Drone Aviation Holding, a manufacturer of tethered drones recognized in the 2018 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program for Best Persistent Aerial Monitoring Solution, is increasing its production capacity through a new partnership with an established ISO 9001-certified manufacturer and planned expansion of operations in Florida.
Following being selected by a prime contractor under an initial $3.8 million award, Drone Aviation has secured contract manufacturing operations at an ISO 9001-certified partner who will support the Company to meet its customer’s delivery schedules throughout 2019.
To accommodate potential growth, the new contract manufacturing facility has access to over 100,000 square feet of additional production and warehousing space, including flight testing facilities.
Proprietary manufacturing, software and electronics design, final assembly, as well as systems integration, will continue to take place at Drone Aviation’s headquarters in Jacksonville, Florida, and the facility will support additional engineering and product assembly operations required to fulfill obligations under the recently awarded contract.
Drone Aviation also intends to expand its manufacturing capacity through the lease of an additional facility in Florida.
“Supported by new funding, strategic investments in ISO-certified contract manufacturing, the expansion of our facilities and the recruitment of experienced personnel, we are reshaping our company into one able to scale-up to the potential we see ahead of us and meet the demands of our current, new and future customers,” said Jay Nussbaum, Chairman and CEO of Drone Aviation.
WASP Tactical Aerostat
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 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!