMMWV OR truck deployed
- Setup to operating in 30 minutes
- Days-duration flight time
- 10X the height of existing tower capability
- Supports a variety of payloads to include communications, ISR and SIGINT
- Operationally flexible – deploy and launch from fixed or remote site
- Low total cost of ownership (TCO)
- Modular launcher can be dropped on ground, rooftop, or military depot trailer (M1101/02)
- Launcher can be tendered to commercial freight (not roll-on, roll-off cargo via Dover AFB MAC)
Benefits to the Warfighter
- Enables assured communications to the tactical edge
- Links Aviation (Roamer Net) and Ground Maneuver (SINCGARS to SRW)
- Enables operational dispersion and increased OPTEMPO
- Reduces need to jump towers forward (force protection)
- Supports scouts / special units that “outrun” or operate beyond the existing network
- Enhances Mission Command on the Move
- Envelope Diameter: 15-22 feet
- Payload Lift Capacity: 20 to 130lbs.
- Flight Altitude: Up to 1500 ft AGL
- Launch Altitude: Up to 6000 ft MSL
- 8 km human detection, 40 mile communication range
- Lifting Gas: Helium (non-flammable, supplied from tanker or carried on launcher)
- Operational Cycle: Persistent
- Includes Rapid Deflation Device (RDD)
Drone Aviation Takes Home the Gold in the 2018 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program
Best Persistent Aerial Monitoring Solution
WASP Tactical Aerostat
The Annual ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program is specifically designed to honor distinguished government and vendor solutions that deliver enhanced value, benefit and intelligence to end users in a variety of government, homeland security and public safety vertical markets.
Over 130 distinguished guests representing National, State and Local Governments, and Industry Leading Corporate Firms, gathered from across North America, Europe and the Middle East to be honored among their peers in their respective fields which included:
- The Department of Homeland Security
- The Federal Protective Service (FPS)
- Argonne National Laboratory
- The Department of Homeland Security
- The Department of Justice
- The Security Exchange Commission Office of Personnel Management
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection
- Viasat, Hanwha Techwin, Lenel, Konica Minolta Business Solutions, Verint, Canon U.S.A., BriefCam, Pivot3, Milestone Systems, Allied Universal, Ameristar Perimeter Security and More!