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.


 
 

 

News Briefs February 27, 2015

Ukraine will start pulling back heavy weapons in the east Ukraine’s military says it will start pulling back its heavy weapons from the front line with Russian-backed separatists as required under a cease-fire agreement. The Defense Ministry said in a statement Feb. 26 that it reserved the right to revise its withdrawal plans in the...
 
 

Northrop Grumman’s AstroMesh reflector successfully deploys for NASA’s SMAP satellite

The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory successfully deployed the mesh reflector and boom aboard the Soil Moisture Active Passive spacecraft, a key milestone on its mission to provide global measurements of soil moisture. Launched Jan. 31, SMAP represents the future of Earth Science by helping researchers better understand our planet. SMAP’s unmatched data capabilities are enabled...
 
 
NASA photograph by Brian Tietz

NASA offers space tech grants to early career university faculty

NASA photograph by Brian Tietz Tensegrity research is able to simulate multiple forms of locomotion. In this image, a prototype tensegrity robot reproduces forward crawling motion. NASA’s Space Technology Mission Director...
 

 
navy-china

USS Fort Worth conducts CUES with Chinese Navy

The littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) practiced the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES) with the People’s Liberation Army-Navy Jiangkai II frigate Hengshui (FFG 572) Feb. 23 enhancing the professional ma...
 
 

AEGIS tracks, simulates engagement of three short-range ballistic missiles

The Missile Defense Agency and sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyers USS Carney (DDG 64), USS Gonzalez (DDG 66), and USS Barry (DDG 52) successfully completed a flight test involving the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense weapon system. At approximately 2:30 a.m., EST, Feb. 26, three short-range ballistic missile targets were launched near simultaneously from NASA’s Wallops...
 
 

DOD seeks novel ideas to shape its technological future

The Defense Department is seeking novel ideas to shape its future, and officials are looking to industry, small business, academia, start-ups, the public – anyone, really – to boost its ability to prevail against adversaries whose access to technology grows daily. The program, called the Long-Range Research and Development Plan, or LRRDP, began with an...
 




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>