TCOM, Global Leader of ISR Tethered Aerostat Solutions, invited by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) to Share Innovative Maritime Border Solutions

TCOM, a global leader of ISR Tethered Aerostat Solutions, is honored to announce it was invited to share its latest innovative solutions for maritime border security by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex), at the first European Coast Guard Cooperation Network meeting. Held in Warsaw, Poland on November 8-10, the event highlighted the new agency’s expanded role in the maritime arena.

The European Border and Coast Guard Agency (evolved from Frontex in September 2016) stands at the center of Europe’s efforts to expand international cooperation on carrying out various coast guard functions. In addition to border control, these include: maritime safety, security, search and rescue, fisheries control, customs, law enforcement and environmental protection. Its extensive presence at EU maritime borders makes Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, an ideal platform to facilitate cooperation between national law enforcement, customs and other authorities operating in the maritime domain and European agencies as part of European Integrated Border Management.

In multi-purpose operations, vessels and aircraft deployed by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency cooperate with the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) to spot sea pollution and other possible violations of maritime conventions. Alongside the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA), Frontex collects and shares information to be used to detect illegal fishing. The agency also closely cooperates with Europol and law enforcement bodies of Member States to combat serious cross-border crime, including trafficking of human beings and terrorism.

One of the objectives of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency is to keep the EU Member States/Schengen Associated Countries and other stakeholders informed about new technological developments in the field of maritime border control.

During the meeting, TCOM presented the usage of Tactical Aerostats for Maritime Domain Awareness. Aerostat systems have the payload size, weight and power capacity to support high-performance maritime radars. With an advanced maritime radar, a single sea surveillance system can track maritime targets at distances of 60 nautical miles and cover thousands of square miles for weeks at a time. In addition to the radar, the aerostat can simultaneously support passive surveillance payloads like COMINT, SIGINT, and ELINT, thermal imaging and optical sensors, as well as communications payloads at the lowest possible hourly cost for an airborne asset. The early detection and direct communications with air and sea assets afford the critical window of time to evaluate the situation, coordinate forces, and engage.

The gathering brought together representatives of more than 40 different national authorities of EU member states, including coast guards, navies, border police, customs and maritime authorities. Also in attendance were representatives of various EU agencies, other EU bodies and three international organizations (UNHCR, Interpol and NATO), as well as officials from eight non-EU countries, including the United States, Australia, Libya and Morocco.

According to Frontex, “Maritime operations account for the largest share of the budget of Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard. Spending on them already surpasses EUR 100 million annually, almost four times the amount Frontex had spent on sea operations just two years earlier.” Joint operations, such as Triton in Italy and Poseidon in Greece, make Frontex an ideal platform to develop cooperation between national law enforcement, customs and other authorities operating in the maritime domain and European agencies.

About TCOM, LP:

TCOM, LP is a global leader of Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance (ISR) solutions of Lighter-than-Air Persistent Surveillance Tethered Aerostat platforms for Air, Maritime, and Land. 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 ISR systems for the 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 are 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 http://www.tcomlp.com

———————————-See the Full Article with Photos HERE

Secure Our Oceans Project – TCOM’s Operational Class Aerostat Systems

TCOM offers the Operational Class Aerostat Systems that the company labels as ideal for maritime and border surveillance. These medium-sized systems are versatile and are capable of sustained deployments of up to two weeks. They are customizable, offering the consumer the flexibility to meet mission objectives.

Load it up: These systems can carry payloads that include radar, signals intelligence and communications devices and can reach altitudes as high as 915 meters (3000 ft)  above the ground control station.

The models: TCOM offers the TCOM 22M and TCOM 28M. The 22M can be assembled in a few hours and can be rapidly deployed without needing any special equipment. This model is operational in Afghanistan and is capable of carrying multiple intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance payloads. Based on the 22M, the 28M is one of the most widely-used aerostat systems, is battlefield ready and can be customized with a variety of payload configurations to meet mission requirements.

// SPECIFICATIONS

Payload Weight: 190 kilograms (425 lbs)
Altitude: 900 meters (3000 ft)
Flight Duration: 14 days
Wind Speeds: 50 knots operational / 70 knots survival

// KNOWN DEPLOYMENTS

The TCOM 22M is operational in Afghanistan.

———————————————-See this Cool Website HERE

2016-2026 Global Military Aerostats Market Research Report

Including Forecast by Product Type (Tethered, Airship). Contracts & Analysis of High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) Persistent Ground Surveillance Systems (PGSS), Persistent Threat Detection Systems (PTDS), Tethered Aerostat Radar Systems (TARS), Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC-3), Rapid Aerostat Initial Deployment (RAID)

Now: Why is the Military Aerostat important right now?
As part of the broader Military Aerostat market space, there are significant revenue streams within the tethered aerostat submarket to tap into. This report shows you where these business opportunities are.

Due to a myriad of real and perceived threats, never before have governments been so concerned with protecting their assets and infrastructure from accidental and increasingly deliberate attack. The potential security contracts at stake are enormous and your company needs to be part of this.

What are the Military Aerostat market prospects?
Visiongain’s definitive new report assesses that the Military Aerostat market will reach $4,175m in 2016. The performance of the industry is forecast to grow steadily, with an anticipated CAGR of 4.8% for the five-year period 2016-2021, which is expected to drive the industry to a value of $5,289mn by the end of 2021.

Visiongain’s timely 165 page report reveals how best to compete in this lucrative market space and maximize your company’s potential.

Read on to discover how this report can help you develop your business.

To see a report overview please email Sara Peerun on sara.peerun@visiongainglobal.com

This report addresses the pertinent issues:
• Where are the most lucrative market prospects?
• Who are the leadings companies and what does the competitive landscape look like?
• What are the regional, technical and regulatory barriers to market entry?
• What are the technological issues and roadmap driving the market?
• Why is the market prospering and how can you fully exploit this?
• When will the market fully mature and why?

Research and analysis highlights
• Independent, impartial and objective analysis
• An exclusive expert interview with leading aerostat specialist TCOM
• 169 tables, charts and graphs illustrating the Military Aerostat market prospects
• Global Military Aerostat market forecast and analysis 2016-2026
• Two Military Aerostat submarket forecasts by Product Type covering the period 2016-2026
– Tethered
– Airship
• Ten leading national Military Aerostat market forecasts from 2016-2026 each further segmented by Tethered and Airship aerostats
Australia
Brazil
Canada
Germany
India
Israel
Singapore
– UK
– US
– RoW

• Analysis of barriers to entry into the global and national Military Aerostat markets
• Profiles of 11 leading companies, involved with Military Aerostat with key financial metrics
– Allsopp Helikite
– ALTAVE
– ILC Dover
– Lindstrand Technologies Limited
– Lockheed Martin Corporation
– Raven Industries Inc
– Raytheon Company
– RT
– SkySentry
– TCOM, L.P.
– Worldwide Aeros
• SWOT/PEST market analysis

And theres more.

How this report will benefit you
• You have almost certainly an excess of conflicting and yet unclear information – you want one definitive military aerostats report to base your business decisions upon – this visiongain report provides that clarity
• Our insightful military aerostats report speaks to your needs for definitive market data, objective impartial analysis and immediate clear conclusions – to allow you to formulate clear decisive business strategies
• You need the information now in an easily digestible form – this is where this visiongain report excels
• Forecasts give you a crucial advantage. That knowledge of the future is central to your strategic decision making.
• Knowledge is vital to you and your business. You need every piece of evidence to inform your crucial investment decisions – let visiongain give you that clear advantage
• Without this vital military aerostats report, you will fall behind your competitors

Who should read this report?
• Anyone within the Military Aerostat value chain.
• CEO’s
• COO’s
• CIO’s
• Business development managers
• Technologists
• Suppliers
• Marketing managers
• Investors
• Banks
• Government agencies
• Contractors

See More HERE

Bravura to Lead U.S. Army’s Aerostat Management Under $306 Million Contract

Bravura Information Technology Systems, Inc. will ensure operations, maintenance and sustainment of the U.S. Army’s aerostats under a new program called Persistent Surveillance Systems – Tethered (PSS-T). This $305.7 million U.S. Army contract combines the capabilities of the Persistent Threat Detection System (PTDS) and the Persistent Ground Surveillance System (PGSS), which were fielded to support joint urgent operational needs.

“These aerostats provide crucial information and protection for our men and women in uniform who serve in remote and dangerous locations,” said Bravura CEO Claudine Adams. “We are thrilled that our dedicated team will support these key programs and continue the important legacy of aerostat innovation.”

To help protect troops in the field, the U.S. Army has placed an increased emphasis on providing more and better intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR). Persistent surveillance and threat detection systems have proven especially effective in identifying improvised explosive devices, tracking insurgent movements and monitoring other suspicious activity.

PSS-T provides warfighters with an effective ISR capability, support to force protection and platforms to extend communications networks beyond line of sight. Filled with helium and attached to mobile mooring systems by high-strength tethers, PSS-T large and medium aerostats have scalable capabilities providing around the clock surveillance of broad areas for weeks.

Bravura is partnering with Lockheed Martin and TCOM to help meet its efforts to support combatant commanders and joint agency requirements. Each company’s innovative capabilities will be instrumental in technical consolidation and operational streamlining for the new program.

Lockheed Martin, the PSS-T Large developer, delivered its first lighter-than-air (LTA)-based persistent ISR systems to the U.S. Navy more than 75 years ago and has produced more than 300 airships and thousands of aerostats in support of military operations world-wide.

“We are pleased to partner with Bravura to extend our legacy of lighter-than-air innovation, engineering and production,” said Paula Hartley, vice president, Advanced Product Solutions, Lockheed Martin. “PTDS has performed exceptionally in Afghanistan and Iraq since 2004 and we are looking forward to many more years of supporting our customers’ needs for affordable, reliable aerostat systems.”

TCOM, with operations in over 12 countries, is the PSS-T Medium developer and a global authority in airborne persistent surveillance solutions. For over 40 years, TCOM innovations have defined the LTA industry, and its pioneering achievements continue to revolutionize the design, manufacture and deployment of LTA systems.

“We are proud to join Bravura as they continue providing the combat proven PGSS platforms for soldiers abroad,” said Ron Bendlin, president, TCOM. “PSS-T, as a program of record, represents an enduring aerostat capability for the U.S. Army, and TCOM looks forward to supporting Bravura with cost effective and innovative solutions in the years ahead.”

Other PSS-T team members include: Tobyhanna Army Depot, which provides logistics support for command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems; Dragoon Technologies, Inc., a service-based engineering company providing advanced systems integration and installation for airborne ISR platforms;  Priority Worldwide Services, which provides supply chain solutions globally;  Accent Controls, Inc., an entrepreneurial systems integration engineering firm; Cape Fox Professional Services, which provide advanced technology and safety training solutions to federal clients; Digital Results Group, which provides web-enabled software and technology solutions that fuse, in real-time, sensor and intelligence data to support operations; and STS International, which protects U.S. infrastructure and forces both at home and abroad.

Work on the PSS-T program will be performed in Aberdeen and Columbia, Maryland, Melbourne, Florida and Akron, Ohio.

For additional information, visit www.bravurainc.com.

About Bravura
Headquartered in Aberdeen, Maryland, Bravura is a woman-owned, minority owned, small disadvantaged business with a wealth of Department of Defense, Army, and intelligence community experience. With over 30 years of experience, Bravura employs a highly skilled leadership team of proven and experienced personnel. Our professionals are ready to provide quality driven, customer focused, schedule-determined, risk mitigated and cost restrained solutions to help our clients gain maximum value for mission success.

About Lockheed Martin

Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 98,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.

About TCOM

TCOM’s headquarters is in Columbia, Maryland, and the Manufacturing & Flight Test Facility is located near Elizabeth City, North Carolina. TCOM is the world’s leading company specializing in cost-effective LTA surveillance solutions with in-house aerostat and airship manufacture, assembly, flight test and training capabilities.

Read more HERE

TCOM, Global Leader of ISR Tethered Aerostat Solutions, to Unveil Its Innovative ‘Rapid Surveillance Communication Restoration’ (RSCR) Solutions for Emergency Response

TCOM, LP, a global ISR solutions provider of Lighter-Than-Air Persistent Surveillance Tethered Aerostat platforms for Air, Maritime and Land, has announced it will unveil and demonstrate its innovative ISR solutions for Rapid Surveillance Communication Restoration for Urban Defense Operations at the 2016 Thunderstorm Conference to be held at Fort AP Hill in Fredericksburg, VA on July 26-28, 2016.

TCOM will demonstrate how its lighter-than-air tactical aerostat platforms can leverage innovative ISR applications powered by its strategic partners: Logos, L3 Wescam, and Lociva; from providing high-definition wide area imagery (WAMI) to precision geospatial-location sensors for persistent surveillance, to enabling the latest 4G LTE cellular coverage in times of emergency.

For domestic terrorism situations, domestic response units must be prepared to rapidly respond to terrorist threats to establish persistent surveillance swiftly with maximum interoperability and real-time Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance insights for commanders on the ground. First Responders need to assess situations swiftly to determine the scope of what they are dealing with, where they might be located, differentiate who in the area might be a potential threat and evacuate civilians.

For disaster relief situations, the recent fires in Western Canada, as well as annual hurricanes and other natural disasters, are instances where Wide Area Motion Imagery deployed at a high elevation would be extremely useful. Technologies designed for the battlefield are perfectly suited to address threats to the homeland and can be applied to solve and alleviate the duties of domestic first responders.

1. Specifically, TCOM’s aerostats will demonstrate the use of Logos’ Simera Wide Area Motion Imagery (WAMI) technology that can monitor an entire city-sized area at once, detecting vehicles and moving dismounts in real-time. In addition, Simera provides operators with a readily accessible digital video recording of the entire field of view for further analysis.

2. TCOM will also demonstrate L3 Wescam’s MX-10 Electro-Optic/Infrared Full Motion Video (EO/IR FMV), a Fully Digital, High Definition, Multi-Sensor, Multi-Spectral Imaging System that is engineered with large-aperture, long focal length optics and patented four-axis gimbal technology to deliver outstanding stabilization and GEO-location performance, further enabling superior imagery from digital line of sight and beyond line of sight to be captured. Additionally, the system’s superior detection, recognition and identification range performance enables the end user to perform precision engagements from longer standoff ranges.

3. TCOM’s Rapid Surveillance Communication Restoration will also demonstrate how it can instantly provide cellular 4G LTE coverage in adverse conditions through LOCIVA’s Nokia Networks, which provide Carrier Grade Radios. As a partner to Nokia Networks, LOCIVA is able to offer the latest 4G LTE carrier-grade radio access through the EdgeCentrix Network Core, which offers interoperability and Advanced LTE features; such as calling, Wi-Fi and data.

TCOM’s work with L3, Logos, and Nokia comes together to create a perfect platform to keep civilians safe, monitor disaster situations, and aid in the rescue of those in need. By utilizing their technology on TCOM’s aerostat platform, first responders are given the very best chance of success.

Empowered by TCOM’s Rapid Surveillance Communication Restoration Aerostat platform, urban defense and law enforcement authorities will be better equipped to respond to disaster relief and search and rescue. It will also provide security officials with better situational awareness during incidents of crowd control, and help them track hostile adversaries. TCOM’s Aerostats allow local security leadership to efficiently oversee their field of responsibility and allocate the necessary resources quickly, in response to potential problems.

About TCOM, LP:
TCOM, LP is a global leader of Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance (ISR) solutions of Lighter-Than-Air Persistent Surveillance Tethered Aerostat platforms for Air, Maritime and Land. 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 ISR 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 http://www.tcomlp.com

Read all about it HERE

Army Taps Bravura for $306M Persistent Surveillance Systems-Tethered Program Support IDIQ

Bravura Information Technology Systems has won a potential four-year, $305.7 million contract to support the U.S. Army‘s tethered aerostat-based system for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

The Army Contracting Command received four bids for the Persistent Surveillance Systems-Tethered support contract through a competitive procurement online, the Defense Department said Monday.

The PSS-T program is composed of MX15 and MX20 electro-optic/infrared sensors, STARLite Radar and Kestrel wide-area airborne sensor technology designed to provide situational awareness, ISR and communications support for warfighters and combatant commanders.

Work under the cost-plus-fixed-fee contract will run through July 31, 2020, according to DoD.

The Army will obligate funds and determine the work location upon award of each task order.

Aberdeen, Maryland-based Bravura Information Technology Systems is a minority-owned, woman-owned, small disadvantaged business that provides systems engineering, program management, network systems and logistics support, as well as chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives defense assistance to government and industry clients.

Read more HERE

TCOM Demonstrates Aerostats at Virginia Conference

TCOM, LP, a global ISR solutions provider of Lighter-Than-Air Persistent Surveillance Tethered Aerostat platforms for Air, Maritime and Land, has announced it will unveil and demonstrate its innovative ISR solutions for Rapid Surveillance Communication Restoration for Urban Defense Operations at the 2016 Thunderstorm Conference to be held at Fort AP Hill in Fredericksburg, VA on July 26-28, 2016.

TCOM will demonstrate how its lighter-than-air tactical aerostat platforms can leverage innovative ISR applications powered by its strategic partners: Logos, L3 Wescam, and Lociva; from providing high-definition wide area imagery (WAMI) to precision geospatial-location sensors for persistent surveillance, to enabling the latest 4G LTE cellular coverage in times of emergency.

For domestic terrorism situations, domestic response units must be prepared to rapidly respond to terrorist threats to establish persistent surveillance swiftly with maximum interoperability and real-time Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance insights for commanders on the ground. First Responders need to assess situations swiftly to determine the scope of what they are dealing with, where they might be located, differentiate who in the area might be a potential threat and evacuate civilians.

For disaster relief situations, the recent fires in Western Canada, as well as annual hurricanes and other natural disasters, are instances where Wide Area Motion Imagery deployed at a high elevation would be extremely useful. Technologies designed for the battlefield are perfectly suited to address threats to the homeland and can be applied to solve and alleviate the duties of domestic first responders.

1. Specifically, TCOM’s aerostats will demonstrate the use of Logos’ Simera Wide Area Motion Imagery (WAMI) technology that can monitor an entire city-sized area at once, detecting vehicles and moving dismounts in real-time. In addition, Simera provides operators with a readily accessible digital video recording of the entire field of view for further analysis.

2. TCOM will also demonstrate L3 Wescam’s MX-10 Electro-Optic/Infrared Full Motion Video (EO/IR FMV), a Fully Digital, High Definition, Multi-Sensor, Multi-Spectral Imaging System that is engineered with large-aperture, long focal length optics and patented four-axis gimbal technology to deliver outstanding stabilization and GEO-location performance, further enabling superior imagery from digital line of sight and beyond line of sight to be captured. Additionally, the system’s superior detection, recognition and identification range performance enables the end user to perform precision engagements from longer standoff ranges.

3. TCOM’s Rapid Surveillance Communication Restoration will also demonstrate how it can instantly provide cellular 4G LTE coverage in adverse conditions through LOCIVA’s Nokia Networks, which provide Carrier Grade Radios. As a partner to Nokia Networks, LOCIVA is able to offer the latest 4G LTE carrier-grade radio access through the EdgeCentrix Network Core, which offers interoperability and Advanced LTE features; such as calling, Wi-Fi and data.

TCOM’s work with L3, Logos, and Nokia comes together to create a perfect platform to keep civilians safe, monitor disaster situations, and aid in the rescue of those in need. By utilizing their technology on TCOM’s aerostat platform, first responders are given the very best chance of success.

Empowered by TCOM’s Rapid Surveillance Communication Restoration Aerostat platform, urban defense and law enforcement authorities will be better equipped to respond to disaster relief and search and rescue. It will also provide security officials with better situational awareness during incidents of crowd control, and help them track hostile adversaries. TCOM’s Aerostats allow local security leadership to efficiently oversee their field of responsibility and allocate the necessary resources quickly, in response to potential problems.

About TCOM, LP:

TCOM, LP is a global leader of Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance (ISR) solutions of Lighter-Than-Air Persistent Surveillance Tethered Aerostat platforms for Air, Maritime and Land. 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 ISR 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 http://www.tcomlp.com

Read and Download the entire article HERE

TCOM to Unveil Innovative RSCR Solutions for Emergency Response

TCOM teams with tech partners to bring first responders the best of domestic surveillance
TCOM teams with tech partners to bring first responders the best of domestic surveillance

TCOM, a global ISR solutions provider of Lighter-Than-Air Persistent Surveillance Tethered Aerostat platforms for Air, Maritime and Land, has announced it will unveil and demonstrate its innovative ISR solutions for Rapid Surveillance Communication Restoration for Urban Defense Operations at the 2016 Thunderstorm Conference to be held at Fort AP Hill in Fredericksburg, VA on July 26-28, 2016.

TCOM will demonstrate how its lighter-than-air tactical aerostat platforms can leverage innovative ISR applications powered by its strategic partners: Logos Technologies, L3 Wescam, and Lociva; from providing high-definition wide area imagery (WAMI) to precision geospatial-location sensors for persistent surveillance, to enabling the latest 4G LTE cellular coverage in times of emergency.

(The TCOM 17M Tactical Class Aerostat is a versatile, battle-proven, rapid deployment, persistent surveillance system. Equipped to detect and track targets even in the most challenging terrain, the TCOM 17M aerostat is a compact yet powerful solution to wide area ground surveillance needs. Courtesy of TCOM and YouTube)

For domestic terrorism situations, domestic response units must be prepared to rapidly respond to terrorist threats to establish persistent surveillance swiftly with maximum interoperability and real-time Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance insights for commanders on the ground.

First Responders need to assess situations swiftly to determine the scope of what they are dealing with, where they might be located, differentiate who in the area might be a potential threat and evacuate civilians.

For disaster relief situations, the recent fires in Western Canada, as well as annual hurricanes and other natural disasters, are instances where Wide Area Motion Imagery deployed at a high elevation would be extremely useful.

Technologies designed for the battlefield are perfectly suited to address threats to the homeland and can be applied to solve and alleviate the duties of domestic first responders.

  1. Specifically, TCOM’s aerostats will demonstrate the use of Logos’ Simera Wide Area Motion Imagery (WAMI) technology that can monitor an entire city-sized area at once, detecting vehicles and moving dismounts in real-time. In addition, Simera provides operators with a readily accessible digital video recording of the entire field of view for further analysis.
  2. TCOM will also demonstrate L3 Wescam’s MX-10 Electro-Optic/Infrared Full Motion Video (EO/IR FMV), a Fully Digital, High Definition, Multi-Sensor, Multi-Spectral Imaging System that is engineered with large-aperture, long focal length optics and patented four-axis gimbal technology to deliver outstanding stabilization and GEO-location performance, further enabling superior imagery from digital line of sight and beyond line of sight to be captured. Additionally, the system’s superior detection, recognition and identification range performance enables the end user to perform precision engagements from longer standoff ranges.
  3. TCOM’s Rapid Surveillance Communication Restoration will also demonstrate how it can instantly provide cellular 4G LTE coverage in adverse conditions through LOCIVA’s Nokia Networks, which provide Carrier Grade Radios. As a partner to Nokia Networks, LOCIVA is able to offer the latest 4G LTE carrier-grade radio access through the EdgeCentrix Network Core, which offers interoperability and Advanced LTE features; such as calling, Wi-Fi and data.

TCOM’s work with L3, Logos Technologies, and Lociva comes together to create a perfect platform to keep civilians safe, monitor disaster situations, and aid in the rescue of those in need. By utilizing their technology on TCOM’s aerostat platform, first responders are given the very best chance of success.

(TCOM’s 12M aerostat system is the most compact and portable solution of its kind available today. The 12M offers rapid deployment and retrieval, enabling operators in the field to obtain actionable surveillance data faster than ever before. Courtesy of TCOM and YouTube)

Empowered by TCOM’s Rapid Surveillance Communication Restoration Aerostat platform, urban defense and law enforcement authorities will be better equipped to respond to disaster relief and search and rescue.

It will also provide security officials with better situational awareness during incidents of crowd control, and help them track hostile adversaries. TCOM’s Aerostats allow local security leadership to efficiently oversee their field of responsibility and allocate the necessary resources quickly, in response to potential problems.

TCOM, LP is a global leader of Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance (ISR) solutions of Lighter-Than-Air Persistent Surveillance Tethered Aerostat platforms for Air, Maritime and Land. For over 40 years, the company’s pioneering innovations have defined the persistent surveillance and Lighter-than-Air industries.

TCOM logoBy blending leading edge technology, manufacturing and field operation capabilities, TCOM has provided ISR 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.

Read and Download the entire article HERE

The Strategic Role of Tactical Maritime Aerostats in Ensuring Persistent Surveillance

By Matt McNiel

Increasing geopolitical tensions in the South China Sea have created a strategic impetus for the United States and its regional allies to reassess what, how, where, and when a real or perceived threat becomes imminent to strategic interests in this region of the world. Now more than ever, persistent situational awareness is critical. However, unlike traditional landlocked conflict zones, the South China Sea presents a unique challenge as ISR must be successful in multi-modal environments including air, land, and maritime environments.

Adding to that complexity is the presence of largely populated areas in multiple countries proximate to the conflict zone, making it difficult to select one tool or method to create an effective operational ‘big picture’ for decision makers. In recent media reports, it was widely reported that regional states such as the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea, are actively increasing their proactive vigilance. Wisely, they are also considering an all-of-the-above approach for their defenses for  ensuring full situational awareness with optimized intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) for land, air, and sea domains.

Even with modern advancements in ISR technologies, there is simply no one solution that can persistently provide all of the intelligence needed. However, one of the most effective, efficient, and fast-to-deploy solutions to help critical decision makers get the information they require is the lighter-than-air Tactical Maritime Aerostat. These battle-tested systems are loaded with the latest ISR technology that can be used to monitor and gather intelligence from a highly reliable platform hovering over strategic points and providing an “eye in the sky” for concerned governments.

TCOM 17M at San Diego Naval Base. (Image courtesy of TCOM LP)
TCOM 17M at San Diego Naval Base. (Image courtesy of TCOM LP)

Aerostat Attributes and Advantages

Aerostats offer persistent surveillance solutions that have unique advantages over traditional ground-based radar and onboard surveillance systems. For example, when naval vessels are moored or transiting port waters, they are subject to unique surveillance and security challenges. Threats such as small, fast moving boats are not easily detectable using traditional ship-mounted cameras or ground-based radar. Conversely, aerostat systems act as a “virtual fence” along coastlines, around vessels, or the port perimeter by providing continuous, real-time monitoring of activities from an aerial perspective. The system can detect threats at greater range and in the blind spots of traditional surface based sensors, providing security forces with more time to think, react, engage, and neutralize threats at a port.

Tactical Class Aerostat systems such as the 12M, 17M, 22M, and 28M are ideal for  maritime deployment, on land, or directly from a vessel at sea. These aerostats can be assembled and deployed in a very short period and manned by a minimal crew. This allows commanders to use the aerostat system in areas, or when escorting a High-Value Unit (HVU). The aerostat system can carry payloads including day/night EO/IR cameras, radars, communications relays, and electronic warfare packages. The aerostat can be deployed from the deck of a vessel or a static location such as a a dock or onshore mooring station. The larger size aerostat systems (22M, 28M) have greater capacity that allows the Operational Class systems to operate at higher altitudes for greater surveillance range while remaining aloft for up to two weeks at a time, ensuring round-the-clock persistent surveillance for highly trafficked areas and maritime borders.

A TCOM 22M payload. (Image courtesy of TCOM)
A TCOM 22M payload. (Image courtesy of TCOM LP)

As South China Sea claimants consider different monitoring options, aerostat systems offer several key competitive advantages over other platforms. The first is cost. Aerostat systems require comparably minimal maintenance, resulting in an exceptionally low hourly operational cost. This allows users to obtain highly accurate, real-time surveillance data, at a remarkably low total cost of ownership. Secondly, aerostat systems are capable of being on station for weeks at a time. This ensures that there are fewer lapses in coverage due to refueling or unexpected mechanical issues. Third and perhaps most importantly, aerostats payloads are easily reconfigurable allowing the platform to be retrofitted to accommodate the latest ISR technologies in ‘minutes’ compared to ‘months’ and without the need to re-qualify the airframe for safety of flight. For example, aerostat systems could function as a versatile platform for ISR payloads, including electro-optical/infrared cameras, radar, video, communications relays, and even cellular data and Wi-Fi. Operators can easily swap out a broad variety of actionable surveillance data and communications options to meet different missions using the aerostat system’s rapidly reconfigurable “Plug and Play” architecture. Aerostats are highly resilient and suited for harsh operating conditions. Due to the inert nature of Helium gas with which the aerostat is inflated, aerostat systems do not combust and are highly durable in flight. The proof is in the battlefield. For example, aerostat systems deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan during combat have been documented to remain aloft and functional even after being hit by direct gunfire. The low pressure within the aerostat hull allows the system to stay aloft even when punctured.

Aerostats systems have the payload size, weight and power capacity to support high-performance radars that can detect aircraft operating well beyond the coverage of ground-based radars. With an advanced maritime radar, a single sea surveillance system can track maritime targets at distances of 60 nautical miles and cover thousands of square miles for weeks at a time. In addition to the radar, the aerostat can simultaneously support passive surveillance payloads like COMINT, SIGINT, and ELINT, thermal imaging and optical sensors, as well as communications payloads at the lowest possible hourly cost for an airborne asset. The early detection and direct communications with air and sea assets afford the critical window of time to evaluate the situation, coordinate forces, and engage.

How does it work? Consider the scenario of a crowded port environment where many ships and small craft are transiting through highly congested waterways. A naval vessel enters a port but is limited to using surveillance equipment that looks outward from the deck level. There may also be ground-based equipment on shore. Together these systems are unable to see all the critical activity at the water level. A low, fast moving boat  quickly approaches a larger vessel undetected by traditional methods. This scenario occurred in 2000 with the terrorist attack on the USS Cole in Yemen. Aerostat system monitoring the entire port area from hundreds or thousands of feet above would provide early warning to the larger vessel, allowing for a timely reaction. The system could have provided actionable intelligence that allowed for a greater window of time for forces to intercept or engage.

aerostat 3
Difference in coverage between aerostat based radar and coastal, ground-based radar. (Image courtesy of TCOM LP)

Operational Track Record

Aerostats provide a highly beneficial secondary function.  Any increase in effectiveness of supported troops is very quickly attributed to the aerostats and significantly modifies threat behaviors while the system is in flight. As this effect applies in the case of land applications, U.S. forces at Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) were often assaulted by lone insurgents, and improved explosive devices were placed just outside normal observation areas. Invariably, the deployment of aerostats to the FOBs saw an immediate increase in allied counterstrikes. Within a short amount of time, local leadership would find that enemy operations had relocated entirely or were curtailed exclusively to times when the aerostat was not flying.

Within the maritime domain, this same effect was found to be true for counter narcotics operations in the Caribbean Sea. Additionally, aerostats have proven highly effective at monitoring migrant vessels and providing cues to rescue operations when necessary.

Just like the best engineered automobiles or aircraft, aerostats are not perfect. They need to be tested and designed to meet specific field conditions and payloads. Additionally, operators must be well trained to to achieve maximum effectiveness. In contradiction to some, apparently uninformed media reports , history clearly shows that aerostats are highly reliable. Moreover, they have been and are still successfully used around the world in regional conflict zones such as the Middle East, Afghanistan, the Indian sub-continent, North America, and soon to be in Southeast Asia. With a proven track record of 45 years with millions of airborne hours of persistent surveillance in austere environments, aerostats are here to stay and are growing as innovators continue to find new uses for this reliable lighter-than-air platform.

Conclusion

As government decision makers consider using a multi-mode surveillance approach, aerostats stand out in their potential to serve as eyes in the sky in the South China Sea and other maritime regions that have been immersed in perceived threats and real conflict. They are easy to deploy, operate in multiple environments, are efficient and technology-agnostic. Aerostat systems need little time to deploy and have lower maintenance requirements at a substantially lower hourly operational cost than conventional aircraft and drones. Moreover, aerostats offers a combination of wide viewing angles and high resolution for more precise identification of small objects as well as surveillance of larger areas. In short, aerostats enable true persistent, real-time tactical ISR at an affordable cost.

Matt McNiel is Vice President of TCOM, LP, a global ISR solutions provider of Lighter-Than-Air Persistent Surveillance Tethered Aerostat platforms for Air, Maritime and Land. He can be reached at Media@Tcomlp.com.

Featured Image courtesy of TCOM LP.

A Beginner’s Guide to Aerostats

…In the last 30 years and even more so in recent years, as threats and technology have evolved and the need for 24/7 ISR has increased, helium-filled balloons—aerostats—have returned to the field. They are increasingly recognized as useful tools for long-term continuous ISR, as they overcome the greatest disadvantage of aircraft-based systems – limited fuel and flight time. They may also provide a visual deterrence to illegal activity, as they are lowered only for refueling and maintenance sessions…

Continue reading the FULL ARTICLE HERE ON MONGABAY WILDTECH

TCOM 74M aerostat__Youtube

Surveillance and communication – the enormous TCOM 74M aerostat. Photo credit: TCOM