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Company:

Skystar Aerostats

 

In 2004,  RT LTA Systems  developed a family of SkyStar aerostats for use in intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and communications applications. SkyStar systems are operational worldwide in various military and civilian missions.

The Skystar aerostats series includes the 180 and 300 models, providing the operator with a persistent, elevated view of an area under surveillance. The basic Skystar system consists of a tethered helium-filled balloon platform, a mission payload comprising a stabilized day/night electro-optical (EO) payload, and a tether that links the platform and payload to the ground control unit. The tether provides power and controls on uplink, and high-capacity video on downlink. Skystar aerostats are designed for rapid deployment and mobility. They are deployed by a 2–3-person team, that operates and transports it. The entire system is packed and transported in a dedicated container, using a standard trailer or truck.

Variations: Skystar 180, Skystar 300

Skystar 180

The Skystar 180 aerostat system is a small tactical, all-weather aerostat system, that is popular with military and police forces.

Skystar 300

The Skystar 300 aerostat system is a medium-sized tactical, all-weather aerostat system, used mainly in military and homeland security operations.

Use by Israeli forces:

 

RT’s chief client is the Israeli army. The company’s first prototype was developed according to the specific requirements of the Israeli army. At present, the combat intelligence collection unit uses the SkyStar 180 and 300 aerostats for collecting tactical intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance. The aerostats are provided to the army under a multiyear leasing contract with the Israel Ministry of Defense. In Israel, SkyStar systems are equipped with the Speed-A payload by Controp Company.

RT supplied “SkyStar” surveillance balloons to the Israeli army that have deployed it in consecutive military assaults on Gaza in 2008-2009, 2012 and 2014, during which the Israeli army operated 13 RT balloons. In 2017, RT tested new technology, a SkyStar 110 micro surveillance balloon, in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank. In 2018, an identical balloon was documented stationed over a number of Palestinian villages west of Jenin in the West Bank. RT balloons are also stationed on Route 443, a settler road in the West Bank.

In the summer of 2014, the company supplied the Jerusalem Municipality with five surveillance balloons as part of the security apparatus of the Jerusalem light rail in occupied East Jerusalem. The model deployed in East Jerusalem was the SkyStar 180, three of the balloons were equipped with high quality network-connected video cameras, which stream pictures in real time to police units on the ground and the other two were decoys used for deterrence. One of the balloons was positioned in the Palestinian neighborhood of Shuafat and one in the settlement neighborhood of the French Hill.[1]

Skystar Aerostats

Photo: RT LTA Systems

In 2004, RT developed a family of SkyStar aerostats for use in intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and communications applications. SkyStar systems are operational worldwide in various military and civilian missions.

The Skystar aerostats series includes the 180 and 300 models, providing the operator with a persistent, elevated view of an area under surveillance. The basic Skystar system consists of a tethered helium-filled balloon platform, a mission payload comprising a stabilized day/night electro-optical (EO) payload, and a tether that links the platform and payload to the ground control unit. The tether provides power and controls on uplink, and high-capacity video on downlink. Skystar aerostats are designed for rapid deployment and mobility. They are deployed by a 2–3-person team, that operates and transports it. The entire system is packed and transported in a dedicated container, using a standard trailer or truck.

Skystar 180

The Skystar 180 aerostat system is a small tactical, all-weather aerostat system, that is popular with military and police forces.

Skystar 300

The Skystar 300 aerostat system is a medium-sized tactical, all-weather aerostat system, used mainly in military and homeland security operations.

RT’s chief client is the Israeli army. The company’s first prototype was developed according to the specific requirements of the Israeli army. At present, the combat intelligence collection unit uses the SkyStar 180 and 300 aerostats for collecting tactical intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance. The aerostats are provided to the army under a multiyear leasing contract with the Israel Ministry of Defense. In Israel, SkyStar systems are equipped with the Speed-A payload by Controp Company.

RT supplied “SkyStar” surveillance balloons to the Israeli army that have deployed it in consecutive military assaults on Gaza in 2008-2009, 2012 and 2014, during which the Israeli army operated 13 RT balloons. In 2017, RT tested new technology, a SkyStar 110 micro surveillance balloon, in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank. In 2018, an identical balloon was documented stationed over a number of Palestinian villages west of Jenin in the West Bank. RT balloons are also stationed on Route 443, a settler road in the West Bank.

In the summer of 2014, the company supplied the Jerusalem Municipality with five surveillance balloons as part of the security apparatus of the Jerusalem light rail in occupied East Jerusalem. The model deployed in East Jerusalem was the SkyStar 180, three of the balloons were equipped with high quality network-connected video cameras, which stream pictures in real time to police units on the ground and the other two were decoys used for deterrence. One of the balloons was positioned in the Palestinian neighborhood of Shuafat and one in the settlement neighborhood of the French Hill.