The HoverMast is a hovering surveillance machine that can be deployed from a small vehicle such as an armored SUV. The machine, developed by Sky Sapience and currently at the prototype stage, can be deployed to an altitude of up to 50 meters (164 feet) within 10-15 seconds.

Because the machine is tethered, a hard-wired power connection allows the HoverMast to hover as long as there is fuel in the tank in the vehicle to which it's anchored. Cables also provide a data link to send live pictures back to the ground.

The machine is equipped with real time video cameras capable of both day and night-time surveillance, but it can carry an additional payload of 6-9 kg (13-20 pounds) which, according to sUAS News, might include additional sensors, radar, signals intelligence or even laser designators - potentially identifying targets for missiles or artillery.

"The classic application for the HoverMast is Border Protection," a Sky Sapience spokesperson told Gizmag. "We estimate the most common usage of the HoverMast will be with real time video camera capable of delivering day and night pictures to the user."

The HoverMast can be landed and stowed in 10-15 seconds and operates in maximum winds of 25 km/h (16 mph).

A prototype HoverMast is set to be demonstrated in April, with line production commencing before the end of the year.

Sources: Sky Sapience, sUAS News