…In the last 30 years and even more so in recent years, as threats and technology have evolved and the need for 24/7 ISR has increased, helium-filled balloons—aerostats—have returned to the field. They are increasingly recognized as useful tools for long-term continuous ISR, as they overcome the greatest disadvantage of aircraft-based systems – limited fuel and flight time. They may also provide a visual deterrence to illegal activity, as they are lowered only for refueling and maintenance sessions…
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FAIRFAX, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Logos Technologies successfully demonstrated its new, lightweight Simera wide-area sensor aboard an aerostat, or tethered blimp, at TCOM’s Persistent Surveillance Solutions Center of Excellence in Elizabeth City, N.C.
“It’s the smallest aerostat-mounted WAMI system with this level of capability being marketed and sold abroad”
The demonstration, which took place in February and followed on the heels of field tests in late January, proved the maturity of the Simera airborne wide area motion imagery (WAMI) system for both military and civilian customers.
“Simera was able to locate and track targets of interest over a city-sized area in real time,” says John Marion, president of Logos Technologies, LLC, “and its TiVo-like recording function allowed operators to analyze activity captured within Simera’s 360-degree field of view.”
Simera is based on Kestrel, the only aerostat-based WAMI sensor used on the battlefield. Also developed by Logos, Kestrel has been deployed at forward operating bases in Afghanistan since 2011, providing troops with round-the-clock protection against IED attacks.
Weighing only 40lbs (18 kg), Simera can be employed on a wider variety of platforms than Kestrel, including fast-to-deploy tactical aerostats. In addition, it is not subject to the same export restrictions.
“It’s the smallest aerostat-mounted WAMI system with this level of capability being marketed and sold abroad,” Marion notes.
Logos has a long history developing WAMI sensors. It pioneered the first such system for manned aircraft in Iraq and Afghanistan and has since been miniaturizing its WAMI sensors for use on both tactical aerostats and small unmanned aircraft.
Aerostat manufacturer TCOM opened its Center of Excellence last year in order to provide government and private industry a site where they could conduct integration testing for platforms, payloads and data processing, exploitation and exploitation technologies.
About Logos Technologies
Founded in 1996, Logos Technologies LLC is a diversified science, engineering and technology company specializing in the fields of advanced sensors, wide area motion imagery, cyber operations, advanced analytics and processing of large, multisource datasets. Logos serves government customers including the Department of Defense, Department of Energy and Department of Homeland Security, as well as a range of customers in commercial and international markets. Learn more at www.logos-technologies.com.
Logos Technologies LLC
Director of Communications
Support from Start to Finish
TCOM provides single point responsibility for the overall system performance and continuing aerostat support essential for the reliable and consistent performance of the Aerostat Surveillance System.
After the system has successfully completed all its formal testing at our Manufacturing and Flight Test Facility, it is shipped to the customer. TCOM’s Field Operations & Support (FOS) group, supported by TCOM’s headquarters design and systems engineering groups, provides the in-country expertise for on-site installation, on-the-job training and integration into existing networks.
The Turnkey Installation Solution Includes:
- Site survey, design and construction
- Installation of the aerostat subsystems that make up the aerostat system
- Integration of the aerostat system with the site infrastructure
- Payloads integration including providing connectivity with the customer’s command centers and data/communications network
- On-site formal classroom training and/or on-the-job-training (OJT)
- O&M support as required
- Logistics support to integrate spares and support equipment into a tracking database
Experienced Personnel Ensure Success
TCOM FOS pools of field engineers have trained and experienced personnel with the skillsets to supply a turnkey aerostat support solution from installation and checkout (I&CO) of the system to when the system is handed over to the customer for operation and maintenance (O&M). TCOM has installed aerostat systems in more countries than any other aerostat system manufacturer.
Advanced Aerostat Manufacturing Facilities
TCOM produces the most advanced, state-of-the-art and reliable aerostat systems in the world. This is accomplished by having the latest aerostat manufacturing technology, equipment, facilities and tooling to bring our advanced designs to life. We offer capabilities and experience manufacturing aerostat and airship flex structures, mooring stations, avionics, tethers and ground support equipment.
Complete Systems Manufacturing
TCOM is the only LTA Company in the world that has a facility devoted to aerostat manufacturing, airship manufacturing, assembly, flight test and training operations – all in a single location. We manufacture the world’s largest aerostats and are capable of manufacturing, inflating, rigging, and testing them all while protected from the weather inside our hangar. We also perform integration and flight testing onsite at our new flight pad. Our aerostats are manufactured using highly engineered, TCOM-designed base fabric. The fabrics are then seamed together using specialized equipment designed by TCOM for the sole purpose of building our flex structures. Once assembled, they are air inflated and tested, then inflated with helium. After helium inflation, the hardware and rigging is installed which prepares the aerostat for integration with the rest of the system.
Our new, state-of-the-art mooring station manufacturing facility is conveniently located adjacent to the hangar. All assembly and testing of the mooring stations is conducted in this central facility. Prior to integration with the aerostat and surveillance components, the mooring stations are passed through a rigorous acceptance procedure to ensure all functionality. Once the mooring structure, boom, tower, and other major portions are assembled together, integration of the machinery, electrical and hydraulic systems takes place. The system’s avionics are also designed and manufactured by TCOM in an environmentally controlled area located at the headquarters facility. After all the components are procured and inspected, material kits are put into the shop for assembly and unit testing. TCOM employs a highly trained and experienced staff dedicated to wiring all the electronic items for the aerostat, mooring system and ground station. In addition, we build swivel slip-rings and perform tether termination and break testing, and perform thermal cycling and stress testing.
Once all of the electronics components have passed unit test, they are assembled together as a functional system and fully tested against rigorous acceptance standards. If payloads are available, they can be integrated at the electronics manufacturing facility or later with the complete system at the hangar. After the aerostat, mooring system, and avionics subsystems are completed, they are integrated together at the new flight pad, located at the Manufacturing Flight and Test Facility. Flight tests then begin as the complete system functionality is tested.
The Elizabeth City aerostat Manufacturing and Flight Test Facility enables TCOM to provide customers with an unparalleled level of quality assurance, training, ongoing operations and field support services. This facility has become the East Coast hub for all airship maintenance and assembly activities. The ability of TCOM to manufacture complete systems, rather than just sub-assemblies, provides us the flexibility to change quickly when needed to accommodate our customers’ needs.