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Elistair has announced the development of its new ORION 2 tethered unmanned system for military, government and industry users. Unlike other multi-rotor drones, the ORION 2 hexacopter delivers round-the-clock surveillance for up to 24 hours at a time, making it a true persistent surveillance platform.

A lightweight, yet extremely durable, hexacopter, the ORION 2 is designed as a quick-deploy system (automated push-button takeoff and landing) that can stay in the air for 24 hours, something that previously could only be done by a helium-filled tactical aerostat, which was a much larger platform and came with a very complicated logistical train. 

The new ORION 2 is an improvement over the original ORION drone, which has already proven itself with international customers, helping to secure the Ryder Cup in September 2018, flying over crowds of 300,000 attendees for 8 to 11 hours a day. It has also been employed by the French police, the British military and the Singaporean government.

With its micro-tether of 330 feet (100m), the ORION 2 flies higher than its predecessor and  covers more ground. It can also carry up to 2kg (4.5 pounds) in payload, so it can serve simultaneously as an ISR and telecom platform. The ORION 2 can also stream geo-referenced electro-optical and infrared imagery at the same time and deploy 4G/5G communications nodes, thanks to a new fibre optic cable option.

Jack Richardson