While tethered drone systems are capable of continuous flight, safe communication, and the ability to function without any GPS signals; They are now becoming a vital part of being used by security forces. This has led to the exportation of our surveillance balloons.
Göksel Yıldırım |24.03.2023 – Updated: 06.10.2023
According to the information obtained by the AA correspondent, new solutions are being added to the products developed within the Turkish defense industry and are made available to be used by security forces.
In this context, tethered drone system solutions are now being actively used and found in the inventory of security forces. Different security units benefit from this solution directly or by integrating them into other platforms already available in their inventories. In addition, Turkish defense industry companies are also developing new products that increase the effectiveness of their capabilities with the help of tethered drones.
Otonom Technology’s General Manager Ahmet Nezir Ertürk has told the AA correspondent that they have been operating on unmanned, autonomous systems since the year 2012, and that they are especially working on unmanned aerial systems that stay in the air for long durations of time.
Stated that their first products, the aerostats (balloons that remain static in the air) named Doruk and Dolunay, can stay in the air for a duration of 1-2 weeks continuously and has the capacity to carry loads weighing up to 90 kilograms or even more, Ahmet Nezir Ertürk said that these balloon systems can reach altitudes of 300-500 meters, depending on their location. He has also stated that they developed the tethered drone Tetron has been developed with the knowledge & experience gained from the balloon systems.
Tethered drone products are an industry that started to be studied worldwide in the early 2010s, Ahmet Nezir Ertürk said:
“We started working in this field in 2015. Our products have recently entered the inventory of the Turkish Armed Forces. These products are mostly used at altitudes such as 60, 100, 125, and 150 meters above the ground. Since energy is transferred through the cable, the battery of the drone does not run out. There is a safety device on the drone. The battery ensures the safe landing of the drone in case a sudden situation occurs or the mains power has been cut off. We can also transfer and receive data via the cable. We are already experienced in the field of aerostats. We can transfer data with power lines either via fiber optic or a special protocol. In this way, an uninterrupted and continuous communication opportunity becomes possible. This is a system that prevents the drone from being intercepted. Apart from continuous flight and safe data transfer, the third feature is that the drone can be used in areas where there are no GPS signals due to the product being tethered. The drone is controlled from leaving the station via the cable & using our own special software, once it is in the air we can stabilize the drone in its place.”
It watches, it talks, it lightens
Tethered drones offer the option of surveillance under day & night conditions with its built-in electro-optic and infrared cameras. Allowing it to cover and observe a wide area from a specific point.
Another area of use can be the communication relay, Ahmet Nezir Ertürk has said, “In this way, you can provide communication in an area of approximately 35-40 kilometers through a communication relay at a height of 100 meters.”
The third area of use has become a more current issue especially after the earthquakes that have struck Türkiye, Ahmet Nezir Ertürk said, “You can attach a light source to the drone. Here, there are both directional projectors and solutions that can be offered to strongly illuminate a fixed area or a large region in the location that the drone has taken off in.”
Otonom Technology can modify the communication parameters, power, and mechanical interfaces of the payloads used in these systems; especially for the drone. They can also attach other equipment that is not produced by Otonom Technology to either the Tethered Drone or the aerostat balloons ensuring they are integrated properly. Ertürk said:
“We have various collaborations with companies in the defense industry. We are trying to bring together many products such as payloads, drones, and communication systems with as many domestic opportunities as possible. We are open to such collaborations. Especially in tethered drone systems, we are not interested in producing the payloads or the drone’s systems, we prefer to buy them ready-made. “We mainly work on power transmission over this cable, power electronics, communication systems, and GPS independent flight systems. We make the active tension crane system ourselves.”
Ahmet Nezir Ertürk also mentioned that they have taken part in various military projects in the country with cable-guided balloon systems.
Stating that two different aerostat balloon products; named Doruk and Dolunay, are used actively in the country, Ahmet Nezir Ertürk said:
“We have some expansions abroad in this regard. There are not many competitors in this field around the world. It is generally a market with companies from countries such as the USA, England, and Israel. We can say that we are the only company in our own region. In this context, we carry out activities in our region. We have signed various agreements abroad. “We recently made an agreement with a neighboring country in which we will be working on a joint production. We established a joint venture in another country and will make domestic production there. We have now reached the point where we can transfer our technology abroad.”