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Successful Aerostat System Demonstration at ANTX

Successful Aerostat System Demonstration at ANTX

Carolina Unmanned Vehicles (CUV) successfully demonstrated the Small Tactical Multi-Payload Aerostat System (STMPAS)at the 21st Century Maneuver, Logistics, and Force Protection Advanced Naval Technology Exercise (ANTX) from 9 to19 July 2019 at USMC Base, Camp Lejeune North Carolina.  ANTX was the culmination of Phase 1 of the “Fight the Naval Force Forward” Experimentation Campaign. 

The Small Tactical Multi-Payload Aerostat System (STMPAS)is a mobile cost effective aerostat system for persistent 24/7 EO/IR Surveillance, Networked Communications Relaysand Signal Intelligencecollection.  CUV flew missions with both a gyro-stabilized camera Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) payload and three different radio relays provided by other companies participating in ANTX.  Only one of the relay payloads was even seen by CUV before arriving at ANTX, demonstrating STMPAS versatility and ease of accommodating varied payloads. 

Traditional aerostats cannot operate in high winds unless fairly large, typically with 200 Lb. of lift or more.  This large size makes them unsuitable for deployment to small isolated bases or in expeditionary operations.  STMPAS uses the patented Allsopp Helikite lifting aerostat which has lifting surfaces that generate aerodynamic lift to support the blimp in winds which would drive traditional designs into the ground.  With the Helikite, STMPAS can be smaller and more mobile than traditional aerostat systems yet still operate in high winds.  With superior mobility, mission utility and adverse weather capability, all STMPAS equipment can fit into a single military trailer (Fig. 1).  The STMPAS blimp can fly at altitudes of 500 to 3,000 feet for low cost, long term coverage for 24 hours a day for a week or more without maintenance or downtime. It operates for weeks at a time at a fraction of the cost of comparable aircraft or Unmanned Air Vehicles.  

STMPAS is designed to support mobile or expeditionary operations.  It is also ideal for mobile border security and post-disaster communications support. Previous versions of STMPAS were deployed by the Army Rapid Equipping Force (REF) to provide ISR capability for small tactical units in Afghanistan.  STMPASis suitable for surveillance, communications relay and research for DOD and Homeland Security missions. 

CUV is a small Woman-Owned company in Raleigh, North Carolina focused on small aerostats and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.  In addition to the REF CUV has previously provided aerostat systems for the United States Air Force (USAF), Sandia National Laboratory, and Lockheed Martin.  The Department of Commerce has approved the basic STMPAS equipment for export.  Contact: Mike Rogers, (919) 851-9898, merogers@carolinaunmanned.com





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