[SatNews] Lighter Than Air Systems Corp. ("LTAS"), a wholly owned subsidiary of World Surveillance Group Inc. (OTCQB: WSGI), a developer of lighter-than-air aerostats and unmanned aerial systems, has announced that aerostat systems provided by LTAS to the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command ("SMDC")/Army Forces Strategic Command will participate in the U.S. Army's Network Integration Experiment ("NIE") 14.2 taking place at Fort Bliss, Texas, and White Sands Missile Range, New Mexio, during April and May, 2014.
The two Winch Aerostat Small Platforms ("WASP") will be returning to NIE 14.2 as a Baseline System following their successful mission at NIE 14.1 as a System Under Evaluation. The Army's NIEs evaluate and integrate current and prospective systems thereby driving changing requirements, procurement, and field recommendations. The WASP is a mobile, tactical-sized aerostat capable of carrying a variety of payloads in support of military operations helping troops in the field have a tactical edge while communicating over greater distances. The WASP leverages aerostat technology to elevate network payloads to an advantaged height to enable persistent network connectivity while reducing risk to units conducting missions.
The NIE 14.2 exercises are intended to evaluate joint force network capabilities; improve unified land operations with communications nodes based on aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles ("UAVs"); integrate networking technologies into the armored brigade combat team; develop ways to deliver, collect and process integrated, multi-source intelligence to front-line warfighters; and make field command posts more mobile and efficient. The NIE 14.2 exercises also will involve beyond line of sight communications; expeditionary signal brigade tropospheric scatter communications; network intrusion prevention; cellular communications; electromagnetic spectrum operation; condition based maintenance; and operational energy solutions.
LTAS produces various tactical aerostat systems, all of which are turn-key, self contained systems mounted to a compact trailer for use with various military or commercial vehicles. The LTAS aerostat systems are engineered to provide significant benefits, including reduced acquisition, maintenance and overall operation costs, smaller footprint necessary for infrastructure and operations, reduced operators required to manage the aerostat, decreased time for inflation/deflation, faster launch and recovery, and a simplified process. The LTAS tactical aerostat systems include fixed and remote controls, multiple winches, custom software and electronics, and self contained helium storage with rapid inflation and deflation systems for simplified user operation. The systems are designed to act as either an eye-in-the sky or a floating aerial communications tower depending on the payload to provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and communications for, among other applications, military, security, and disaster scenarios.