World Surveillance Group Inc., a developer of lighter-than-air unmanned aerial vehicles (“UAVs”) and related technologies, has announced the intent to unveil its proprietary Blimp in a Box™ (“BIB”) system at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International’s (“AUVSI”) Unmanned Systems North America 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada on August 6th – 9th. The BIB system is a compact, automated, self-contained aerostat platform that is intended to be mounted to the back of a standard vehicle. It is designed to provide real-time day/night high definition footage for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (“ISR”), detection of improvised explosive devices (“IEDs”), border security and other governmental and civilian uses.
WSGI designed and developed the BIB aerostat system in response to interest from various government agencies for a custom-designed compact, tethered aerostat solution. In May 2012, the Company filed a provisional patent application for the Argus Hybrid aerostat based on the BIB technology.
The BIB system is packaged in a standard size crate that is mounted to the back of a HUMVEE, pickup truck or other comparable vehicle and can be rapidly deployed within minutes by a one man crew. The system is deployed by the push of a button and is designed to be completely automated. Once the system is activated, the prepackaged envelope, which carries a day/night electro-optical/infrared camera with laser capable payload, automatically inflates to the applicable pressure and is secured to the vehicle by a fiber optic tether. The BIB system is released from the vehicle by an automated launch and recovery system to an operational low altitude appropriate for the application and can provide critical detection capabilities for several miles. Once deployed to the operational altitude, the vehicle can proceed on its mission through any terrain with the BIB system fully functional at altitude. Following completion of a mission, the BIB system is designed to quickly and automatically be recovered while the lifting gas is retained in the BIB self-contained helium storage system. The envelope can then be re-packaged inside the weather sealed crate, the vehicle is able to move on to its next destination, and the BIB system may be re-deployed.
WSGI believes the industry leading AUVSI Unmanned Systems North America 2012 is an optimum venue to unveil its BIB system as the event is expected to attract thousands of attendees from around the world and have global media coverage. WSGI will be located at booth 1336 and intends to have not only an actual BIB system for inspection but also video footage of the BIB system in testing operations along with footage of the Argus One airship which recently completed multiple rounds of government payload testing in Nevada.
WSGI President and CEO Glenn D. Estrella stated, “We are proud and excited to be unveiling our Blimp in a Box system at such a prestigious industry event. We believe the BIB system can be a valuable strategic asset to our troops, enforcement agencies and others to meet the many challenges of hidden IEDs, ISR and border security at home and abroad. We are confident we have designed and developed a complete, compact, flexible aerostat system to satisfy the demanding requirements of the customer while maintaining low acquisition and operating costs.”