In the air – but not airborne
While all the usual suspects gear up for Eurosatory, it is worth taking some time to consider what some of the less well-known guys will be displaying.
One that particularly stood out was the Sky Sapience HoverMast – 100. Described as a ‘tethered hovering machine’ by the company, the HoverMast is a quadcopter which can be tethered to the back of a vehicle and driven around for border surveillance and other such applications.
The company will be demonstrating the capability of the HoverMast at the show in Paris, outdoors – twice daily. It might be worth going along to the spectacle of it going up and down its tether as it is demonstrated from the back of a moving pick-up truck.
Sky Sapience explained that because the quadcopter is tethered it is not considered an airborne vehicle, so it is able to avoid standard air control regulation. Maybe this is the best way of getting your quadcopter in the air without the hassle of those pesky regulations…
Another company that will be present with their not-quite-a-UAV offering is the French company A-NSE, which will be displaying their T-C350 tethered balloon.
Carrying out the same kind of missions as the HoverMast – border surveillance, ocean surveillance and infrastructure surveillance – the T-C350 has less of a catchy name and is somewhat less mobile than its quadcopter counterpart.
However, aerostats are certainly not to be disregarded as both the US Army and Department of Homeland Security have made use of the air-filled constructions.
As far as the airborne but not airborne situation goes, perhaps these tethered options will prove increasingly useful for border surveillance roles?