The Hovermast 100 tethered observation system developed by the Israeli company Sky Sapience has completed development in 2013 and already entered operational service with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Hovermast operates as a fully autonomous system, using a combination of two counter-rotating rotors and four stabilizing rotors managing lift, attitude, height and orientation. The system can operate from vehicles, vessels on the move or fixed positions. Self contained in a compact container weighing about 300 kg, the system can be installed on standard tactical vehicles, pick-up trucks, armored vehicles, as well as unmanned ground or naval platforms or small vessels. Powered through the tether, the Hovermast 100 can carry a payload weighing six kilograms (13.2 pounds).
The platform can be lifted within seconds to an altitude of 50 meters (164 ft) above ground providing 360â° over-the-hill vision, it is ideal for surveillance and observation missions. It can operate at relatively high wind velocity of up to 25 knots. Unlike mast mounted payloads that must be flushed to vertical position, the tethered sensor can also deploy form a slope of up to 20 degrees. In addition to transferring power the tether is also conducting wide-band data transfer from the payload to the ground, eliminating electromagnetic emissions that could be monitored or jammed. The system has already been supplied to the IDF and selected by several international customers.