Defense

July 2, 2012

Army accepts last Persistent Threat Detection System aerostat

by Brandon Pollachek
Fort Belvoir, Va.

The Army accepted the last ordered Persistent Threat Detection System on May 29, 2012. Many of the systems are currently providing a situational awareness for Soldiers serving in Afghanistan.

The Persistent Threat Detection System entered its next chapter, May 29, as Lt. Col. Michael Parodi, product manager Meteorological and Target Identification, was on hand at the Lockheed Martin facility in Dayton, Ohio; to accept the delivery of the last PTDS ordered.

Since its original introduction as a quick reaction capability the Army has procured 66 systems that have been used in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Persistent Threat Detection System, or PTDS, is a large aerostat tethered to a mooring platform, which is accompanied by a Ground Control Station, or GCS. The system is equipped with both visual and audio surveillance technology.

Since the Civil War, when Union soldiers utilized hot air balloons to serve as a surveillance platform, lighter than air technology has been a part of the Army’s inventory. As U.S. forces began a troop surge in Afghanistan while maintaining security in Iraq the need to provide soldiers with a persistent view of the battlefield was paramount.

In 2008, (then) Secretary of Defense Robert Gates directed an Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, or ISR, surge dedicated to providing Soldiers with the ability to understand their environment. One of the systems that was fielded to support the ISR surge was PTDS.

“PTDS has proven to be a great asset for soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines as well as our coalition partners serving in harm’s way.” said Parodi. “They have been instrumental in providing mission overwatch, detecting [improvised explosive devices] and assisting in the capture of numerous high value targets and weapons caches.”

PTDS acts as a force multiplier for commanders on the ground as it can be utilized to scan large areas of terrain for potential insurgent activity while interacting with various other sensors to give a complete picture of potential threats. Information collected by the system is distributed to soldiers via various routes including the Distributed Common Ground System-Army, or DCGS-A; which is an intelligence tool.

Convoy protection, counter-improvised explosive device and a real-time perspective of engagements with the enemy are amongst the roles PTDS play for troops on the ground.

“Our commanders in the field have incorporated PTDS into many of their missions including force protection; while local citizens recognize the platform provides an unblinking eye keeping watch for insurgent activity,” noted Parodi.

The system operates 24 hours a day utilizing a crew of five operators working 12 hours shifts. With an ability to reach heights that are out of the range of most enemy threats, PTDS offers the user a vast perspective of the battlefield.

Since its original fielding the system has seen numerous improvements including the addition of a second sensor to provide greater ISR coverage as well as improvements to the aerostat itself, better weather effects survivability and weather forecasting, increased lift and payload capability, and improved network and equipment connectivity.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Air National Guard photograph by SSgt. Annie Edwards

ANG conducts air refueling training with NATO allies in Germany

Air National Guard photograph by SSgt. Annie Edwards A NATO E-3A AWACS aircraft approaches a Utah Air National Guard KC-135R Stratotanker for air refueling during a training flight over Germany on Jan. 13, 2015. Nearly 30 airme...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Armando A. Schwier-Morales

Ramstein Airmen train with French air force

Air Force photograph by SrA. Armando A. Schwier-Morales Two U.S. Air Force pilots and a French air force navigator discuss the route to the drop zone during a simulated low-level drop Jan. 21, 2015, at Orleans – Bricy Air...
 
 

Marines receive first F-35C Lightning II carrier variant

The first F-35C Lightning II, carrier variant, for the U.S. Marine Corps touched-down on the flight line at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 13, from the Lockheed Martin plant in Fort Worth, Texas, to begin training in support of carrier-based operations. U.S. Marine Lt. Col. J.T. Ryan, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 501 detachment commander...
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Kevin J. Gruenwald

40 years of Red Flag at Nellis

U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Kevin J. Gruenwald A flight of F-15 Eagles and F-16 Fighting Falcons Aggressors fly in formation over the Nevada Test and Training Ranges June 5, 2008. The proposal for Red Flag came in early...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph

Navy gears up to order production of 29 aircraft diagnostic systems

Lockheed Martin photograph Petty Officers Third Class Ira Schwartz assigned to Fleet Readiness Center Southeast at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla., left, and Devin Riley from Fleet Readiness Center Mid-Atlantic at Naval Ai...
 
 
Courtesy photograph

96th Test Group brings ‘R2-D2′ to life

Courtesy photograph A Rear Cockpit Pallet is mounted in the back of a T-38 Talon Jan. 13, 2015 at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. The project to build the RCP began from a need to design a platform that could serve to perform hig...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>