Our Annual Tough Stump Rodeo: Uniting Cutting-Edge Technologies in a High-Tech Collaboration in Unforgiving Environments
Every year, we are proud to host an extraordinary event that showcases the latest advancements in various technological sectors. This event is not your typical rodeo; it is a gathering of innovative minds and cutting-edge technologies, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in the modern data radio, UAS and robotic landscape. Welcome to our annual Tough Stump Rodeo—a can’t-miss event.
As the creators of the Tough Stump Rodeo we take pride in our collaboration with Teledyne FLIR, PAR Government, Red Cat, Hexagon Federal, goTenna, AgEagle, and Darley Defense. These partnerships allow us to bring together state-of-the-art technologies and cutting-edge solutions to create an unparalleled showcase of innovation and ingenuity.
One of the key highlights of our Rodeo is our unwavering focus on testing technologies in rugged, austere terrain. We challenge participating companies to put their solutions to the test in demanding conditions that mimic real-world scenarios. By doing so, we ensure that the showcased technologies are not only cutting-edge but also practical and reliable in challenging situations.
In this remote location, goTenna unwaveringly established and maintained the TAK backbone for the duration of the rodeo. Ensuring connectivity throughout the massive, treacherous Area of Operations (AO) and establishing a strong connection with a launched balloon that floated over 200 miles away, goTenna was a critical communications pillar for the entirety of the event.
A significant achievement of our collaboration was the successful backhaul of LiDAR data, UAV video, and Position Location Information (PLI) via established ad hoc MANET radios provided by Silvus Technologies, Persistent Systems and Domo Tactical Communications. All this data was used to establish a Common Operating Picture at the Operations Center located 35-40 miles away from each respective AO utilizing the Android Team Awareness Kit (ATAK). This real-time data transmission enabled decision-makers to make informed choices swiftly, significantly enhancing the overall effectiveness and efficiency of operations.
Our event utilized radio and ad hoc MANET/mesh radio networks impressively. They enabled us to stream live video, LiDAR, and additional sensor data over 35 miles of mountainous terrain to the operations center. The radios from goTenna, Persistent Systems, Domo Tactical Communications and Silvus, operating in various spectrums (L, S & C bands), played a crucial role in establishing reliable and robust communication links, ensuring seamless data flow even in remote and demanding terrain.
One of the standout demonstrations at our Rodeo was the proof of concept showcasing the Teal 2 drone flown through ATAK and UAS tool integration. This drone was tied into the network PAR Government had established in the TOC, and 23 remote observers in 11 different countries were able to see the pilots and stream the UAV feed. Additionally, employing starlink in conjunction with Bryodyn Technologies, the team at the Rodeo was able to successfully push out data and hand off drone control to Soldiers at USASOC in Ft. Liberty, NC. This impressive display demonstrated the potential of satellite communications in enabling remote drone operations beyond line-of-sight.
Another highlight was the performance of the eBee Tac, a drone that ventured beyond line-of-sight and flew over 30 miles while conducting a precise mapping mission. As part of the ARTEMIS kit, the imagery collected by the eBee Tac was processed and produced a sub 3cm 3D map. The capabilities of this drone manufactured by AgEagle demonstrated its potential in remote sensing applications, especially in challenging and hard-to-reach terrain.
The Ghost Robotics V60, a robot designed to navigate rough terrain, captured attention by carrying a LiDAR sensor from both Mach9 and Leica Geosystems through a jagged mining tunnel. This demanding demonstration was conducted in a situation created to mimic either search and rescue or subterranean warfare in an urban setting. The robot’s ability to stream a 3D point cloud back to the operations center via mesh networks, using radios like the MPU5 from Persistent Systems, opened new possibilities for remote data collection, reconnaissance, and exploration in hazardous environments.
Our very own tracking system was showcased within the 26-mile x 17-mile austere, mountainous Area of Operations (AO). Using the ATOS tags, a tracking solution organically integrated with ATAK and supported by the goTenna networks, the headquarters team was able to maintain real-time situational awareness of all active personnel and vehicles within the AO. Since ATOS operates in the UHF spectrum, independent of cellular, Wi-Fi or satellite networks, the rugged AO in Montana was the ideal location to exhibit the capability. This advanced, highly ruggedized tracking system enhances tactical awareness, providing critical data to decision-makers in the field.
At our Annual Rodeo, we do not just showcase the technologies of a single company; we celebrate the spirit of collaboration and partnership among various pioneering companies in the industry. Companies like Ascent Aerosystems, Bryodyn, Darley, Ditto.live, Domo Tactical, Elistair, goTenna, Hexagon Federal, Hoverfly, iGov, Kagwerks, Leica-Geosystems, Mach9, Marshall Radio Telemetry, Onyx Aero, Optics 1, PAR Government, Persistent Systems, RedCat, Silvus Technologies and Teal Drones, all joined us to exhibit their latest innovations and breakthroughs.
Our collaborative environment fosters innovation and encourages the exchange of ideas, leading to future partnerships and even greater technological advancements. The Tough Stump Rodeo serves as a platform where companies from different domains come together to explore how they integrate their technologies for enhanced capabilities to benefit all tip-of-the-spear operators both DoD and First Responders.
As the curtain falls on yet another successful Tough Stump Rodeo, we cannot help but be awed by the achievements and innovations on display. This unique gathering continues to inspire the tech community, driving the relentless pursuit of excellence and bringing us closer to a future where technology knows no bounds.
Our Tough Stump Rodeo has proven to be a vital catalyst in shaping the future of technology, and its impact on various sectors is undoubtedly profound. With each passing year, we eagerly await the next chapter of this remarkable event, where the convergence of technology and collaboration promises to lead us to even greater heights.
The Upcoming 2024 Tough Stump Rodeo
Interested in attending next year’s Tough Stump Rodeo? Find more information here!