With the support of Florida Senator Paula Hawkins, the United States Coast Guard, under the Department of Transportation, turned to trusted partner TCOM for two sea-based aerostat platforms to assist in the surveillance and monitoring of the maritime domain. TCOM’s sea- based aerostat systems were ideal for meeting the Coast Guard’s needs, providing them with an effective and affordable system that delivered continuous, wide-area maritime surveillance and allowed for timely provisions of target information.
The Coast Guard established Mobile Interdiction and Surveillance Teams (MIST), which consisted of the Mobile Aerostat Platform (MAP) with a tethered 25M aerostat bearing an advanced radar payload. The first Coast Guard Mobile Aerostat Platform Detachment (MAPDET ONE) was commissioned on July 1985 and implemented in Key West, Florida. Flying at an altitude of 2,500 feet, the radar range of the surveillance teams was dramatically increased, improving the effectiveness of the USCG’s surveillance efforts. Once the Coast Guard aboard the MAP detected a possible threat, the information was passed on to other patrolling cutters that could identify, intercept and engage the target if needed.