• The AeroVironment Tether Eye UAS is being evaluated for the counterterrorism mission.
     The AeroVironment Tether Eye UAS is being evaluated for the counterterrorism mission.

Counterterrorism Organization Evaluates Tether Eye UAS

May 23, 2016


The AeroVironment system provides continuous surveillance at up to 150 feet above its launch point.


AeroVironment Inc. has announced the U.S. Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office (CTTSO) is evaluating the company’s new tethered unmanned aircraft system, named Tether Eye, for intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR) and security applications. The CTTSO funded the development program.

The AeroVironment Tether Eye unmanned aircraft system is designed to provide continuous, 24-hours-a-day surveillance at up to 150 feet above its launch point. Tether Eye deploys automatically from a small, weather-sealed, self-contained base station and ascends to a pre-determined hover altitude from where viewers of its video feed take advantage of its 360-degree field of view. The specially designed and ruggedized tether connecting Tether Eye to its base station provides continuous power, enabling uninterrupted long-term operation, according to the company’s announcement.

“Having the ability to deploy a virtual observation tower at a moment’s notice above buildings and vehicles represents a game-changing capability for ISR and security operations that has the potential to save lives,” Amanda Toman, CTTSO program manager, said in the company’s announcement.  

According to the company’s announcement, current Tether Eye payloads include electro-optical (EO) and infrared (IR) cameras and AeroVironment’s encrypted digital data link. The EO/IR camera provides both day and night imagery with full-motion video transmitted directly to a ground control station that operates each platform within AeroVironment’s family of small UAS and tactical missile systems. The digital data link, integrated into each of AeroVironment’s platforms, provides secure communication with the unmanned aircraft system and communications relay with other platforms.

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