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Texas Picks Helinet System to Transmit Images from Police Aircraft

In addition to the surveillance images, the new system is to transmit data to fixed, and portable receivers around the state

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has selected Helinet Technologies, a provider of aviation technology solutions for law enforcement, government and the military, to develop and implement a microwave downlink and satellite solution for a DPS airplane enabling the aircraft to transmit real-time surveillance images.

Helinet is to develop the system for the DPS Aircraft Section’s recently acquired Pilatus PC-12 NG Spectre airplane. In addition to the surveillance images, the new system is to transmit data to fixed, and portable receivers around the state and augment DPS’ existing helicopter-based video downlink capability, the company says. The system will enable Pilatus aircrews to also broadcast the same, live streaming images to anywhere in the world via the system’s satellite technology, the firm says.

In addition, the Pilatus system will provide DPS with a long range surveillance solution that can capture actionable intelligence from standoff distances of several miles and enables operators to transmit uninterrupted HD and SD aerial images to multiple agencies and receive sites simultaneously.

Helinet worked closely with the DPS in designing the system, utilizing a custom configuration of commercial-off-the-shelf products optimized to support the department’s role serving federal, state and local agencies in a variety of public safety missions, the company says.

The system is fully integrated into the DPS’ overall airborne imaging infrastructure and offers an extremely robust capability that will allow the Pilatus to maintain a continuous, live feed to ground personnel even if the primary microwave receive sites have been disabled by a storm or natural disaster, the company says.

“Helinet’s work with DPS in developing and supporting our existing microwave downlink capabilities has been superlative,” said Tim Ochsner, DPS’ assistant chief pilot. “When the decision was made to add a high-altitude surveillance aircraft to our airborne operations, selecting Helinet to deploy the downlink and the satellite capabilities was an easy call. We know we can rely on the firm to deliver the best possible solution backed by ongoing training and unparalleled 24/7 service.”