Aerostat Systems Aid U.S. DHS Border Patrols

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TCOM, the supplier of airborne persistent surveillance solutions, is supporting the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to improve U.S. Border Patrol operations in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. Multiple TCOM aerostat systems are being evaluated by Border Patrol agents in key operational environments along the U.S-Mexico border. TCOM’s aerostat systems enable operators to view activity along the border that could be a threat to the public and the nation.

TCOM 17M aerostat. Illustration photo: TCOM
TCOM 17M aerostat. Illustration photo: TCOM

The U.S. Border Patrol is now receiving assets, including TCOM’s 17M and 22M tactical class aerostats and 38M operational class aerostats, to aid in detection and tracking efforts throughout the most highly trafficked areas along the U.S-Mexico border.

iHLS – Israel Homeland Security

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Each aerostat system carries a payload of advanced sensor equipment – the same type of sensor equipment that Border Patrol agents use elsewhere. The system can typically remain aloft for two weeks to one month at a time. With operational altitudes of up to 5,000ft, the aerostats provide comprehensive monitoring of thousands of square miles. This extensive range and detailed data provide the actionable intelligence Border Patrol agents need to make mission critical security decisions and keep the Nation’s border region safe.

Tactical and operational TCOM aerostat systems consist of an aerodynamic helium-filled balloon which typically carries radar, video and communications payloads aloft to altitudes ranging from 1,000 ft up to 5,000ft. Payload data is then transmitted to a ground control station through a fiber optic tether providing secure and reliable transmission of high bandwidth data. The system operates round-the-clock, enabling Border Patrol forces to achieve total situational awareness and identify illegal activity with enough time to evaluate and intercept. Over the last decade the company provided similar systems to the American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.