TCOM, the global leader in Lighter-than-Air technology, established its Persistent Surveillance Solutions Center of Excellence at the company's Manufacturing and Flight Testing Facility in Elizabeth City, North Carolina
The Elizabeth City facility has long served as the East Coast's primary hub for LTA systems manufacturing, assembly, and testing. Now, the company said its new Center of Excellence will expand its capabilities to include integration testing of platforms, payloads, sensors and PED technologies in partnership with manufacturers from around the globe to further the development of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Systems.
TCOM's Elizabeth City, NC Manufacturing and Flight Testing facility is located on 225 acres, with access to waterways for maritime testing. The facility's massive 300,000 square foot metal hangar can accommodate LTA vehicles up to 150 feet in height, and is home to all manufacturing and testing for the entire line of TCOM persistent surveillance aerostat systems. The facility offers one-of-a-kind infrastructure to support ongoing LTA systems testing and manufacture.
"TCOM has always been at the center of the LTA community," stated Ron Bendlin, President and CEO of TCOM. " After 40 years of pioneering new technologies in lighter than air applications, our new Persistent Surveillance Center of Excellence gives us the opportunity to actively contribute to the growth of the industry by offering our customers a live interactive demonstration experience while at the same time strengthening our partnerships with leading technology companies."
TCOM said its vision for the Center of Excellence is to create a multi-function East Coast center for payload testing, offering unique opportunities for the U.S. and international governments to conduct testing and training on a range of LTA platforms and towers. The CoE will also serve to demonstrate complete turn-key ISR and communications solutions to a broad range of domestic and international customers.
Due to the facility's unique infrastructure and capabilities, the CoE will be able to accommodate integration testing and evaluation of the industry's most advanced sensors and communications equipment. “This situationally relevant evaluation will help leaders leverage persistent surveillance applications to improve border surveillance, military base defense, embassy protection and maritime surveillance,” company officials explained.
The Center of Excellence enhances TCOM's position as a leading force driving innovation in the LTA industry and furthers the development of LTA systems into Persistent Surveillance Solutions. TCOM has partnered with radar and camera providers as well as shelter/tower manufacturers and software developers to provide demonstrations of multiple payloads including EO/IR,GMTI, WAS, SIGINT and COMMS relay. The data from the sensors is routed to a Ground Control Station to provide complete situational awareness and sensor control. The Ground Control Station can remotely transmit the sensor control and data to other locations to increase the customer's ability to utilize the valuable payload information.
By bringing together leading ISR and communication sensor providers from around the globe, the Persistent Surveillance CoE will enable payload specialists to integrate, test and validate cutting-edge sensor technology on an LTA platform in collaboration with TCOM's Engineering and Operations team, the company explained. “This will provide an opportunity for TCOM and their partners to demonstrate actual mission capabilities for fully-operational surveillance systems to both domestic and foreign customers. Potential customers will have unrivaled access to fully-integrated systems that address mission sets in the land, sea and air domains."
"We have a long history of being an integral part of the community of Elizabeth City, North Carolina." added TCOM President Ron Bendlin. "As the Center of Excellence grows, we expect create new jobs and drive economic growth within the region."