Panama City, Panama – Military personnel from the Naval Surface Warfare Center have been demonstrating how to use a white blimp called a Rapidly Elevated Aerostat Platform (REAP) XL B.
The Aerostat Blimp helps extend the range of control for military unmanned aerial systems; controlled by base officials. It’s expected to help reduce the cost of tests at sea by conducting the training from shore.
Some officials believe that unmanned systems could potentially save lives. “That’s the idea of having unmanned systems is being able to send them into harm’s way and not people,” said the Senior Systems Engineer Jay Doane.
The US Army is expanding its persistent surveillance capability with unmanned systems through additional deployments of and upgrades to the Persistent Threat Detection System (PTDS) and the development of the Rapidly Elevated Aerostat Platform-XL (REAP-XL). These systems will complement tower-based long endurance and increase capability to exploit captured media, communications devices and information systems.
Demonstrations and testing will continue through Friday.