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AirMast - innovative sky mast for communication and surveillance

SPH Engineering
December 7, 2016

SPH Engineering presents new addition to continuously evolving drone market - a ready-to-fly tethered drone system AirMast. Compared to some conventional mast systems AirMast is easy and quickly deployable mean to bring up sensors in the sky, not requiring operators specific technical knowledge. AirMast can provide significant support for most search and rescue, environment protection, telecommunication and video surveillance activities.

AirMast consists of ground module with intelligent winch system and a drone with lightweight 100 meter tether, consisting of cables for power and data transmission. Powered from ground by any type of power generator, the drone can stay in the air for extended period of time with no reliance on drone-batteries. AirMast is operated with UgCS’s ground-based command control software run on a durable tablet.

Compared to some conventional mast and tower systems, AirMast can be deployed by a single person in less than 5minutes. AirMast is capable of carrying payload of up to 1,5kg from video camera, to diverse sensing devices or mesh network extenders. High-bandwidth data channel is a part of the tether, which enables high-resolution video or other data transmission from the drone to the ground system.

According to the payload the AirMast can be used by private business or governmental organisation, ranging from perimeter control, event management, communication and cellular applications for strategic facilities, oil & gas pipelines and rigs, traffic control, emergency response, firefighting, mines, forests and national parks, disaster areas and mass events like a virtual mast.

“Paired with a Rajant BreadCrumb drone module, it can quickly deploy a network ‘tower’ for as long as necessary, all the while being mobile, too. Together with UgCS, this setup allows for the deployment and management of a mesh network of drones. In addition, flight data as well as video streams from multiple drone operators in the field can be quickly sent to a UgCS ground station operator, allowing to scan a large area in a short amount of time using drones, something that is very useful for search and rescue operations, photogrammetry and other fields,” said Janis Kuze, Sales Director at SPH Engineering.

“Rajant has married the latest innovations in flight with a communication network capable of taking drones greater distances, and for longer periods of time,” said Bob Schena, Chairman and CEO of Rajant. “Drone operators have been faced with weak radio systems and little payload versatility – until now. The AirMast Tether System with our BreadCrumb module gives companies and governments an easy way to establish a broadband network for their drones. With Rajant’s wireless nodes, they have a secure system that can scale with various payloads, giving them true mobility. In kinetic mesh, everything is constantly moving, including the infrastructure, allowing an expansive network footprint.”

Current ground-based version of the AirMast system uses a popular drone platform that is widely available, flight-tested and reliable - DJI S900 together with Elistair SAFE-T powering system. More info:

SPH Engineering currently is developing mobile version of the AirMast. This will enable AirMast being used on a moving platform such as a truck or a ship. While retaining all of the before mentioned functionality, this will give the freedom of movement, opening opportunities to use the system non-stop.