Designed to meet mission objectives in any domain
Customized for air, land and sea surveillance applications
Affordable, reliable persistent surveillance solutions
TCOM Aerostat Classes
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.
Aerostat Design: Customized to Meet the Mission
Every security mission requires a unique set of sensors integrated onto a TCOM aerostat design to form a platform system that will meet the customer’s persistent Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance (ISR) mission. At the heart of every TCOM Aerostat Surveillance system lies a proven design process that effectively blends customer needs and superior engineering to create the system that will meet all of the customer’s functional requirements in a cost-effective and reliable way. The aerostat design also ensures durability and performance for the life of the system.
Experience Enables Excellence
TCOM engineers begin the aerostat design process by gathering a full understanding of the customer’s surveillance mission and operational environment. Based on this understanding and years of expert knowledge and experience, the engineers select the ideal sensor suite that will be integrated onto the Aerostat. TCOM designs also take into account the required communications, power, EMI/RFI stabilization and heading reference systems to provide a high availability airborne surveillance system. Our engineers excel at designing the ground control station as well as the fiber-optic powered tether that carries data and command information from the aerostat to the ground station. TCOM promotes, encourages and supports design engineering in their quest for technical excellence and innovation by providing the analysis tools, state-of-the-art analysis software and test facilities to enable cost effective innovative solutions to challenging aerostat design requirements. In addition, processes and mechanisms are in place to spawn new initiatives and identify emerging technologies so that TCOM engineering is always ahead of the technical curve.
TCOM’s Engineering Design group boasts an experienced staff of experts in civil, mechanical, electrical and systems engineering, aerodynamics, analog and digital communications, tether design, airborne and ground power systems, hydraulics, meteorology, logistics, installation, training, field engineering, operations and other disciplines necessary for the implementation of full-scale turnkey aerostat design projects. At TCOM we don’t just engineer superior products – we engineer success.
A Legacy of Aerostat Innovation:
The name TCOM is synonymous with the aerostat and with airborne persistent surveillance. Over the past 40 years, TCOM engineers have introduced countless innovations including advanced materials, clean room construction, modern payload integration techniques, reliable ground based power systems and simplified ground control equipment. Our ongoing advancements continue to revolutionize LTA system design and manufacturing techniques. TCOM aerostats are the standard to which all others aspire. Here are just a few reasons why:
- First to use laminate materials for aerostat fabrics
- First fiber-optic powered tether system
- First tether to double as LF communications antenna
- First aerostat provider to offer customized payloads and mooring systems
- First lightning protection systems for tethered aerostats
- First fully integrated modular mooring system
- First modern aerostat system to broadcast radio and TV
- First aerostat to carry electronic payloads for US-allied foreign nations
- First sea-based aerostat system
- First aerostat system to remain deployed for missions of 30 days or longer
- First aerostat in theater supporting both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom
- First and only company to deploy an aerostat at an altitude of 20,000 feet above ground station
- Produced largest aerostat ever in operation
- Longest ongoing aerostat surveillance operations
Tradition of Performance:
From the shores of the Adriatic to the glaciers of the Arctic, from conflict zones of the Middle East to the border regions of the United States, TCOM airborne persistent surveillance solutions provide actionable intelligence from an elevated perspective. Our surveillance systems have served as vital components in applications as disparate as television and radio broadcasting, drug traffic interdiction, illegal immigration prevention, communications intelligence, air defense surveillance, electronic intelligence, troop and vehicle monitoring, and insurgent detection.
TCOM persistent surveillance systems can be customized for deployment over air, land or sea. The complete systems provide total domain awareness, improving mission effectiveness and efficiency. In every environment, TCOM systems provide mission-critical details in time for decision makers to take appropriate action.
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TCOM – Who We Are:
With operations in over 12 countries around the world, TCOM is the global authority in airborne persistent surveillance solutions. For over 40 years, TCOM innovations have defined the industry, and our pioneering achievements continue to revolutionize the design, manufacture and deployment of LTA systems. With corporate headquarters in Columbia, MD and manufacturing and testing facilities in Elizabeth City, NC, TCOM is the world’s only company solely devoted to the design, fabrication, installation and operation of persistent surveillance aerostat systems. Our complete platform solutions include numerous classes of aerostats that can each be equipped with a broad selection of proven payloads that are customizable for specific customer requirements.
Beginning in 1971, TCOM ushered in the modern era of tethered aerostat systems. Our expert engineers designed the first powered tether and the first mobile mooring station. We produced the largest aerostat system ever delivered and the only aerostat systems that can operate in altitudes in excess of 20,000 feet above sea level for periods of 30 days or more. TCOM aerostat systems have brought radio and television communications to previously unreachable areas, provided the US military and its allies with mission-critical data in numerous conflict zones, and stood as steadfast protectors of national security along vulnerable borders and coastlines. Throughout our 40 years of operation, TCOM has partnered with military leaders, governments, monarchs, heads of state and corporate decision makers to expand persistent surveillance horizons and provide actionable intelligence rapidly and reliably.
Making Persistent Surveillance Affordable:
At TCOM, we take pride in offering complete surveillance solutions at a low operational cost. When contrasted with alternative airborne surveillance methods, TCOM aerostat solutions offer superior performance with an operational cost that is nominal by comparison. Round-the-clock deployment for periods of over 30 days with minimal maintenance reduces man hours, fuel and other logistics costs. The low price of operation and the superior level of coverage make TCOM aerostat surveillance solutions the clear choice in an era of limited resources and heightened threats.
Who We Are:
Making persistent surveillance affordable:
Maintaining continuous aerial security is a daunting task. Threats such as low-flying, extremely fast aircraft can take advantage of the earth’s curvature and exploit terrain obstructions. This renders ground-based radars unable to provide target information in time to take appropriate action. Slow, low flying missiles with a small cross section may also avoid early detection and pose a significant threat. Manned aerial surveillance can decrease the risk for short periods of heightened alert, but the operational costs are much too high for extended use. To meet this airborne coverage challenge effectively and inexpensively, TCOM developed the 71M Low Altitude Surveillance System. With over 1,000,000 hours of operation these systems are the only operational airborne defense assets to routinely provide the continuous round-the-clock, low altitude target detection information needed to secure the skies.
Air Defense /Aircraft Monitoring
TCOM Air Surveillance Systems are the solution.
The View From Above:
TCOM air surveillance systems utilize the largest class of tethered aerostats which can routinely operate at elevations of 15,000 feet. The aerostats have the payload size, weight and power capacity to support high performance, long range radars that can unmask aircraft operating well below the coverage pattern of ground based radars. The aerostat borne radar can detect these targets, acquire track very quickly and maintain track on quickly maneuvering targets. In addition to the radar, the aerostat can simultaneously support passive surveillance payloads. GCI radios on the aerostat allow direct voice communications between air controllers and their interceptors even at very low altitudes. The extended range of LASS, along with the ability to operate continuously for weeks on end provides security forces with the intelligence necessary to detect threats far earlier than ground-based systems alone. Early detection affords more time to react.
System In Action
Easily Meet Changing Requirements:
TCOM Air solutions are as versatile as they are effective. Despite the massive size of the fully-inflated aerostats, the complete systems are easily transported, and can be deployed in nearly any environment. Mooring stations are either stationary – to be deployed in one location for an extended period; or fully transportable – built into standard trailers. Although TCOM Air solutions are readily available, individual systems can also be modified to better meet the needs of each mission.
Monitoring territorial waters on a round-the-clock basis while providing intelligence in time to take appropriate action is a major challenge to many nations. Ground-based and shipboard systems have a limited range against surface targets, while continuous use of aircraft is prohibitively expensive. Nations need an effective and affordable system that offers continuous, wide-area maritime surveillance and timely provision of target information.
Early Intrusion Alert
TCOM Sea Surveillance Systems are the solution.
Take to the Skies:
TCOM Sea surveillance systems use our medium-class tethered aerostats, equipped with an advanced maritime radar, thermal imaging and optical sensors, and communications payloads that detect and track maritime targets at distances of 60 nautical miles and beyond. A single sea surveillance system can cover thousands of square miles for weeks at a time at the lowest possible hourly cost for an airborne asset. The early detection and direct communications with air and sea assets affords the critical window of time to evaluate the situation, coordinate forces and engage, if required.
System In Action
Easily Meet Changing Requirements:
The versatility of the sea surveillance system makes it ideal for responding to requirements or threats that change rapidly. The system is fully transportable and can be easily relocated with no site preparation. Although fully mature, the system can be shaped to better meet the needs of the client. Additional capabilities such as passive surveillance and remote data linking can be included.
Along hostile borders or in troubled interior regions, ground forces and civilian populations are at constant risk of attack. Well-armed insurgents use the cover of night to initiate surprise attacks and plant explosive devices. Without adequate continuous surveillance, enemy forces can inflict major damage. Ground-based radars and day/night optical sensors alone cannot provide the line of sight needed to overcome terrain obstructions and defeat these threats in a timely manner. Continuous operation of manned or unmanned aircraft is too costly and difficult to maintain. Therefore, security forces need an effective and affordable elevated land surveillance system that offers continuous, wide-area surveillance, while providing target information rapidly and reliably.
Anti-Terror & Insurgent Monitoring
TCOM Land Surveillance Systems meet mission requirements worldwide.
TCOM Land surveillance systems employ small, medium or large aerostats depending upon the nature of the threat, the operational site, location and required operational altitude. Each aerostat is equipped with proven payloads that are designed to detect and track targets over even the most challenging terrain. TCOM aerostat systems typically carry cutting-edge optical sensors, thermal imaging systems, radars and passive communications intelligence technologies which provide ground forces with actionable data in a timely manner. This early detection of potential threats affords the critical window of time needed to coordinate forces and engage threats, if necessary.
System In Action
The versatility of TCOM land surveillance systems is unrivalled in the industry. Land-based aerostat solutions are available in fixed, transportable, or mobile configurations to meet a wide range of applications. The smallest systems are very mobile and can be operated with the aerostat aloft while on-the-move. Our smaller sized aerostats can also be deployed by helicopter lift when roads are impassible or non-existent. – See more at: http://www.tcomlp.com/land-surveillance-systems/#sthash.eqLcKt8q.dpuf
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