Press Release

Press Release

Zenith AeroTech, VIRTEX form strategic partnership to meet increasing customer demand for long-endurance, heavy-lift, tethered drones

This collaboration will allow Zenith AeroTech to meet larger production goals for its line of tethered aerial vehicles while being fully compliant with National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) regulations

 

AFTON, VA: Zenith AeroTech, a leading developer of heavy-lift tethered aerial vehicles (TAVs), announced today that it has formed a strategic partnership with VIRTEX Enterprises (“VIRTEX”), an Austin-based electronics manufacturing service provider, to meet increasing customer demand for more TAVs in shorter timeframes and for these platforms to be NDAA compliant.

“This new partnership allows our two companies to leverage their individual areas of expertise,” said Kutlay Kaya, chairman of Zenith AeroTech. “Zenith brings years of custom-made TAV and free-flight drone design and manufacturing experience, while VIRTEX—an AS 9100 accredited organization—contributes its sought-after advanced electronics design, manufacturing, and testing capabilities.”

Zenith AeroTech offers industry, Federal government, first responder, telecommunications, and military customers the option of three different, highly customizable TAV platforms: Hexa, Quad 8, and Quadro. Thanks to Zenith’s Ground Power-Tether Management System, these TAVs can stay aloft for days at a time, delivering true persistent surveillance.

VIRTEX provides engineering services, design, system level integration, PCBA and full life cycle management services for the aerospace, military, and commercial market. These services are delivered in vertically integrated solutions with an aim towards long-term customer partnerships.

“VIRTEX’s U.S.-based manufacturing capability and its specialized aerospace experience will ensure that Zenith products are all American-made and fully NDAA compliant, unlike other drone suppliers,” said Kaya. “VIRTEX will also allow Zenith to scale up production to meet larger volume orders in a shorter timeframe.”

Meanwhile, Zenith will help VIRTEX enter the growing, technically sophisticated small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) market, with introductions to new defense and law enforcement customers.

Dana Pittman, Executive VP of VIRTEX, noted that the combination of the two companies brings with it a great deal of technical depth.

“The vertical capabilities of our two companies include full system design, manufacture and integrated test,” Pittman said. “We offer leading-edge custom solutions that support multiple channels, including defense. With this partnership, VIRTEX and Zenith will build complex systems to address diverse and complex problem sets.”

About Zenith Aerotech: Founded in 2018 and headquartered in Afton, Virginia, Zenith AeroTech is an industry leader in Tethered Aerial Vehicles (TAVs). We leverage our extensive experience in mechanical design, power electronics, software development, prototyping, and project management to provide customers with highly customizable aerial solutions. Our markets include emergency services, law enforcement, industry, and defense. Learn more about Zenith Aerotech here: https://zenithaerotech.com/

About VIRTEX Enterprises: VIRTEX is a leading manufacturer of circuit card assemblies, high complexity cables and harnesses, precision machined parts and mission critical electronic systems for small and medium-sized customer programs across a wide range of industries, including industrial, aerospace and defense, automotive, and medical.

VIRTEX specializes in high reliability markets requiring complex system level assembly and world class supply chain resiliency. By providing a regionally focused market-segment approach, VIRTEX can bring greater value and innovation to its customers, improve OEM competitiveness, and deliver comprehensive, tailored solutions that are specific to each customer.

VIRTEX is based in Austin, Texas, with additional manufacturing facilities in Plano, TX, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Virginia, New Jersey, Minnesota, and Juarez, Mexico. Learn more about Virtex here: https://www.virtex.us/

Media Contact: Don Leckrone, TEL: 540-456-1147 x113, [email protected]

Press Release

Zenith Aerotech keeps tethered aerial vehicle aloft for 108 hours of continuous flight

RECORD-BREAKING FLIGHT DEMONSTRATES CAPACITY FOR TRUE PERSISTENT SURVEILLANCE, COUNTER-DRONE MEASURES

AFTON, VA: Zenith Aerotech, a leading developer of heavy-lift tethered aerial vehicles (TAVs), announced that, over the span of a week, its Quad 8 multi-rotor platform flew a total of 161 hours and 49 minutes—108 hours of which were continuous, uninterrupted flight.

In doing so, the TAV far exceeded the capabilities of competing tethered drones and demonstrated its ability to serve as a long-endurance platform for persistent surveillance.

“Small, multirotor-type drones are notorious for their limited air endurance. By contrast, tethered aerial vehicles, which draw power from a generator on the ground, can stay aloft for hours at a stretch,” said Kutlay Kaya, CEO of Zenith Aerotech. “But no other TAV company has ever been able to fly a platform for as long as we just did. This is a major technological breakthrough for small unmanned systems.”

The test, which took place over a seven-day period at the company’s facility in Afton, was initiated at the request of a government customer prior to delivery. The Quad 8 TAV, which carried an electro-optical/infrared camera and an Echodyne EchoFlight radar, flew for most of that time, only coming down twice, during lightning storms, which had to be waited out.

“We observed all the FAA regulations for day and nighttime operation,” Kaya said. “Our team was on site around the clock, with people taking 8-hour shifts to watch the TAV and the Ground Power-Tether Management System. There were two times we had to bring down the Quad 8, but as soon as those storms subsided, the TAV was back in the air. We flew through 18 hours of light to heavy rain with wind gusts up to 40 mph.”

Zenith Aerotech recently partnered with Sydney-based DroneShield to provide enhanced drone-detection capabilities and countermeasures. In putting DroneShield’s DroneSentry-C2 command-and-control application, along with an Echodyne radar, onto a TAV, Zenith AeroTech provided a platform with a higher elevation than the standard mast. This eliminated clutter and false positives, allowing for better counter-drone detection. Now it provides extreme long-endurance too.

“By demonstrating more than 100 hours of flight time, we’ve opened up our TAV to all sorts of mission sets and customers,” Kaya said. “It’s a really very exciting.”

About Zenith Aerotech: Founded in 2018 and headquartered in Afton, Virginia, Zenith AeroTech is an industry leader in Tethered Aerial Vehicles (TAVs). We leverage our extensive experience in mechanical design, power electronics, software development, prototyping, and project management to provide customers with highly customizable aerial solutions. Our markets include emergency services, law enforcement, industry, and defense. Learn more about Zenith Aerotech here: https://zenithaerotech.com/

Media Contact: Don Leckrone, TEL: 540-456-1147, [email protected]

 

Press Release

Zenith Aerotech to offer DroneShield counter-drone capabilities on tethered aerial vehicles

PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN COMPANIES TO ENABLE BETTER, LONGER RANGE DRONE DETECTION WITH COUNTERMEASURES

AFTON, VA: Zenith Aerotech, a leading developer of highly customizable, heavy-lift tethered aerial vehicles (TAVs), announced today that it is partnering with Sydney and Virginia-based DroneShield to provide enhanced drone detection capabilities, along with a range of countermeasures.

As part of the distribution agreement with DroneShield, Zenith Aerotech will incorporate DroneShield’s DroneSentry-C2TM command-and-control ecosystem into its own family of TAVs, along with an Echodyne EchoFlight radar, to counter drone or drone swarm attacks.

“By putting a detection capability on a TAV, which typically flies at 400 feet, you get better range than if you were to have these systems on a pole or ground vehicle,” said Kutlay Kaya, CEO of Zenith Aerotech. “Also, your alerts will be more accurate because, at elevation, you’ve eliminated clutter.”

The integration of Echodyne radars on Zenith Aerotech’s TAV also enables simplified mission planning, added Shane Shamblin, Echodyne’s director of DoD Programs. Zenith AeroTech offers three different TAV platforms: Hexa, Quad 8, and Quadro.

In contrast to standard drones, these three TAVs can stay aloft for hours—and even days—at a stretch thanks to Zenith’s Ground Power-Tether Management System, which converts 120- or 240-volt AC power from a generator (or another source) into high-voltage DC, powering both platform and payload.

The platforms themselves can carry 10-30 pounds of payload, and Zenith AeroTech is always experimenting with different mixes of sensors, communications and other equipment to proactively address emerging threats.

In addition to a capable drone-detection solution, the company will be offering DroneShield’s and soft kill measures, to be used by personnel on the ground. “Because we detect inbound drones from further away, we give personnel on the ground more time to jam them,” Kaya said.

There are many potential markets for TAVs with counter-drone capabilities. The military could use them to protect forward operating bases; civilian security managers might have them fly over sensitive facilities; and law enforcement could use them to safeguard well-attended public events.

“We are already working with a couple of federal agencies, and we anticipate broader adoption of this solution,” Kaya said.

DroneShield’s CEO Oleg Vornik has commented, “DroneShield’s deployment with Zenith takes our cutting edge command-and-control ecosystem capabilities into the tethered drone domain, opening a new range of applications for our Government end-users.”

About Zenith Aerotech: Founded in 2018 and headquartered in Afton, Virginia, Zenith AeroTech is an industry leader in Tethered Aerial Vehicles (TAVs). We leverage our extensive experience in mechanical design, power electronics, software development, prototyping, and project management to provide customers with highly customizable aerial solutions. Our markets include emergency services, law enforcement, industry, and defense. Learn more about Zenith Aerotech here: https://zenithaerotech.com/

About DroneShield Limited: DroneShield (ASX:DRO) is an Australian/US ASX-listed company, focused on Electronic Warfare, RF sensing, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Sensor Fusion, rapid prototyping and MIL-SPEC manufacturing. Our capabilities are used to protect military, Government, law enforcement, critical infrastructure, commercial and VIPs throughout the world. Through our team of based engineers, we offer customers bespoke solutions and off-the-shelf products designed to suit a variety of terrestrial, maritime or airborne platforms. DroneShield is proudly exporting Australian capability to customers throughout the world and supporting Australia’s defense, national security and other organizations protect people, critical infrastructure and vital assets. For inquiries, please contact [email protected]

Media Contact: Don Leckrone, TEL: 540-456-1147, [email protected]

Press Release

Zenith Aerotech mounts radar, networking radio, and EO/IR camera on small, tethered drone

INTEGRATION DEMONSTRATES VERSATILITY OF LONG-ENDURANCE, HEAVY-LIFT, READILY DEPLOYABLE QUAD 8

AFTON, VA: Zenith Aerotech announced today that it has integrated an advanced flight radar, gimbaled EO/IR camera, and mobile ad hoc networking radio on the company’s Quad 8 tethered mid-range, unmanned aircraft system (sUAS).  The engineering work, which was done at the behest of an unnamed Federal customer, demonstrates how the long-endurance, tethered sUAS can support force protection and early warning missions.

Able to fly at 400 feet AGL for hours—and even days—at a time, the tethered Quad 8 draws power from an easily transportable ground power unit. Zenith Aerotech’s sUAS line, can carry a variety of payloads, from 10 to 24 lbs. Until now, the company has never flown this combination of advanced sensor and communications equipment on the Quad 8.

“We are very excited to have worked with so many cutting-edge industry partners on this effort,” said Kutlay Kaya, CEO of Zenith Aerotech. “With their collaboration, we were able to have our Quad 8 carry Echodyne’s Advanced EchoFlight radar, Trillium Engineering’s HD45 gimbaled EO/IR camera, and the Persistent Systems MPU5 mobile ad hoc networking radio.”

The next step for the company is to demonstrate the capability of the platform with all these integrated payloads, said Mr. Kaya.

“We plan to show how we can simultaneously collect high-resolution imagery, both electro-optical and thermal, as well as air- and ground-based radar anomalies and then securely deliver these collections through the MPU5, providing a robust overwatch capability,” Kaya said. “The MPU5 also acts as a radio/data relay to support disaster recovery operations and provide secure communications.”

The planned platform/payload demonstration shows the versatility of Zenith Aerotech in meeting customer’s needs, whatever they may be. “Whether our customer is a first responder agency, media company, or armed service, we strive to develop and deliver relevant capabilities in a timely fashion,” Kaya said.