On 2 October, FLIR Systems announced the acquisition of intellectual property and selected operational assets of Aria Insights, Inc., previously known as CyPhy Works, a pioneer in the development of tethered small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS) that ceased operations in March.

Founded in 2008 by the co-founder of iRobot (which became Endeavor Robotics and was acquired by FLIR earlier this year), Aria notably developed the Persistent Aerial Reconnaissance and Communications (PARC) tethered drone.

Tethered drones connect to a base station or vehicle by microfilament wire, which provides both continuous power and secure communications. For certain applications, a tethered drone offers advantages over a free-flying UAS, enabling sustained operations on longer missions and persistent situational awareness so that users can perform intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions.

The Aria assets will be integrated into FLIR’s Unmanned Systems and Integrated Solutions Division, augmenting the company’s technology portfolio built from its acquisitions of Prox Dynamics in 2016 and Aeryon Labs and Endeavor Robotics earlier this year.

Tethered UAS systems are becoming an increasingly valuable tool for force protection, border security and critical infrastructure protection,” commented President of FLIR’s Government and Defense business, David Ray. “Aria’s innovative technology and IP assets will enable us to enhance current capabilities and advance the range of solutions we can deliver to customers in this growing market segment.”

We are proud of the technology our team developed through the operations of CyPhy Works and Aria, and we believe FLIR offers the best opportunity to see it make a difference and support critical missions in the years ahead,” added Aria former CEO, Lance Vandenbrook.

Tethered drones provide an additional strand to FLIR’s fast-growing UAS technology portfolio. (Photo: FLIR Systems)

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