CyPhy Works' Tethered UAS to be Used During Boston Marathon for Extra Security

By AUVSI News posted 13-04-2017 12:36


Four years ago, during the 2013 Boston Marathon, three people were killed and several hundred others were injured after two homemade bombs detonated near the finish line of the marathon.

To avoid having a repeat of this tragic incident, this year’s edition of the Boston Marathon will have extra security in the form of two tethered, CyPhy Works-manufactured UAS, which are known as Persistent Aerial Reconnaissance and Communications (PARC) drones. The UAS are capable of flying in all types of weather and can track moving targets.

Thin wires will be used to tether the UAS to the ground, allowing police to monitor the crowd using cameras that are equipped with long distance zoom, infrared and electro optical functionalities. The wires not only provide the power that allow the UAS to stay in the air for long periods of time, but they also can be used to send unhackable, secure communication up and down the tether.

“It’s really something new we’re going to be using where we have a very dense population of people between the village and the start line,” says Kurt Schwartz of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, through the Boston Herald.

“They will not be over spectator areas, and they will be providing live video feeds into public safety command centers.”

More than 5,000 law enforcement officers will be spread out along the marathon route. The race is expected to have more than 30,000 runners, and as many as one million spectators.

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Photo Courtesy of CyPhy Works

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