Drone Aviation Manufacturing Grows to Meet Increasing Demand (Videos)

2018 'ASTORS' Award-Winning Drone Aviation Increasing Production to Support Recent Multi-Million Dollar Award
2018 'ASTORS' Award-Winning Drone Aviation Increasing Production to Support Recent Multi-Million Dollar Award. Pictured here,

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.

Jay Nussbaum, Chairman and CEO of Drone Aviation Corp.
Jay Nussbaum, Chairman and CEO of Drone Aviation Corp.

“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.

Winch Aerostat Small Platform, or WASP
Winch Aerostat Small Platform, or WASP

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.

WASP leverages well-understood aerostat technology to elevate network payloads to an advantaged height to enable persistent network connectivity while reducing risk to units conducting retransmission operations. Common applications include extending network communications and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
WASP leverages well-understood aerostat technology to elevate network payloads to an advantaged height to enable persistent network connectivity while reducing risk to units conducting retransmission operations. Common applications include extending network communications and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

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

Drone Aviation

2018 ASTORS Gold

  • 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.

2018 'ASTORS' Homeland Security Awards Luncheon at ISC East
2018 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Luncheon at ISC East

The 2018 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program drew an overwhelming response from industry leaders with a record high number of corporate and government nominations received, as well as record breaking ‘ASTORS’ Presentation Luncheon Attendees, with top firms trying to register for the exclusive high – end luncheon and networking opportunity – right up to the event kickoff on Wednesday afternoon, at the ISC East registration!

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!

The Annual ‘ASTORS’ Awards is the preeminent U.S. Homeland Security Awards Program highlighting the most cutting-edge and forward-thinking security solutions coming onto the market today, to ensure our readers have the information they need to stay ahead of the competition, and keep our Nation safe – one facility, street, and city at a time.

The 2018 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program was Proudly Sponsored by ATI SystemsAttivo NetworksAutomatic SystemsDesktop Alertand Royal Holdings Technologies.

2018 Champions Edition

See the 2018 ‘ASTORS’ Champions Edition – ‘Best Products of 2018 ‘ Year in Review’ for in-depth coverage of the outstanding products and services of firms receiving American Security Today’s 2018‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards.’

Nominations for the AST 2019 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program will officially open as of January 1st, 2019 at americansecuritytoday.com.

Enter Early to Maximize Media Coverage of your Products and Services at Kickoff, and Get the Recognition Your Organization Deserves!

And be sure to Register Early for the 2019 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Presentation Luncheon at ISC East 2019 to ensure your place at this limited- space event!

2018 'ASTORS' Homeland Security Awards Luncheon at ISC East
2018 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Luncheon at ISC East

Why the 2018 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program?

American Security Today’s comprehensive Annual Homeland Security Awards Program is organized to recognize the most distinguished vendors of physical, IT, port security, law enforcement, and first responders, in acknowledgment of their outstanding efforts to ‘Keep our Nation Secure, One City at a Time.’

Why American Security Today?

American Security Today is uniquely focused on the broader Homeland Security & Public Safety marketplace with over 70,000 readers at the Federal, State and local levels of government as well as firms allied to government.

The old traditional security marketplace has been covered by a host of security publications that have changed little over many years.

American Security Today brings forward a fresh compelling look and read with our customized digital publications that provides our readers with solutions to their challenges.

Our Editorial staff provides a full plate of topics for our AST monthly digital editions, AST Website and AST Daily News Alerts.

The editorial calendar and AST’s high drawing website features 23 different Technology and Marketing Sectors such as Access Control, Perimeter Protection, Video Surveillance/Analytics, Airport Security, Border Security, CBRNE Detection, Border Security, Ports, Cybersecurity, Networking Security, Encryption, Law Enforcement, First Responders, Campus Security, Security Services, Corporate Facilities and Emergency Response among others.

These sectors are part of the new integration, where these major applications communicate with one another in a variety of solutions to protect our cities and critical infrastructure.

AST has Expanded readership into vital Critical Infrastructure audiences such as Protection of Nuclear Facilities, Water Plants & Dams, Bridges & Tunnels, and other Potential targets of terrorism.

Other areas of concern include Transportation Hubs, Public Assemblies, Government Facilities, Sporting & Concert Stadiums, our Nation’s Schools & Universities, and Commercial Business Destinations – enticing targets for extremist or lone wolf attacks due to the large number of persons and resources clustered together.

Learn More…

Drone Aviation Delivers WASP Tactical Aerostats to US DoD (Videos)