Positioned right above the company's stand, the tethered aerostat developed by Thales is designed for surveillance of theatres of operation, crisis situations and large-scale events. While this technology is nothing new, the Thales aerostat takes advantage of the latest advances in miniaturisation of communication technologies, affording an innovative solution with small balloon/aerostat capacity to guarantee reliable observation and communication services in all circumstances for both military and civil protection operations.
Fitted with a high-definition camera and a miniaturised 4G/LTE tactical modem for a total payload not heavier than 3 kilograms, the tethered aerostat can maintain surveillance over a radius of several kilometres and downlinks the video stream in real time. The latter is displayed on the Thales stand in live streaming and can also be received on TeSquad tactical terminals in near-real-time.
The miniaturised and ruggedized system's modules make it especially well-suited to operational requirements. The 10-cubic-metre aerostat can be deployed to a height of 100 metres in under 5 minutes, withstands winds of up to 80 km/h and can operate unattended for 10 hours. The tethered aerostat not only performs surveillance but is also designed to patch or replace a 4G/LTE cellular network put out of action by a terrorist attack or as a consequence of natural disaster. The payload, in this case, includes an optimised 4G/LTE base station and the subsystems needed to connect with other aerostats to restore the damaged terrestrial network.