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TCOM offers the world’s largest selection of proven aerostat solutions that counter the tactical, operational and strategic threats faced by our customer-nations.
End-to-end systems engineered for any environment.
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We provide our customers with innovation, responsiveness and best value by leveraging our advanced technology, skilled workforce and over 40 years of proven experience.
TCOM advancements continue to define the industry.
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TCOM is the proven global leader for innovative, cost-effective Airborne Persistent Surveillance solutions protecting national security in the world’s most demanding operational environments.
TCOM aerostat systems are Soldiers of the Skies.
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Expanding airborne persistent surveillance horizons efficiently and economically, TCOM systems detect potential threats by air, over land, and by sea, providing actionable intelligence in a timely manner.
TCOM makes persistent surveillance affordable.
Payloads/0 Comments/by gal
Aerostat Payload Gallery
TCOM is the global leader in airborne persistent surveillance solutions, providing actionable intelligence rapidly and reliably in the world’s most challenging operational environments. TCOM aerostat systems can accommodate various payloads including communications equipment, radar, infrared, and video surveillance. Payloads can be customized to meet any mission over air, land or sea.
74M Aerostats/0 Comments/by gal
74M Aerostat Gallery
View images of TCOM 74M aerostat systems. TCOM is the global leader in aerostat persistent surveillance solutions, providing total domain awareness over air, land and sea. TCOM systems provide affordable and economical persistent surveillance for military, defense, law-enforcement, border security and communications applications.
71M Aerostats/0 Comments/by gal
71M Aerostat Gallery
View images of TCOM 71M aerostat systems. TCOM is the global leader in aerostat persistent surveillance solutions, providing total domain awareness over air, land and sea. TCOM systems provide affordable and economical persistent surveillance for military, defense, law-enforcement, border security and communications applications.
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Designed to meet mission objectives in any domain
Customized for air, land and sea surveillance applications
Affordable, reliable persistent surveillance solutions
Tactical, Operational and Strategic Solutions Designed to Meet Any Mission
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.
TCOM Aerostat Classes
Tactical Class: 12M, 17M
Operational Class: 22M, 28M
Strategic Class: 71M, 74M
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Documentation/0 Comments/by gal
Technical Documentation to Improve Operations
While TCOM’s aerostat surveillance systems are less costly and less complex than many of the alternatives (such as manned aircraft, satellites, and large UAV’s), TCOM’s systems are, none the less, extremely sophisticated. As such, accurate and understandable documentation is required to support the operation and maintenance of our systems wherever they are deployed. To address this need TCOM relies on our Technical Documentation Group which is made up of individuals with the diverse technical backgrounds needed to cover all aspects of the system. Most possess advanced degrees and many have extensive military experience, particularly in aircraft flight and maintenance. The Technical Documentation Group produces the necessary supporting documentation for every Aerostat Surveillance System including:
- Theory and Operations Manuals
- Preventive and Corrective Maintenance Manuals
- Supporting drawings and parts lists
Formatted for Multiple Devices
The manuals can be written either to our own best commercial practices standards, or to a variety of MIL STDs as required by the customer. While most customers still desire paper manuals for aerostat documentation, electronic versions of our manuals are now available online if requested. TCOM has worked with the U. S. Army in developing Interactive Electronic Technical Manuals (IETMs) in accordance with the AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD) standard, S1000D. TCOM is currently developing searchable interactive documentation that will be portable across a variety of platforms such as PC’s, laptops, and mobile devices.
Documentation to Facilitate Training
TCOM trained customer Operations & Maintenance personnel using TCOM generated aerostat documentation has proven successful in increasing on-station time and further lowering life cycle costs of Persistent Airborne Surveillance in some of the most troubled regions of the world.
- Accurate and Comprehensive Information prepared by an experienced staff
- Choice of Electronic or Paper Format
- Increases protection while lowering costs
- Optimized for mobile devices
Turnkey Installation/0 Comments/by gal
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.
Manufacturing/0 Comments/by gal
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.
Pioneering Achievements/0 Comments/by gal
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.
Total Systems Capabilities
Integrated Logistics Support
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