World Surveillance Group Inc., a developer of lighter-than-air aerostats and unmanned aerial systems (“UAS”), has signed a teaming agreement with three other companies to establish a consortium to further develop and commercialize its Argus One lighter-than-air unmanned aerial vehicle.
As part of the agreement, the Argus One development program will be relocated to Springfield, Ohio from its current location in Easton, Maryland. The parties will also assist the Ohio/Indiana UAS Test Center by fostering the growth of Ohio as a preeminent aerospace and UAS center.
In addition to World Surveillance Group, the initial partners in the consortium are: The Trident Group, Ltd., based in Dublin, Ohio (“Trident”), EWA Government Systems, Inc., based in Herndon, VA and with an office in Dayton, Ohio (“EWA GSI”) and Advanced Virtual Engine Test Cell, Inc., based in Springfield, Ohio (“Avetec”). Additional partners are expected to join the consortium in the future.
Glenn D. Estrella, President and CEO of World Surveillance Group, stated: “The creation of this consortium is a vital step in the continuing development of the Argus One airship. Via the consortium, we will be able to reap the benefits of our partners’ technical expertise in moving this project forward. Another benefit of the relocation of the Argus One program is the close proximity to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and various major defense contractors and research institutes that are located in the surrounding area. Meanwhile, it will also allow World Surveillance to maintain an in-house focus on our Blimp in a Box™ aerostat system and various other projects.”
“Trident’s confidence in the Ohio LTA UAS Consortium is based on the Consortium’s proven and strong credentialed team members, and the dedication of all members to create a low, mid, and high-altitude lighter than air UAS industry in Ohio,” said Drew West, CEO and President of The Trident Group, Ltd.
Doug Armstrong, President and CEO of EWA GSI stated, “We made a strategic decision to invest in Ohio to support the Air Force and the Ohio/Indiana UAS Test Center and we are pleased to be involved in the Ohio LTA UAS Research, Development and Commercialization Consortium.”
Greg Carter, Director of Air Force Programs at EWA GSI added, “Our participation in the Consortium will be a great opportunity to support WSGI with engineering and test expertise as well as advance Ohio as a UAS leader.”
“Avetec is eager to explore the possibility of using our core competency of modeling and simulation to assist WSGI with their goal of developing unmanned stratospheric airships in Ohio,” stated James Mainord, Avetec Business Development and Legal Director.
The Argus One LTA UAV is designed to operate at mid-altitudes (10,000 to 20,000 foot) and represents a unique patent pending airship design. The airship is designed to be equipped with a stabilization system that autonomously controls the level of rigidity of the airship in flight with an integrated payload bay designed to be capable of initially carrying high-technology sensors, cameras or electronics packages.
As part of the agreement, Trident is responsible for the transfer of the Argus One airship and all related equipment to the new Ohio facility.