Successful Flight of World Surveillance Group’s Argus One UAV

WSGI's Argus One UAV during a tethered test flight in Easton MD

World Surveillance Group Inc, a developer of lighter-than-air unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), announced that the Company successfully completed tethered flight tests of its Argus One airship in Easton MD. The Argus One carried out aerodynamic exercises to test the newly improved and reinforced airship envelope and improvements to mechanical systems located in the airship’s pod bay unit.

Source: World Surveillance Group Inc.’s Website

WSGI has developed a new mid-altitude (10,000 to 20,000 foot) LTA UAV, the Argus One, which represents a new airship design and is equipped with our newly developed stabilization system that autonomously controls the level of rigidity of the airship in flight and an integrated payload bay capable of initially carrying up to approximately 30 pounds of high technology sensors, cameras or electronics packages. Argus One is an unmanned autonomous airship with automated control for individual body modules for improved flight stability and aerodynamic control. The design features the ability to control the rigidity between each module and the ability to pivot. The modules are operated by microcontrollers based on aerodynamic requirements. The airship’s altitude, overall response and handling characteristics and flight control utilizes a system of ballonets contained within each individual module, thereby creating a dynamically adjustable airship. The design of the Argus One differs significantly from many of the LTA rigid platforms that have been in operation for over a century.

The Argus One UAV during a tethered test flight

The Argus One, named after the Greek god Argus who was the all seeing god with one hundred eyes, is designed to be a customer’s “eyes in the sky” even in remote locations. It is designed to meet certain requirements for ISR applications for U.S. military and other governmental agencies. Argus One is designed to fly over areas of interest for extended durations carrying various payloads intended to allow for ISR, communications and other applications. Argus One was specifically developed by WSGI using U.S. technologies that take advantage of the microelectronics and command and control technologies protected under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) for potential U.S. government and commercial customers. The Argus One can wirelessly transmit critical live video and other information generated by its payload of electro-optical or infrared sensors, cameras or other high technology electronics directly to a ground control station or system. The ground control system allows the operator to control the Argus One either manually or remotely by programming it for GPS–based autonomous navigation using operator-designated waypoints. The Argus One has significant competitive advantages over the existing manned aircraft, heavier-than-air fixed wing UAVs, tethered aerostats and balloons, or low orbit satellite alternatives. The Argus One has a flexible, non-rigid envelope which allows for easy storage and transport to remote locations.

A demonstration of the Argus One's modular design and rigidity control

There is no need for large hangars or airport infrastructure, as the Argus One can be assembled and tactically launched in hours from virtually anywhere, including remote, mountainous territory. The Argus One is designed to have a several day endurance capability and can stay on station with its module designed body, propulsion system and its sensor operated rigidity stabilization system, even in rough weather. The Argus One has a low radar footprint making it virtual stealth since the payload bay located on the forward module of the airship is the only radar reflecting material on the airship. Combined with the fact that the Argus One has significantly lower acquisition, maintenance and operation costs as a result of the above characteristics when compared especially to manned airships and fixed-wing UAVs, we believe the Argus One provides government and commercial customers a significantly different alternative for their UAV needs.

Source: World Surveillance Group Inc.’s Website

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