The Tethered Aerostat Radar System (TAER) is an American medium-altitude airborne low-level radar system which uses aerostats as radio control surfaces. This system was designed by General Electric (GE). Like other similar systems, this system has the ability to detect moving objects and its strength and sensitivity varies depending on its operating wavelength and frequency. It can detect moving objects at over 100 feet above ground level. The radar system uses a variety of channels to communicate with radars situated on the ground and in the air.
Applications of Tethered Aerostats
There are three components of the TAER system – the transmitter, the antenna, and the base station. The transmitter can operate in stand-up mode and is connected to a central processing unit (CPU). The antenna can either be fixed or portable and is usually mounted on the aircraft. The base station contains the processor and any required wiring connections to connect the antenna to the CPU. The processor and the base station are usually separate units and can communicate with each other via one communication cable. The main drawback with the Tethered Aerostat Radar System as compared to other similar systems is that it does not have an in-flight abort system.
The tethered aerostats are known to be used for aerial refueling, unmanned ground operations, unmanned vehicle operations, aerial surveys, electronic imaging, surveillance and tracking and other scientific purposes. This system is highly stable and is designed to withstand strong winds of up to 130 mph and the extreme weather conditions. Since the aerial refueling of UAVs can only take place if the aircraft is not in operation, this system makes it possible to remotely control the flying of blimps. The blimp is then released and will hover over a designated area. Once the pilot releases the control column, the aerostat will automatically return to the ground and autonomously refuel the blimp.