Off-Board Sensing Solution programme for USAF blends sensor extension for crewed aircraft with an attritable offensive weapons capability.
US CTTSO evaluating Tether Eye
The US Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office (CTTSO) is evaluating AeroVironment's new Tether Eye UAS for intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR) and security applications, the company announced on 23 May.
The tethered UAS is designed for 24-hours continuous surveillance at a height of up to 150ft above the launch point. It automatically deploys from a self-contained, weather-sealed, small base station and rises to a pre-determined altitude. From this hover altitude, it provides a video feed to users through its 360-degree field of view.
The tether connecting the UAS to its base station has been ruggedised and specially designed for providing continuous power.
Current available payloads for the Tether Eye include electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) cameras and the encrypted Digital Data Link (DDL) from AeroVironment. The EO/IR camera provides day/night imagery and full motion video. The DDL enables secure communication with the UAS and communications relay with other platforms.
Amanda Toman, programme manager at CTTSO, said: 'Having the ability to deploy a 'virtual observation tower' at a moment's notice above buildings and vehicles represents a game-changing capability for ISR and security operations that has the potential to save lives.
'We look forward to continuing our evaluation of Tether Eye's capabilities with AeroVironment as a possible deployable capability across government facilities.'
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