DoD customer places order for Drone Aviation's Winch Aerostat Small Platform
Through a contract valued in excess of $800,000, an existing U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) customer has placed an order for Drone Aviation Holding Corp.’s Winch Aerostat Small Platform (WASP), which was recently upgraded, and is capable of performing multiple missions.
A manufacturer of tethered UAS and lighter-than-air aerostats, Drone Aviation expects to deliver the WASP, which can provide “day/night video and wireless communication range extension from either a fixed, stationary position or while being towed,” to the customer during the fourth quarter of 2017.
“We are pleased to have received this repeat order from our customer, and it is especially notable because it comes as a direct result of the WASP’s demonstrated capabilities in the field and the positive feedback reported by users,” says Bruce Hardy, Vice President of Sales of Drone Aviation.
“With its multi-mission capabilities operating at the edge, the WASP delivers persistence in a mobile, small footprint tactical solution, one that enables our military to see and do more, without the high costs and significant support requirements of larger existing aerostat solutions.”
Described as a “highly tactical and mobile aerostat system,” the WASP, which can be operated by as few as two soldiers, features support for advanced Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) equipment, including the concurrent use of communications and daylight and thermal payloads.
The DoD customer is seeking these capabilities after the “in-theater use” of previous WASP systems.
The WASP is capable of new missions that were previously only available on “much larger, less mobile, multi-million-dollar aerostat systems,” thanks to the integration of both advanced communications and daylight and thermal optical sensors onto the WASP.
Also, the upgraded payload system includes “secure voice and data network range extension highlighted by the ability to extend communications to over 30km made possible through the use of unique and proprietary system architecture.”
Thousands of hours of soldier training operations, different DoD exercises, and customer operations have been completed over the last four years using WASP systems owned by the U.S. Army.
The DoD is currently using the WASP as a “mobile, tactical aerial solution” which can support different ISR mission profiles “involving ground-based assets as well as aerial assets through communication retransmission.”
Operable at altitudes of up to 1,500 feet above ground level (AGL), the WASP system can greatly extend ISR capabilities and communications in locations that are remote and austere.
Finally, the systems can be quickly configured to support an assortment of mission requirements for days, weeks or months with customized payloads.