SES announces civil-military aerostat product for intel, surveillance, reconnaissance
PARIS — Satellite fleet operator SES on Sept. 22 said its SES Government is commercializing a low-altitude tactical surveillance aerostat equipped with optical surveillance and reconnaissance and a satellite link for border control, disaster relief and special-events monitoring.
The announcement from the operator of a fleet of 50-plus satellites is indicative of the current state of the fixed satellite services business, where even the largest and most profitable companies are seeking to broaden their portfolios in the face of stagnant satellite-bandwidth prices.
SES’s Tactical Persistent Surveillance (TPS) system is an inflatable aerostat that would fly at around 1,000 feet. SES said it could identify targets 5 kilometers distant and provide broadband connectivity from its imaging sensor to customers 20 miles away.
“The cost-effective ISR solution enables security, military defense and first responder teams to monitor areas on demand to detect, locate, characterize, identify and track people, objects and potential threats,” Luxembourg-based SES said in a statement.
The company said TPS also would serve as a temporary communications node in areas where the communications infrastructure is destroyed or otherwise unavailable.
“Satellite-delivered IP service is also an option within the MIMO coverage area, enabling any IP enabled device to support a broad range of field applications, including video streaming, voice, Internet, and remote mission-critical applications such as biometric identification,” the company said.
Nicole Robinson, head of government market solutions at SES, said TPS is “the first of many customized government solutions to be launched as part of SES’s Government+ portfolio of innovative ISR and disaster response offerings. It allows defence, security and emergency response teams to gather and analyse real-time, relevant intelligence.”