Drone Aviation upgrades WASP tactical aerostat for US DoD


Drone Aviation has installed Government-furnished intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) equipment onto the US Department of Defense's (DoD) Winch Aerostat Small Platform (WASP) tactical aerostat.

The work was completed as part of the company’s recent contract, which was worth more than $346,000 and awarded by the US DoD in the second half of 2016.

Under the terms of the contract, the company has integrated advanced communications and optical sensors onto the WASP, as well as added new mission capabilities that will support multiple advanced communications and optical payloads simultaneously.

It will also be able to expand its mission flexibility to include an array of ISR support requirements.

The upgraded payload system now includes a secure voice and data network range extension with an ability to extend communications to more than 30km.

"With the completion of this latest integration contract, the WASP continues to demonstrate the platform's unmatched tactical ISR and communications capabilities."

The extension was made possible by a new architecture providing encryption technology, which enabled the radio asset to be located at the Tactical Operations Center (TOC) or another facility on the ground safely.

Drone Aviation sales vice-president Bruce Hardy said: "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.

"With the completion of this latest integration contract, the WASP continues to demonstrate the platform's unmatched tactical ISR and communications capabilities and its unique ability to provide flexible mobile operations to meet the most demanding military mission requirements."

The WASP mobile aerostat system can provide day / night video and wireless communication range extension from either a fixed, stationary position or while being towed.


Image: New WASP Flight. Photo: courtesy of Marketwired.