Is it a bird? Is it a plane?

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August 1st, 2017 - There are three minutes left in the 2018 Super bowl. The teams are tied and the spectators are wild. You watch the quarterback with the ball. He holds it tight in his hands, you see from the white in his knuckles. You watch his eyes look over the field.  You see the sweat on his jersey, the grass stains, the dirt smears.

You are not in front row seats in the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, you are seated on a couch in your house. The great angles and high-resolution video come from a tethered drone at the stadium. Tethered drones use a hardware tether (it is usually as thin as a headphone cord) from the ground to the drone, which offers many advantages that untethered drones do not have:


  • Can stay in the air longer because of the power supply
  • Provide a constant video feed
  • Increased safety due to the absence of piloting errors
  • No GPS is needed

Because of the ease of use and reliability they are quickly becoming more and more popular. In the last four years the revenue from commercial drones has increased by over $550 million. Research firm Markets and Markets estimates that the global drone market will grow at an annual rate of 32% between 2015 and 2020 into a $5.6 billion industry.

Many different applications are making use of this technology, including:

First responders: The New York City Fire Department used tethered drones to fight a major fire. The drones gave the firefighters a bird’s eye view with color and thermal infrared imagery.

Disaster recovery: Floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, and all types of disaster recovery efforts can benefit from this technology to provide awareness and information of the disaster.

Military and law enforcement: Surveillance and monitoring are strong skills of tethered drones. It is easier to spot and track targets with less risk for soldiers.

Construction monitoring: The drones watch the progress of construction projects and for trespassers.

Sports Broadcasting: The Olympics, golf competitions, the Super bowl and are utilizing these drones.

Movies: We have drones to thank for the vast battle scenes we see in recent movies that were difficult to do without remotely piloted aircraft systems.

Weight, strength, and durability are the most important factors for the tethered cable. The seemingly simple cables have a lot going on. They are transferring power, information, withstanding the elements of nature, being pulled and twisted, and need to be resistant to abrasion. Our focus is making certain customers get the high quality, innovative, and cost competitive solutions they are looking for, so contact us today to work with an Application Engineer to design a custom cable to suit your tethered drone application.