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Tethered Drone Boosts Flight Time and Altitude

Dec. 2, 2020
The Orion 2 delivers secure, unjammable communications and can keep a high-definition eye on an adversary for 24 hours straight.

This Microwaves&RF article is reprinted here with permission.

The latest generation of the original Orion tethered drone from Elistair, the Orion 2, is a highly effective surveillance tool with secure, unjammable communications link. By employing a Kevlar-reinforced micro-tether capable of unmanned-aerial-vehicle (UAV) control and high-speed data communications with a ground controller, the long-running airborne drone can provide persistent, wide-area coverage of an adversary. The firm’s first-generation Orion tethered drone was extremely useful to the French National Police for crowd and traffic control at the 2018 Ryder Cup. According to Guilhem de Marliave, the chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder of Elistair, “The Orion 2 tethered drone is a clear advance over the very capable Orion, in terms of persistence, logistical footprint, and data control.”

The Orion 2 tethered drone (see figure) features IP54 ingress protection. It provides the lift to handle a 2-kg payload and a healthy detection range of 10 km (6 miles). Designed to be an in-flight tactical tower with a simple, one-pushbutton starting routine, it is a unique tool with state-of-the-art gimbal stabilization for continuous day and night, large-area surveillance. It is capable of 24-hour continuous operation at 100 m (330 ft.) altitude, equipped with a safety battery that recharges in the air. The Orion 2 tethered drone can handle digital communications rates to 200 Mb/s. The Orion 2 is modular and man-portable, packed in a two-case transportable configuration. It is capable of 30× electro-optical zoom with 1080-pixel high-definition (HD) resolution and 4× infrared (IR) digital zoom with 640 × 480 pixel resolution. 

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