U.S. DoD Awards Contract For 'Blimp In A Box' Aerostat Systems | Aero-News Network
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Sat, Jan 19, 2013

U.S. DoD Awards Contract For 'Blimp In A Box' Aerostat Systems

Global Telesat System To Support The Warfighter With Mobile ISR At The Platoon Level

A developer of lighter-than-air unmanned aerial vehicles ("UAVs") and related technologies, has been awarded a $605,000 contract from the United States Department of Defense for a set of what it calls the "Blimp in a Box" ("BiB") aerostat systems.

Global Telesat Corp. ("GTC"), a wholly owned subsidiary of World Surveillance Group won the contract, which includes on-location support for technical fact gathering, installation and training for the BiB systems. The BiB systems will be delivered to an army base where they are intended to provide semi-persistent, mobile intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance ("ISR") at the platoon level. Delivery, installation and on-site training of the initial BiB systems, spares and payloads are scheduled to be completed by the end of March.

The BiB aerostat system is designed to provide real-time day/night high definition footage for ISR, detection of improvised explosive devices ("IEDs"), border security and other governmental and civilian uses. The turn-key BiB system is packaged in a standard size crate that is mounted to a trailer and towed from the back of a MAT-V, HUMVEE, pickup truck or other comparable vehicle and can be rapidly deployed within minutes by a two man crew. With the push of a button, the system is activated, the prepackaged envelope, which carries a day/night electro-optical/infrared camera, automatically inflates to the applicable pressure for the mission and is secured to the vehicle by a data capable tether. The BiB system is released from the vehicle by an automated launch and recovery system to an operational altitude appropriate for the application. Once deployed to the operational altitude, the BiB system can provide critical detection capabilities for several miles and the vehicle can proceed on its mission through any terrain with the BiB system fully functional. Following completion of a mission, the BiB system is designed to quickly and automatically be retrieved and can either be mounted inflated allowing the vehicle to move on to its next destination where the BiB system can be re-deployed, or the BiB system can be deflated and re-packed into the self contained crate.

WSGI President and CEO Glenn D. Estrella stated, "We are honored that GTC has been selected by the United States Department of Defense to provide a system that supports our troops in the critical challenges of providing aerial reconnaissance for moving platoons. We and GTC look forward to working with the DoD and our customers to deliver advanced systems that meet their demanding and critical requirements."

(Image provided by GTC)

FMI: www.blimpinabox.com

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