Applications of UAV tether systems
The most common use of tethered drones is to provide a persistent surveillance capability for situational awareness. This may be used for military ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance), disaster response, event management and security, traffic monitoring and a variety of other applications. Data transmitted via fibre optic drone tether has the advantage of being more secure as it is less susceptible to interference than wireless signals, and cannot be jammed like RF signals.
Powerline tethered drones are also used as part of long-range communications relays to create temporary networks for cellular, radio and broadband internet signals. Research is also being conducted on the use of UAV tether systems for power generation via the harnessing of wind energy.
Tethered drones can be outfitted with a range of payloads to suit the particular mission, including IR and HD video cameras for real-time streaming, radio repeaters and environmental sensors.