TCOM 17M Tactical Class Aerostat Enhances Port Security, Provides Actionable Intelligence and Improves Time from Detect to Engage for Naval forces in Demonstration at Naval Base San Diego

TCOM’s 17M aerostat system, equipped with a Wescam MX10 sensor, will demonstrate the capabilities of Tactical Class aerostats in the maritime domain. These portable, rapid-deploying systems provide comprehensive surveillance for naval vessels both afloat and ashore in a port environment.

Columbia, Maryland – TCOM, L.P., the global leader in lighter-than-air (LTA) persistent surveillance solutions announced that its 17M Tactical Class aerostat will take part in a demonstration this week at Naval Base San Diego for the DoD Physical Security Enterprise & Analysis Group (PSEAG) Integrated Waterside Security Concept Demonstration (IWS-CD) under the Naval Warfare Development Command’s (NWDC)FY14 U.S. Fleet Forces Command Fleet Experimentation Program (FLEX). TCOM’s aerostat system is designed to increase the time from detect to engage, empowering sailors with enhanced situational awareness.

TCOM’s 17M aerostat system, equipped with a Wescam MX10 sensor, will demonstrate the capabilities of Tactical Class aerostats in the maritime domain. These portable, rapid-deploying systems provide comprehensive surveillance for naval vessels both afloat and ashore in a port environment.

TCOM 17M at San Diego Naval Base

“When naval vessels are moored or transiting port waters, they are subject to unique surveillance and security challenges,” stated TCOM President Ron Bendlin. Threats such as small, fast moving boats aren’t easily detectable using traditional ship-mounted cameras. The aerostat system addresses that challenge by providing elevated, 360-degree continuous aerial surveillance, which can be rapidly deployed either from a vessel or from land at a very low operating cost.”

Traditionally, Navy has relied on electro-optic and infrared cameras mounted on vessels or on towers to provide video surveillance of ships at port. These cameras offer limited range near the surface of the water. Add in the constant traffic of the port environment, as well as obstructions, and the port setting offers numerous opportunities for threats to pass undetected using current technologies.

TCOM’s aerostat system acts as a “virtual fence” around vessels or around the port perimeter, providing continuous, real time monitoring of activities from an aerial perspective. The camera turret mounted on the aerostat increases the sensor’s area of coverage and reduces blind spots due to obstructions. With this elevated perspective, the system is able to detect threats that would have gone unnoticed. Most importantly, it detects threats sooner, providing security forces with more time to think, react, engage and neutralize threats at port.

Further, for the PSEAG Integrated Waterside Security Concept Demonstration, TCOM’s system will feed surveillance data into a common command and control network , integrated through the PSEAG’s Joint Interface Group for Security Application Workspaces (JIGSAW) program. This program will allow surveillance data to be distributed to tactical tablets used by security personnel onboard and onshore so that time-critical decision making can take place with real-time awareness of the domain.

“TCOM’s 17M and 12M Tactical Aerostats are ideal for deployment on Naval vessels,” Added Bendlin. “Due to the compact size of the craft prior to assembly, the complete systems leave a small footprint, and are highly mobile.”

Tactical Class aerostats can be assembled and deployed in just a few short hours, and manned by a minimal crew. This allows commanders to elect to deploy the aerostat system upon approaching dangerous areas, or when escorting a High Value Unit (HVU). The aerostat system can carry payloads including HD video surveillance, infrared, comms relay and more. The aerostat can be deployed from the deck of a moving vessel, or stationary from the doc.

About TCOM:

TCOM is the global leader in persistent surveillance solutions. For over 40 years, the company’s pioneering innovations have defined the persistent surveillance and Lighter-than-Air industries. By blending leading edge technology, manufacturing and field operation capabilities, TCOM has provided systems for United States and foreign governments with complete persistent surveillance capabilities. Our systems are in use around the globe including theaters of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. TCOM’s delivered systems include fixed-site deployments, fully transportable systems and specialized sea-based deployments. TCOM’s headquarters is based in Columbia, MD and the Manufacturing & Flight Test Facility is located near Elizabeth City, NC. TCOM is the only company in the world devoted to cost-effective LTA surveillance solutions with in-house aerostat and airship manufacture, assembly, flight test and training capabilities. Learn more at www.tcomlp.com.