Aeronautical & Space Systems

ISL provides customized aerostats, unmanned air vehicles and stationary towers for surveillance, communication systems, and improved sensor performance. Surveillance solutions include Rapidly Elevated Aerostat Platforms (REAP), large unmanned airships, unmanned aircraft (LEARS), and portable surveillance towers (RAFT). ISL has the facilities for prototyping, composite material fabrication, and electronic integration of medium sized systems. In the area of Space Systems support, ISL provides tailored risk management, reliability analysis, and safety analysis solutions to satisfy a broad spectrum of customer needs, from the development of high-level process frameworks to the detailed analysis of specific space systems hardware elements. ISL specializes in the application of probabilistic and parametric methods to the areas of probabilistic risk assessment (PRA), accident precursor analysis (APA), and risk-informed decision making (RIDM), and in the development of cutting-edge software tools that support their execution.


ISL Aeronautics Operations is a manufacturer and operator of aerostats ranging in volume from 2600 cubic feet to 95,000 cubic feet specializing in customized, fast-deploy mobile aerostat systems, and integration of customer specified sensor and communications to fiber optic and/or RF data links. ISL manufactures payload support systems and Ground Control Stations ranging from brief case size to S-280 shelter size. Customers include military, law enforcement, and commercial users and have designed and integrated a large 34 meter, 71,000 cubic foot aerostat for the US Navy. ISL’s highly portable Aerostats are called Rapid Deployment Elevating Platform System (REAPS):

  • REAP aerostats can self-deploy in as little as 3 minutes
  • Technology is mature and works well, even in high winds
  • Typical payload, EO/IR, SIGINT, or RF relay
  • Current lift capacity: 35 to 100 lb
  • Current altitude limit: 1000 ft
  • Units deployed: US Army, UAE Military

reap ISL also provides logistics support and training for its deployed aerostats both domestically and internationally. ISL engineers and designers specialize in customizing an aerostat solution for your requirement, no matter how small or large or how remote.

wmv View REAP Launch Video (40MB WMV format)

wmv View REAP Launch Video (100MB MP4 format)

acrobat REAP XL-B Information Sheet

Unmanned Airships

ISL is the world’s leader in designing and delivering unmanned airships delivering eight unmanned airships and building the world’s largest at 131,000 cubic feet. These airships are built for longer endurance for persistent surveillance and boast the lowest operating cost with area coverage They can be rapidly redirected to new areas of interest with payloads easily reconfigured for specific missions. blimp These unmanned airships provide aerial platform for comms relay, optimize sensor and comms coverage area while using simultaneous operation of multiple sensors and comms payloads. Unmanned airships are easily sustainable in the field with helium available worldwide. They carry a wide range of payloads and the low differential pressure allows resistant to small arms fire.  

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

ISL is significantly experienced in all aspects of UAV life cycle: Design, development, production, integration, testing and training. LEARs UAV is a unique long endurance and high payload UAV. ISL actively supports the US Military with unique solutions and the ISL Huntsville facility is uniquely set up to support specialized UAV production and systems/ sensor integration 

Portable Surveillance Tower

Self rising towers for improved emergency communications and improved surveillance, perimeter security of ports, camps, inspection points, etc are fully self contained and inflate in 3 minutes. They can stay inflated indefinitely as long as power is available or on battery for 8 hours or more. Low noise inflation system can self-deploy up to 30 lbs of payload. Payload mounting plate accepts multiple payloads such as antennas for comms extension, EO/IR surveillance cameras and ground surveillance radars. Trailer includes outboard stabilizers and guys, operates in winds to 35 knots. They can be back-lighted for night activities and are also available in 65’ and 100′ versions. The trailer deploys in winds to 22 knots and operates to 35 knots.

Space Systems Reliability And Safety Analysis

ISL is a world-leader in the development and application of a wide variety of tailored space systems reliability and safety analysis methods, customized to the needs of projects and programs in development and in operation. These methods have been used in the conduct of numerous rapid-response trade studies, such as the NASA Exploration Systems Architecture Study (ESAS), as well as in the identification of reliability and safety risk drivers within individual space systems. ISL is currently supporting NASA Headquarters and the Advanced Concepts Branch at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) by providing timely and cost-effective reliability and safety analysis support to the International Space Station (ISS), Space Shuttle, and Constellation programs, in the continuing effort to improve and evolve these man-rated space systems.

Space Systems Risk Management

ISL is at the forefront of developing comprehensive risk management (RM) processes, covering all mission execution domains (i.e., safety, technical, cost, and schedule) over every phase of the program/project life cycle from formulation through closeout. ISL has ongoing projects with NASA Headquarters to integrate risk-informed decision making(RIDM) into its existing RM process framework, improving NASA’s ability to achieve its ambitious objectives in a safe, timely, and affordable manner.

Composite Material Fabrication

Our ISL team (skilled composite structure technicians) is highly experienced in design and fabrication of UAV composite material structures. Our Huntsville facility can produce small to medium size composite molds and structures in a secure environment. The curing oven is large enough to handle medium size structures while ShopBot™ CNC controlled large milling and forming machine can handle medium sized molds.

Aeronautical Prototype Facility

ISL’s Aeronautical Prototype Facility offers:

  • ProE™ Design – Backbone LAN with multiple seats
  • 3D CAD Modeling, CFD Analysis, FEA Analysis
  • ORCAD, Electrical PC Board Design and Integration
  • Flexible Structure Engineering
  • Aircraft FAA Certification and Airworthiness
  • Production in Secure and Non Secure Environment
  • Test Fixture Design & Development
  • Robotic Designs and Fabrication – UAVs
  • Electro-Mechanical Interfaces, Actuators
  • LTA Platform Design, Fabrication, Testing
  • Data Communications, Data Links, Telemetry
  • Instrumentation Mounting & Stabilization
  • Propulsion Systems Analysis & Design
  • Composite Materials Engineering