Tethered drone maker earns $10M contract

By Luke Geiver | October 09, 2019

Starting next month, Florida-based tethered drone developer and service provider Hoverfly will be working for the U.S. Government.

Hoverfly announced this week that an undisclosed government agency has signed the company to a $10 million contract that will allow the agency to use the tethered drones and services of Hoverfly as soon as November.

The contract includes the use of two Hoverfly technologies, the LiveSky system and the LiveSky SkyBox. The LiveSky is a tactical and mobile ISR and communication relay system that delivers full-motion 24-hour day/night video using Hoverfly's Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) sensor payload. LiveSky provides four simultaneous full-motion video streams that can be viewed locally, over networks, or by operators with mobile devices using the popular Tactical Awareness Kit (TAK). LiveSky also provides communication relay solutions using Persistent Systems WaveRelay, Silvus, TrellisWare, goTenna, and other tactical radios.

According to Hoverfly, the contract is the largest of its kind to date for a government agency. One of the agency’s looking to tethered drones is the U.S. Army. Tethered drones are required by the U.S. Army’s Remote Combat Vehicle Program. Any vehicle built for the Army has to have a tethered drone package of some kind.

"Hoverfly is honored to have been selected to provide U.S. government operators with enhanced situational-awareness, force-protection, and communications-relay capability in this light-weight, low-power, and rapidly deployable solution," said Rob Topping, CEO of Hoverfly. "This important new technology means that our customers can reduce the user burden and operational complexity of aerostats, plus get enhanced mobility when compared to fixed and heavy telescoping mast-based systems."

To date, Hoverfly has deployed its tethered systems to monitor fires, for security management and aerial surveillance. The systems used require no batteries and are water and weather resistant.