03OE-07-STAT - Aerostat, Tethered (Balloon)


Tethered aerostats are unmanned balloons that use lighter-than-air gases such as helium to take flight and remain aloft while moored by ground equipment. A tethered aerostat system requires a number of components to be fully operational. The key component is a balloon filled with lighter-than-air gas that enables the system to take flight and remain aloft. These balloons, usually referred to as envelopes, come in different shapes, sizes, and designs, which are determined by mission, payload, and logistical factors. Other components typically include: - A means for transporting the system, such as a truck and/or trailer; - A mooring station for controlling the inflated aerostat envelope prior to launch; - A launching platform, which sometimes doubles as the mooring station; - Tethers used for both mooring the aerostat envelope to ground equipment and for transmitting power and data; - Winches for letting out, pulling in, and adjusting the tension of the tethers; and - Automatic or manual deflation devices. Depending upon the mission, tethered aerostats can support a variety of surveillance and tactical equipment. This item also includes mission-specific payloads that are designed to be attached to the tethered aerostat platform. Examples include, but are not limited to, high-resolution video cameras, electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensors, communication/network repeaters, acoustic detectors, and radar. Some tethered aerostat products may also include a ground control station for media storage, data transmission, and system management functions.

FEMA Related Grant Programs:

  • Intercity Passenger Rail Grant Program (IPR)
  • Intercity Bus Security Grant Program (IBSGP)
  • Port Security Grant Program (PSGP)
  • State Homeland Security Program (SHSP)
  • Transit Security Grant Program (TSGP)
  • Tribal Homeland Security Grant Program (THSGP)
  • Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI)

Standardized Equipment List

For more information on operating considerations, mandatory and applicable standards, and training requirements, visit the Interagency Board’s Standardized Equipment List site. Note: some equipment items on the Authorized Equipment List maynot be listed on the Standardized Equipment List.

System Assessment and Validation for Emergency Responders

For market survey reports, visit the System Assessment and Validation for Emergency Responders site. To search for an equipment item, use the same Authorized Equipment List item number. Note: some equipment items may not have market survey reports.

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