Raven Aerostar Aerostats Help Secure U.S. Border in Nogales, Arizona


NOGALES, Ariz., March 9, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Raven Aerostar (Nasdaq:RAVN) was part of a three-member team deployed by the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Customs and Border Protection component to help detect, identify, and track and individuals suspected of illegal activity along the U.S. border. The event, which was funded by the DHS Science and Technology Directorate, was formulated to allow the CBP to evaluate a new surveillance system for use on the border. Raven Aerostar provided a tethered aerostat system which is part of its Flexible Area Surveillance Technology (FAST), a joint persistent situational awareness product with partner L-3 Communications. FAST systems rely on Raven Aerostar’s tethered aerostat to carry the L-3 Wescam sensor as part of its payload. This device operates similar to a camera, and when integrated with the aerostat system, provides commercial, off-the-shelf surveillance capability in any number of applications, including military and homeland security missions.

During the demonstration, a third partner, Logos Technologies, supplied its new Kestrel sensor to operate in conjunction with the L-3 sensor. The Kestrel sensor is capable of scanning a wide area at once, significantly improving the likelihood of detecting small targets within the search area.

“Tethered aerostats are the most cost-effective and adaptable persistent surveillance platform on the market,” said Lon Stroschein, vice president and general manager at Raven Aerostar. “Our aerostats and sensors have many thousands of hours of persistent flight time throughout Afghanistan providing military intelligence in order to defend our troops from IEDs and other insurgent activity around our forward bases. That mission has proven modern aerostats to be one of the most reliable and cost-efficient platforms in the world for persistent surveillance.” Stroschein concluded, “The team couldn’t be happier with the results that U.S. Border Agents are demonstrating by adapting this proven technology to our borders.”

For the Nogales demonstration, Border Patrol spokesman Lloyd Easterling explained, “We will be testing this new surveillance system and evaluating the capacity it will offer in the border environment.” The success of the test run will determine whether DHS and CPB decide to procure systems for use along the border in the future. Early reviews of the system’s performance at Nogales have been exceedingly positive—especially at night—as the system sensors, operated by Border Patrol Agents, successfully detected numerous individuals suspected of illegal activity and led to their apprehension.

About Aerostar International, Inc: Aerostar International, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Raven Industries (Nasdaq:RAVN), a U.S. manufacturer providing Aerospace Products, Military Products, Tethered Aerostats, Protective Wear, Marine Navigation Products and Custom Inflatables to various markets. Raven Aerostar has been involved in lighter-than-air products since the 1950s. Today, Aerostar engineers and manufactures aerostats for military and non-military use. Aerostar also manufactures personnel and cargo parachutes for the U.S. Army, protective wear for all branches of the military, high-altitude super-pressure balloons for NASA, high-altitude airships for the Space Missile Defense Command and custom character inflatables for the largest Thanksgiving Day Parade and theme parks.

About Raven Industries, Inc: Since 1956, Raven Industries has provided high-quality, high-value technical products. Raven is publicly traded on NASDAQ (RAVN) and has earned an international reputation for innovation, product quality, high performance and unmatched service. With strengths in engineering and technological innovation, Raven provides custom solutions including precision agriculture applications, high performance specialty films, aerostats for communications and surveillance, and electronic manufacturing services. Learn more about Raven Industries at www.ravenind.com.

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