Singapore is testing an aerostat system to be deployed by the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF). The aerostat, supplied by U.S. aerostat specialist TCOM, is intended to complement the Singapore Armed Forces' (SAF's) suite of sensors to identify potential aerial and maritime threats early, thus ensuring a timely and decisive response.
The 55m-long aerostat has completed initial tests at the manufacturer's facility in the United States, and is proceeding to the next stage of testing by the manufacturer in Singapore. The tests will involve progressive and comprehensive checks on all aspects of the aerostat as well as complex system tuning for local operations.
When deployed at its operating altitude of 600m, the helium-filled aerostat will have a clear line of sight over Singapore's air and sea space to a range of 200km. It will be secured to its ground mooring station with high-strength winch lines and a Kevlar tether built to withstand strong winds and lightning strikes. Radiation emissions from the radar equipment on the aerostat have been certified in accordance with the IEEE C95.1-2005 standard - the same standard applied to certify the safety of mobile phones and microwave ovens.
The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) has put in place stringent safety procedures that are in line with regulations developed by the US Federal Aviation Authority for the operations of the aerostat system. In addition, the RSAF has been working with the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore to plan the safe operations of the system in Singapore's congested airspace, and safety procedures such as issuing Notice-to-Airmen to inform aviators of the aerostat's presence.