TCOM Awarded Contract for Rapid Restoration of Emergency Communications

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TCOM, L.P. has been awarded a contract by the US Army to develop an airborne emergency response communications platform for use by first responders and leader to quickly pass critical information in the aftermath of terroist attacks or natural disasters. The working system is scheduled for demonstration in the Spring of 2008.

The U.S. Army awarded TCOM L.P. a contract to develop and demonstrate a Cellular Aerostat Platform System (CAPS) that reconstitutes emergency communications in the face of a national disaster such as Hurricane Katrina.

Self-contained in two 20 ft. ISO containers, the complete system can be deployed in three hours or less. A TCOM 17M™ Tactical Aerostat System carries the 200 pound CAPS payload system to an altitude of 1000 feet. From this altitude CAPS broadcasts a wireless network umbrella covering an area of over 600 square miles. A single system can provide connectivity for up to 2000 subscribers. An innovative multi-carrier power amplifier and dual RF antenna system provide multi-frequency and multi-technology (GSM/CDMA) capability to quickly reestablish vital communications.

TCOM will demonstrate the CAPS system in early Spring 2008 at its Manufacturing and Flight Test Facility in Elizabeth City, NC. The U.S. Army contract is being managed by the Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) at Fort Eustis, VA.

Concerned about restoring communications quickly to First Responders after a natural disaster or terrorist act, U.S. Congressman G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) was instrumental in supporting this effort. Congressman Butterfield said, "This new technology will enhance our ability to rapidly establish emergency wireless communications and coordinate rescue efforts and help save lives."

Beginning its 36th year of operations, TCOM is the only company in the world that exclusively designs, manufactures, operates and supports tethered aerostat systems, both domestically and internationally. TCOM's highly focused research & development effort has enabled it to maintain its leadership in the global aerostat market. The 17M™ Tactical Aerostat System was developed in response to the emerging need for a compact, easily transportable platform for look-down radars, cameras and communication systems to achieve persistent surveillance. Systems have been deployed around the world including Afghanistan and Iraq. For more information on TCOM, please visit


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Brent Dial