WASP Aerostat

Winch Aerostat Small Platform

WASP Aerostat
WASP leverages well-understood aerostat technology to elevate network payloads to an advantaged height to enable persistent network connectivity while reducing risk to units conducting retransmission operations. Common applications include extending network communications and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.


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Evaluated By The Army Test And Evaluation Command (ATEC)

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The Winch Aerostat Small Platform, or WASP, is a mobile, tactical-sized aerostat capable of carrying a variety of payloads in support of military operations. WASP extends stand-off range for detection and communication. The self-contained launcher/trailer allows lightly-trained crews of 2-3 soldiers to operate from austere locations.

The WASP has participated in a series of the Army’s Network Integration Experiment (NIE) and has been recognized as a solution that can support the warfighter.


Operational Description

  • Mobile, rapidly reconfigurable aerostat
  • HMMWV OR truck deployed
  • Setup to operating in 30 minutes
  • Days-duration flight time
  • 10X the height of existing tower capability
  • Supports a variety of payloads to include communications, ISR and SIGINT
  • Operationally flexible – deploy and launch from fixed or remote site
  • Low total cost of ownership (TCO)
  • Modular launcher can be dropped on ground, rooftop, or military depot trailer (M1101/02)
  • Launcher can be tendered to commercial freight (not roll-on, roll-off cargo via Dover AFB MAC)


  • Envelope Diameter: 15-22 feet
  • Payload Lift Capacity: 20 to 130lbs.
  • Flight Altitude: Up to 1500 ft AGL
  • Launch Altitude: Up to 6000 ft MSL
  • 8 km human detection, 40 mile communication range
  • Lifting Gas: Helium (non-flammable, supplied from tanker or carried on launcher)
  • Operational Cycle: Persistent
  • Includes Rapid Deflation Device (RDD)

Benefits to the Warfighter

  • Enables assured communications to the tactical edge
  • Links Aviation (Roamer Net) and Ground Maneuver (SINCGARS to SRW)
  • Enables operational dispersion and increased OPTEMPO
  • Reduces need to jump towers forward (force protection)
  • Supports scouts / special units that “outrun” or operate beyond the existing network
  • Enhances Mission Command on the Move

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