USOG Demonstrates Smart Tether System to DoD, DHS

The demonstration evaluated the capabilities of a COTS UAS that integrated a radiation sensor payload to detect, store, and transmit radiological data in real-time to a remote operator, or Command and Control center By Phoebe Grinter / 28 Oct 2022
USOG Smart Tether System

Unmanned Systems Operations Group (USOG) has successfully demonstrated its Smart Tether System to Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and Federal stakeholders during the Advanced Naval Technical Exercise (ANTX) Coastal Trident 2022 at Port Hueneme, CA, in September. 

The demonstration evaluated the capabilities of a COTS UAS that integrated a radiation sensor payload to detect, store, and transmit radiological data (gamma and neutron) in real-time to a remote operator, or Command and Control center.  

The USOG Smart Tether System (STS) was integrated with a Sensor Technology Engineering Linear Radiation Monitor (LRM) radiological gamma and neutron sensor(s) and was remotely lowered and retrieved from a height up to 120 ft AGL.  

According to USOG, this system is the industry’s first ‘dual purpose’ winch system that can transport and deliver physical goods as well as collect, transmit and deliver ‘information’.

“ANTX-CT22 provided USOG the opportunity to deploy, and demonstrate an integrated system for search, detection, and identification of radiological sources in maritime, or shore environments,” said Pharns Genece, Founder and CEO USOG, Inc. “The USOG STS system will provide a UAS standoff search of buildings, vehicles, cargo, or vessels. This capability would enhance DoD/DHS capabilities to remotely and quickly search between stacked MILVAN containers (10 containers high) at sea or ashore. Additionally, the USOG Smart Tether System can be submerged, and provide secure communications with other submersible payload devices such as acoustic transponders, sonars, and salinity, temperature, density sensors in real-time.” 

USOG Smart Tether System Features 

  • Basic system can lift over 100 pounds with 100% tether snap load rating
  • Optionally powered by drone battery or can be self -powered – adapts to majority of COTS UAV platforms, expanding customer’s choices
  • Full control user or autonomous release of cargo – no gravity released cargo connectors 
  • USOGs active ‘smart’ tether carries video, and almost an unlimited data formats protocols for sensors, and other devices for near real time transmission to the user 
  • Tether is fully submersible for sensors, and other cargo that need to be submerged in salt or fresh water
  • Variable tether lengths up to 100 meters – drone lifting capability dependent 
  • User can control all STS winch functions remotely: start, stop, engage system, brake, or release of cargo 
  • Multiple pre-flight STS sortie plans can be created, and executed as flight and other conditions change during sortie 
  • Optional multiple color low light cameras located on the tether for an ‘operator view’ (200-degree downward view)
  • Custom cargo and sensors can be easily integrated 
  • In development – sway control system for accurate cargo placement (24-inch accuracy at 100’ AGL)

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Posted by Phoebe Grinter Unmanned Systems Technology’s digital editor and copywriter Phoebe takes a fresh and enthusiastic approach to researching, writing and posting the latest unmanned technology updates, and in managing the UST social channels. Connect & Contact