Drone Aviation Corporation, a manufacturer of tethered drones and lighter-than-air aerostats, is pleased to announce the company’s WASP Tactical Aerostat has been nominated to compete in the 2018 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program.
The Winch Aerostat Small Platform, or WASP, is a mobile, tactical-sized aerostat capable of carrying a variety of payloads in support of military operations.
WASP extends stand-off range for detection and communication.
The self-contained launcher/trailer allows lightly-trained crews of 2-3 soldiers to operate from austere locations and can be flown for long duration (days and weeks at a time only requiring helium top offs).
(See a brief overview of the WASP tactical-sized aerostat. Courtesy of Drone Aviation and YouTube. Posed on Feb 19, 2018.)
The WASP has participated in a series of the Army’s Network Integration Experiment (NIE) and has been recognized as a solution that can support the warfighter.
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 fixed, stationary position or while being towed.
Over the past four years, U.S. Army-owned WASP systems have successfully completed thousands of hours of soldier training operations, various Department of Defense (DoD) exercises, and customer operations.
Drone Aviation has integrated both advanced communications and optical sensors onto the WASP adding new mission capabilities that were previously only available on much larger, multi-million-dollar stationary aerostat systems such as the Persistent Ground Surveillance System (PGSS) aerostats.
With these new capabilities, the WASP aerostat can now support multiple advanced communications and optical payloads simultaneously, greatly expanding its mission flexibility to include a wider array of ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) support requirements.
The upgraded payload system now also includes secure voice and data network range extension highlighted by the ability to extend communications to over 30km.
This secure communications range extension is made possible by a unique and proprietary architecture providing encryption technology enabling the radio asset to be safely located at the Tactical Operations Center (TOC) or other facility on the ground, rather than on the airborne aerostat.
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)
(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.)
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.
Drone Aviation Corporation Competes in 2018 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program
AST focuses on Homeland Security and Public Safety Breaking News, the Newest Initiatives and Hottest Technologies in Physical & IT Security, essential to meeting today’s growing security challenges.
The 2018 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program, is organized to recognize the most distinguished vendors of Physical, IT, Port Security, Law Enforcement, Border Security, First Responders, (Fire, EMT, Military, Support Services Vets, SBA, Medical Tech) as well as the Federal, State, County and Municipal Government Agencies – to acknowledge their outstanding efforts to ‘Keep our Nation Secure, One City at a Time.
As an ‘ASTORS’ competitor, Drone Aviation’s WASP will be competing against the industry’s leading providers of Innovative Persistent Aerial Monitoring Solution.
To Learn More about the ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program, see 2017 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Award Winners Honored at ISC East.
Over 100 distinguished guests from National, State and Local Governments, and Industry Leading Corporate Executives from companies allied to Government, gathered from across North America and the Middle East to be honored from disciplines across the Security Industry in their respective fields which included representatives from:
- The Department of Homeland Security
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection
- The Department of Justice
- The Security Exchange Commission
- State and Municipal Law Enforcement Agencies
- The Royal Canadian Mounted Police
- Leaders in Private Security