Aerostats use buoyant gas to float and stay aloft in the air and are a platform technology to hold payloads of sensors, cameras and more. Aerostats can include self-propelled airships (blimps being the common example of this), unpowered balloons and tethered or moored aircrafts. Moored aerostats are the preferred system as they allow for continuous aerial capabilities for communication, imaging and radar, the highest lifting capacity and are the most stable during windy conditions. They are tethered to a stationary or mobile platform, such as a ground station, mobile trailer or a vessel, to remain relatively stationary and act as a platform for a variety of payloads, including radar or various types of imaging systems. The tether that stabilizes the aerostat provides the electricity and communication cables needed to operate the payloads. The height at which they operate can significantly increase the range of surveillance technology (at 18,000 ft., certain radar can detect activity up to 300 miles). Because aerostats are so large and visible, they may act as a deterrent in some areas. However, aerostats are usually limited to lighter payloads, and their operability may depend on the weather.

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Aerostatic Poaching Protection (APP) Unit

The Aerostatic Poaching Protection (APP) unit is a tactical tethered aerostat system designed to detect and locate poachers by monitoring critical wildlife habitats .

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Desert Star Helikite

The Desert Star Helikite is a tethered aerostat and is made out of materials that protect the craft from abrasions or knocks, giving it a reputation for strength and durability.

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ELI-3330 Multi-Payload Aerostat System

The ELI-3330 is a Multi-Payload Aerostat System (MPAS) aerostat whose ability to carry and coordinate a payload of multiple sensors make it well-suited for monitoring and surveillance of MPAs.

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Lynx Tethered Aerostat

Rosaero Systems offers the “Lynx,” which is a low-volume aerostat equipped with a mooring station. With the ability to provide continuous surveillance, these aerostats can monitor borders –including sea borders – detect forest fires, detect illegal craft (including those illegal fishing vessels), conduct scientific research and capture aerial photography and video.

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NOFO Aerostat

Lindstrand Technologies designed the NOFO aerostat to provide maritime surveillance for a Norwegian search and rescue ship.

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Operational Class Aerostat Systems

TCOM offers the Operational Class Aerostat Systems that the company labels as ideal for maritime and border surveillance. These medium-sized systems are versatile and are capable of sustained deployments of up to two weeks.

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Sky Star 100

The Skystar 100 is a mini aerostat system that is ideal for close surveillance and reconnaissance missions. This mini balloon provides real-time, over-the-hill reconnaissance capability.

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Skyhook Helikite

Known as the workhorses of Helikite aerostats, Skyhook helikites are designed to lift a considerable payload at higher altitudes in comparison to other aerostats similar in size.

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Tactically Expedient Aerostat-45 (TEA-45)

The Tactically Expedient Aerostat-45 (TEA-45) is a part of SkySentry’s TEA family of aerostats. This particular model is designed for rapid response.

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Tethered Aerostat Systems

Raven Aerostar offers several models of customizable aerostat systems that are spread across three categories: tactical aerostat systems, responsive aerostat systems and enduring aerostat systems. Models differ in size, maximum payload capacity and altitude range.

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