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Safer Borders with Helikite Surveillance
10th June 2016 Ref: P5-2015

World's First Moving, Patrolling, Border Security Aerostat

New, highly stable Helikite surveillance aerostat can be towed at high speed along borders.

Many borders in Europe and elsewhere are now under extreme pressure from terrorist insurgents, drug smugglers, and illegal immigrants. Airborne surveillance greatly helps to aid the border security agencies, but it is usually too expensive or short term to give adequate coverage over extended periods of time.


Regular, high-altitude, lighter-than-air, aerostats provide good surveillance over long range, but they are static. They can only see to the horizon, and therefore many of them are required to secure a long border or pipeline. This is expensive and requires numerous well-trained personnel.


The new 'Border Patrol Helikite' from Allsopp Helikites Ltd has been specifically designed to address this particular problem. Requiring only one or two personnel to operate it, the Helikite is a high-altitude aerostat that can be towed at high speed along borders, pipelines, or anywhere requiring persistent, mobile airborne surveillance.


This Helikite combines the advantages of a low-cost, long-endurance, helium-filled aerostat with the mobile capability of a manned aircraft or UAV. The Helikite flies itself completely automatically and is the most weather-capable compact aerostat in the world, able to survive wind speeds up to 60 mph.


Wind that pushes normal aerostats down actually pushes Helikites upwards in a very stable manner, thanks to the aerodynamic shape and rigid stabilising fin.


The Helikite carries a high-quality, high zoom, electro-optical camera for daytime use and a 640 x 420 line thermal camera for night. The cameras are gyro-stabilised to provide highly stable imagery. Telemetry control signals and video images are sent to and from the Helikite by radio or fibre optic – whichever the customer prefers.


The Helikite flies from a small trailer that carries everything required for a totally stand-alone operation. The Helikite, cameras, helium supply, electric winch, camera ground-station and soft launch pad are all carried on the trailer, upon which Helikites can be inflated within a few minutes. The camera is attached and the Helikite flies automatically from the tether cable up to 2,000ft altitude.


This is plenty high enough to spot intruders from many miles away, giving the security forces time to intercept them before they reach the border.


If more coverage is required or an incident is occurring some distance away, the trailer plus the Helikite flying high above it can be towed by a vehicle up to 30 mph, speeding along the border to maximise its surveillance capability. Alternatively, if required, the 'Border Patrol Helikite' can sit steadily in the sky in winds from nil up to gale force for months, with minimal maintenance or manpower.


Information about the 'Border Patrol Helikite' will be available at DSEI on 'Carolina Unmanned Vehicles' stand, number N5-161.

About Allsopp Helikites Limited

Allsopp Helikites Ltd is a designer and manufacturer of advanced lighter-than-air, miniature, all-weather aerostat systems. The company delivers a full range of products including Helikite aerostats, Helibases, Helikite winches, flying line, video surveillance cameras, aerial photographic equipment, radio-relay systems, Jungle Marker Helikites, balloon cut-down devices, helium, and aerostat trailers. Allsopp Helikites Ltd is a privately owned SME operating from its aerostat test flying base in Dorset, England.

For further information or photographic images please contact:

Sandy Allsopp, Allsopp Helikites Ltd
Tel: +44 (0)01425 654 967


Issued by:

Allsopp Helikites Ltd, Unit 1&2 Fordingbridge Business Park, Ashford Rd, Fordingbridge, Hampshire, SP6  1BD, England.
Tel: +44 (0)01425 654 967 E-mail:

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