Tethered Drone Systems (TDS) have created a Tethered UAV, the only one fully designed, developed and manufactured in the UK with its capabilities, with extended flight duration of 24 hours or more and with secure communication via the tether.
Already with a CAA Permission for Commercial Operation (PfCO) the platform is very stable and uses secure power line communication (PLC) to send telemetry up and bring HD video or data streaming down to the base station. The platform can carry a range of interchangeable payloads to meet all client needs, with a variety of CCTV with IR and thermal imaging as standard. Multi use for broadcasters – especially outdoor sporting events, plus the blue light services including search and rescue, with autonomous flight this system will revolutionize high risk maintenance inspections for oil and gas platforms and wind farms – both on and offshore.
Initial R&D was undertaken by the renowned UAV engineers at the University of Southampton as a consultation project. TDS are now working with the University of Bath on bespoke designs and development of upgraded power and secure data communication via the ground station and the UAV.
TDS have been very lucky in having a lead investor like The British Robotics Seed Fund, not only have they invested cash but also considerable time, energy and ideas into the business. Britbots invests across UK based robotics, AI and innovation driven start up businesses and they have also created a number of network opportunities for TDS into angel investor groups. TDS has HMRC Advance Assurance for SEIS / EIS investment funding and continues to seek investment groups or individuals with a similar mindset to Britbots.
tethered uav features
Free flying drones are ideal in many situations but not when the situation requires a continuous ‘on station’ solution that can remain in flight all day and all night. Carrying a payload to meet the situational requirements with fully autonomous flight. Ground generated power transmitted up the drones lightweight tether maintains a stable and constant flight ceiling ensuring the payload is deployed for the whole time it is required.
The tether is very strong, lightweight and rated for high voltage power transmission, either mains or generated power. The drone tether is deployed via a TDS designed and developed intelligent powered winch with a strength capability of 1200N. The intelligent winch communicates with the flight controller to maintain the flight ceiling and GPS position at all times and in adverse weather conditions.
The payload deployed is key and clients want the guarantee that all data transmitted both up and down the tether is totally secure. The transmission of telemetry data up and returning live broadband quality HD Video or data from on board sensors is FIPS compliant secure TLS encryption. There can be no data capture or telemetry jamming to compromise the operational deployment of this tethered drone.
Deploy a radio repeater to significantly increase lines of communication on and off shore, or a temporary mobile phone mast to provide emergency cover or planned cover for short events like music festivals or county shows.
Any outside broadcast event where an aerial shot offers a great viewer experiences can be delivered by this Tethered Drone, F1, football, cricket, horse racing and the Olympics can all be enhanced through 4K cameras with optical zoom plus 3 axis gimbal control and high speed secure image transfer via the tether to the ground station. Flying autonomously or controlled remotely provides greater flexibility and reduces HR costs.
Quality camera systems delivering 4K and X30+ optical zoom lens, with thermal imaging and full gimbal control are available to be deployed on the Tethered Drone. With secure high-speed data transfer from the camera system via the tether and to the ground station and then onward to any location this is an ideal security solution.
Secure (fully encrypted) high-speed data transmission and the ability to transmit over extended distances to reach all edges of the operational area are vital, as are quickly deployable and portable assets. The Tethered Drone solution provides this plus with interchangeable payloads can be used for force protection duties for temporary sites using CCTV technology that can be operated with complete autonomy.
Crops are assessed by drones for spraying and harvesting, however, as with all free flying drones, flying times and data security and transfer are an issue. A Tethered Drone with extended flight times and full data security via the tether could solve these issues and with interchangeable payloads could provide farm and machinery security with a deployed CCTV camera.
Environmental pressures are increasing as are pollution levels in UK cities and worldwide. The ability to measure airborne pollution accurately and over an extended period vital for the harvesting of quality data to enable researchers to make accurate predictions of air quality. A Tethered Drone can carry an array of sensors which are interchangeable to meet specific requirements, can stay airborne for 24+ hours and transfers the data at broadband speeds securely and in real time to the ground station.
Most of the blue light services and the search and rescue organisations are using or testing free flying drones, however, for many situations a 20 to 40-minute flight time is simply not enough and the added issue of RF jamming to create a fly away or worse a crash is also present. A Tethered Drone eliminates these issues, proving flight times of 24+ hours and with totally secure data transfer via the tether with real time operational viewing of that data. CCTV images including thermal, plus radio repeating to extend cover or localised WiFi to support operational commanders are all available from one platform solution.
In high risk environments the ability to de-risk tasks by removing human interactions is the goal. Using a Tethered Drone in this ever-increasing environment can not only reduce the human risk but also save time and money but completing routine maintenance inspections with complete autonomy. Having a Tethered Drone on an autonomous surface vessel with both operating remotely and with full autonomy will be a game changer in ORE market.
In high risk environments the ability to de-risk tasks by removing human interactions is the goal. Using a Tethered Drone with multiple interchangeable payloads from radiation sensors to CCTV cameras will remove all the human risk and provide extended periods (24+ hours) of continuous cover for many situations.
Interested in placing an order or need more information? Call or email us today.