TAMPA, FL.— At Special Operations Forces Industry Conference, May 23, 2016 – AeroVironment, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVAV), a world leader in unmanned aircraft systems, today announced the United States Combatting Terrorism Technical Support Office (CTTSO) is evaluating the company’s new tethered unmanned aircraft system, named Tether Eye™, for intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR) and security applications. The CTTSO funded the development program under a US government contract.
The AeroVironment Tether Eye unmanned aircraft system is designed to provide continuous, 24-hours-a-day surveillance at up to 150 feet above its launch point. Tether Eye deploys automatically from a small, weather-sealed, self-contained base station and ascends to a pre-determined hover altitude from where viewers of its video feed take advantage of its 360-degree field of view. The specially designed and ruggedized tether connecting Tether Eye to its base station provides continuous power, which, combined with AeroVironment’s track record of proven reliability, enables uninterrupted long-term operation.
“Having the ability to deploy a ‘virtual observation tower’ at a moment’s notice above buildings and vehicles represents a game-changing capability for ISR and security operations that has the potential to save lives,” said Amanda Toman, Program Manager at the CTTSO. “We look forward to continuing our evaluation of Tether Eye’s capabilities with AeroVironment as a possible deployable capability across government facilities.”
Current Tether Eye payloads include electro-optical (EO) and infrared (IR) cameras and AeroVironment’s encrypted Digital Data Link (DDL). The EO/IR camera provides both day and night imagery with full motion video transmitted directly to a Ground Control Station (GCS) that operates each platform within AeroVironment’s market-leading family of small UAS and Tactical Missile Systems. The Digital Data Link, integrated into each of AeroVironment’s platforms, provides secure communication with the unmanned aircraft system and communications relay with other platforms.
“Tether Eye effectively complements our family of small unmanned aircraft systems by providing a valuable new capability – continuous ISR and security for buildings or stationary vehicles in defense, security and commercial applications,” said Kirk Flittie, AeroVironment vice president and general manager of its Unmanned Aircraft Systems business segment. “We intend to continue developing Tether Eye through to production and include it as a standard component of our product portfolio. Close communication with our initial customers will guide and inform future enhancements and production releases, resulting in another effective AeroVironment solution that helps our customers succeed.”
About AeroVironment Small UAS
RQ-11B Raven®, RQ-12 Wasp®, RQ-20A Puma™ and SwitchbladeTM comprise AeroVironment’s Family of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems. Operating with a common ground control system (GCS), this Family of Systems provides increased capability to the warfighter that can give ground commanders the option of selecting the appropriate aircraft based on the type of mission to be performed. This increased capability has the potential to provide significant force protection and force multiplication benefits to small tactical units and security personnel. AeroVironment provides logistics services worldwide to ensure a consistently high level of operational readiness and provides mission services for customers requiring only the information its small UAS produce. AeroVironment has delivered thousands of new and replacement small unmanned air vehicles to customers within the United States and to more than 30 international governments.
AeroVironment is a technology solutions provider that designs, develops, produces, supports and operates an advanced portfolio of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and electric transportation solutions. The company’s electric-powered, hand-launched unmanned aircraft systems generate and process data to deliver powerful insight, on demand, to people and enterprises engaged in military, public safety and commercial activities around the world. More information about AeroVironment is available at www.avinc.com.