12M Blimps Can Now Assist Emergency Response Efforts

TCOM, a global leader in persistent surveillance Aerostat solutions and Logos Technologies LLC, an innovative developer of advanced sensors for Wide Area Motion Imagery (WAMI), have successfully demonstrated a 12m aerostat—or tethered blimp—with WAMI sensor designed for persistent surveillance in a number of scenarios, including emergency response, disaster relief and monitoring large crowd gatherings.

The demonstration took place at TCOM’s Persistent Surveillance Center of Excellence (CoE) in Elizabeth City, NC last month. Logos’ lightweight Simera wide-area sensor was integrated onto and flown on a TCOM 12M Tactical Aerostat.

TCOM’s 12M aerostat system provides a compact and portable platform. The aerostat enables rapid deployment and retrieval, enabling operators in the field to obtain actionable surveillance data at rapid clip. The 12M has a payload weight capability of 60lbs (27kg) and a mission endurance of up to 5 days.

The Simera system, at only 40lbs (18 kg), provides persistent coverage of a full 360 degree area to the operator. High-definition imagery from the full 360 field of view is available in near real time and is continuously recorded for immediate rewind or historical analysis.

Logos indicated Simera’s affordability and rapid deploy capability make the system an excellent wide area persistent coverage tool for disaster relief, counter-terrorism, sporting event security, anti-poaching monitoring and port or rail security.

“TCOM sees great value in the inclusion of WAMI sensors into our suite of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) and force protection payloads already integrated onto our existing family of tactical aerostats,” said Ron Bendlin, president and CEO of TCOM, in a statement. “These WAMI systems, when paired with sensors providing full-motion video (FMV), greatly increase the persistent surveillance collection and forensics analysis tools that are highly advantageous for our customers with requirements in the areas of law enforcement, emergency response, critical asset protection, force protection, as well as other areas.”

TCOM Vice President, Business Development, Matthew McNiel, told Homeland Security Today he foresees a number of applications for the 12m aerostat with WAMI sensor, including aiding first responders by offering a significant advantage in situational awareness.

McNiel said, “When coupled with additional payloads, it could also provide local non-line of sight communications via hand held radio or cell phone in the absence of operational towers.”

In addition, the system is also ideal for border security. TCOM’s tethered aerostats have already provided the US Coast Guard, US Air Force, and Customs authorities with the range and reliability needed to enforce border security.

“The elevated position provided by the aerostat enables the wide area motion imagery sensor to cover a circular area of approximately 95 square kilometers with persistent, video imagery and full forensic capability,” McNiel said. “This provides, not only real-time surveillance, but significant advantage in forensic exploitation.”

Through the Tethered Aerostat Radar System (TARS), TCOM aerostat systems along the southern US land and maritime borders have consistently deterred airborne and surface smugglers, and have provided authorities with real-time actionable intelligence needed to take decisive action.

“As essential assets in the TARS program, TCOM aerostats continue to serve as steadfast sentinels, keeping citizens safe, and our nation’s border under constant guard,” McNiel said.

As with any surveillance system, privacy concerns have been raised. While TCOM supports the military and homeland security missions, it does not provide data, but rather the platform approved by the government programs.

“Surveillance systems, by nature, run counter to privacy concerns,” McNiel said. “However, there are no aspects to the WAMI system as tested at TCOM’s Center of Excellence that are more invasive than traditional closed circuit TV (such as local security cameras or traffic/red light cameras).”

 By: Corey Diehl, Staff Writer for Homeland Security

To view the entire article from Homeland Security, click HERE.

Logos demos first and only wide-area sensor for export at TCOM’s Center of Excellence in Elizabeth City, NC

View Business Wire press link for this article HERE

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



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Susan Kerin
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