When it comes to the importance of surveillance and communication in an environment such as a military base, an aerostat surveillance can provide the optimum surveillance and communication capabilities. It can provide real-time video feeds to operators monitoring the base and relay live orders and coordinates from one main command post to another. The major benefit of this is increased situational awareness. Also, the reduced environmental hazards associated with using tethered aerostats make them the most suitable solution for surveillance applications in such environments.
The tethered aerostats (TA), the most advanced aerial communication or surveillance systems, offer improved situational awareness by using terrain avoidance. Terrain avoidance means avoiding unfavorable areas and obstructions in the air. Airborne surveillance and other remote surveillance systems cannot perform their operations in areas where an area is too thick or has too many obstacles in the air. For example, it would be impossible for an unmanned aerial vehicle (UUV) to detect an object that is hidden in the forest canopy. Therefore, if there is a need to survey an area by using a UAV, an area of maximum or minimum coverage is selected by the operator and the camera is set up in such a way as to avoid detection from above.
The major disadvantages of using tethered aerostats for surveillance and communication is the relatively limited altitude of the installed tethers. Depending on the application, some aerostats can only achieve a maximum altitude of around 30 feet. Moreover, since the aerial motion of the aircraft is restricted, the range of the transmission and reception of information or data is also limited. Moreover, the physical size and weight of the camera and other equipment used to view the object of interest will also affect the maximum altitude and range of the tethered aerostats. Blimps, on the other hand, have much longer maximum operating altitudes and distances and their installation places them within easy visual range of the remote control.
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