The Sled

The latest installment of ‘The Shed’ is all about the Sled. The sled is one of the latest creations to come out of my very busy brain. At this point, most of you may be scratching your busy heads wondering, what the heck does the sled do. Well, this sled was designed to carry a payload (or as I like to call it “PAY” load), aloft on an aerostat system.

Why do we need an aerostat system? Well, in my case, I do some consulting for the U.S. Army SMDC-BL (Space and Missile Defense Command Battle Lab (SMDC-BL). Makes The Shed even better when you’re getting paid.

The SMDC-BL utilizes a few of these systems as test beds for future warfare projects. Being part of the Experiments Division we are all about testing and evaluating (T&E) the systems of the future. Are goal is to enable the warfighter to be more effective. The projects and systems run the gamut in scope, but for now will go unmentioned in an effort to keep the paperwork etc. under control. With the proper direction, and permissions I will talk about this more in the future I promise.

On to the Sled…

What make this sled different from all of the others that have come before it? Good question. The primary difference here is the modular mounting of payload platform as well as the hardware solution for attaching the “PAY” load to the aerostat itself. In most case with LTA, the payload is laced to the envelope. This offering uses what I’ve designed and dubbed the Omega Clamp. The clamp itself is a solution that besides cutting down on the manpower needed to attach said payload it also mitigates safety risks to the crew and cargo by easily.

This is still in the prototype or development phase so she has yet to fly, but I’m sure this little honey is going to perform like none before. And I’m not just saying that because I came up with it ;-)

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Patrick Egan
Editor in Field, sUAS News Americas Desk | Patrick Egan is the editor of the Americas Desk at sUAS News and host and Executive Producer of the sUAS News Podcast Series, Drone TV and the Small Unmanned Systems Business Exposition. Experience in the field includes assignments with the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command Battle Lab investigating solutions on future warfare research projects. Instructor for LTA (Lighter Than Air) ISR systems deployment teams for an OSD, U.S. Special Operations Command, Special Surveillance Project. Built and operated commercial RPA prior to 2007 FAA policy clarification. On the airspace integration side, he serves as director of special programs for the RCAPA (Remote Control Aerial Photography Association).