An appropriately named startup that is called Sky Sapience has been creating a tethered hovercraft which can send into the air its surveillance mechanism for up to 50 meters high. The weight of this surveillance drone is 10 kilograms and it is called HoverMast. This advanced multipurpose surveillance machine can carry up to 9 kilograms of various equipment for surveillance and wireless data transfer through wide band communication channels. Sky Sapience, that is located in Israel, will demonstrate its innovative invention at the International conference of Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems that will be held in Tel Aviv on March 20-22.
The tether of HoverMast acts as its power cord that brings electricity to supply the mechanism, and as a wideband wire, transmitting information back down to the main station. It has light weight which lets anyone drive it anyplace they like it to be established, tethered to the car roof or any other vehicle like trucks, UGV and USV (Unmanned Ground or Surface Vehicle) or common all-terrain vehicle. HoverMast might even be used on the move, effectively resisting gusts of wind thanks to its aerodynamic shape and rotors with propellers. And it takes only one push of the button for anybody to loft this surveillance drone into the air.
As yet, Sky Sapience’s main client is their native Israel Ministry of Defense that requested such tethered hovering surveillance platform about two years ago. Sky Sapience is positioning its HoverMast drone as special military observation unit, border control device and crowd control measure. Because it is tethered, it is not a subject to strict air control regulations, thus it is easier for police forces and homeland security department to use HoverMast.
Sky Sapience will begin factory-producing those HoverMasts in the autumn. The question about the future price of those surveillance devices still remains open.
As far as I can see when this tethered surveillance drone become available on the market, it will become a huge temptation for the bad guys to use in their dirty deeds. Considering all HoverMast characteristics available at the moment, the only thing you can do against it is to prevent Sky Sapience HoverMast from sending recorded video elsewhere because you can’t block the data that goes through its tether. And even to block that data transmission you need to be close enough to the vehicle with the hovering drone because it can fly 50 meters high and the maximum jamming radius of the desktop jammer is 40 meters.
Yes, there are more powerful models, but they either can deal only with cell phone signals, like this one, so it may not fully block the wireless transmission or are powerful military jammers which are developed only by the government for military forces to use, like those which soldiers carry behind their back in the backpack. As you can see, Israel MoD is a customer of the Sky Sapience not without reason.
So leave your comments and suggestions on how such cool but dangerous thing might be used by authoritiesin the future.