Automated UAS is first to provide perimeter security at Travis Air Force BaseNews
December 14, 2020
TRAVIS AFB, Calif. The 60th Air Mobility Wing, 60th Security Forces Squadron, has teamed with Easy Aerial (Brooklyn, New York), a commercial provider of autonomous drone-based monitoring solutions, to develop and deploy the first first automated drone-based monitoring and perimeter security system to be used at a U.S. Air Force (USAF) installation.
According to a joint news release about the unmanned aerial system (UAS) launch, the Smart Air Force Monitoring System (SAFMS) free-flight drone-in-a-box solution -- plus a tethered (SAFMS-T) version -- was developed by Easy Aerial and the USAF in a span of just two years. The release states that the work was performed under a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II program and conforms to the Air Force Base Perimeter Security and Situational Awareness operational requirements.
Both the regular UAS and the tetherered version are configured to give Travis AFB several options for an "eye in the sky" that can be deployed in a matter of seconds; the system -- when it gets a security trigger such as a fence alarm, fire alarm, or other distress call -- can be programmed to deploy from its base station automatically and then autonomously navigate to the location. Once the mission is completed, the UAS autonomously returns to and lands inside the protective base station to recharge and wait for the next scheduled patrol or alarm-triggered mission.
“Easy Aerial’s unmanned aerial systems are a game-changer,” said MSgt Joshua Hicks, Travis AFB 60th SFS small unmanned aircraft system (sUAS) instructor. “This jointly developed technology will provide unparalleled security and safety for our airmen and critical assets. They will potentially save lives and will save time, effort, and resources as we continue to expand our training and operations across the base.”
The program is now in the an Initial Operational Capability (IOC) phase whereby the systems have been approved for flight by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and have begun operations at Travis AFB.