RATT's Telescopic Mast FAQ

The Rapid All-Terrain Tower (RATT) is a rapid deployment portable telescopic tower (primarily used by law enforcement for mobile video surveillance)  that attaches to a vehicle's 2x2" hitch receiver in seconds, can reach a maximum height of 50 feet, and carry payloads such as cameras, radio (RF) antennas, cellular boosters, and many more devices!  

A telescoping or telescopic mast is an upright pole or tower that consists of tubular sections that slide within another in order to be extended or retracted. Telescopic masts can be made from a variety of materials including steel or aluminum depending upon the application and your mission requirements. 

Most RATT systems are manufactured to order and the estimated delivery time is 6-8 weeks from the time of order.

The Mobile Video Surveillance (MVS) System was rebranded to The Rapid All-Terrain Tower (RATT) in 2020. The RATT is the next-generation version of the MVS System that introduces more payload & end-use options, more structural stability, enhanced usability on all terrains with improved wheels to conquer any terrain deployment. 

50 feet. The RATT ranges in size from 10-50 feet and some models even have “lockable collars” that restrict the extended height as needed for special applications such as LPR, facial recognition or other AI end uses. 

As with other high-strength aluminum pneumatic telescopic masts, The RATT can be extended via the standard hand pump or by using the optional 12v DC electric pump. Either pump will fully extend The RATT within 90 seconds and retract within 75 seconds.     

The RATT weighs between 75-90 pounds (depending upon tower selected) and can be deployed & operated by one person.

Just about any vehicle that has a 2x2" square (Class III) hitch receiver can be used. The RATT can also be adapted to suit common receivers types used in other countries. For military applications, a plate mount can be bolted to the standard pintle hitch location on a Humvee.

No, not for normal operation (under 30 MPH for most towers). The RATT is supported by a steel vehicle mount that adjusts the tilt to achieve a vertical orientation prior to raising. In extreme weather, guy wires are recommended if winds exceed 30 MPH.

The 30-50 foot vantage point allows for unobstructed, longer range video surveillance - some uses include:
- Viewing upper levels of structures for tactical police use.
- Recording fleeing vehicles in DUI roadblocks.
- Outdoor events such as protests, concerts, parades and sporting events.
- It provides outstanding monitoring/deterrent capability, sending a message to potential criminals that they are being watched and recorded.
- Investigative video of crime scenes, auto accident & stakeouts.
- Monitoring of highway construction sites.
- For Military users the system can provide all terrain threat recognition and identification.
- Especially suited for confined-area urban combat where viewing over structures or compound walls can provide timely, critical information to soldiers in the field.

No, the mast must be lowered before driving. However, the 360 degree PTZ camera (single or dual) can be used in the lowered mast position. This provides excellent situational awareness and recording for vehicle convoys and/or law enforcement escorts.

The camera can be quickly removed for traveling at high speeds or on rough roads. The mast, with camera removed, is around 9 feet from the ground (7-foot mast plus the height of the vehicle's hitch from ground level). This provides ample clearance from all roadway hazards except parking garages. For comparative purposes, tractor trailers have a maximum height of 13' 6" in the United States.

As with anything elevated and metal, the user must not operate in close proximity to power lines or when lightning is a possibility.

Yes, especially when windy, there is some movement depending on wind speed. However, it typically does not affect the quality of the mobile video nor the recordings. The RATT utilizes an "o-ring" style telescopic mast over other types given that they provide the best-in-class rigidity.

The RATT uses 12-24 volts DC and a standard cigarette lighter outlet. It can also be purchased with a standard NATO plug for military applications. The RATT can operate with the engine running or with the ignition off. When the engine is running, it has unlimited duration.

This greatly depends on your mission objectives. A telescoping mast has several advantages over a UAV/drone such as no drone pilot required, no FAA licensing, no specialized training, no nighttime FAA waivers required, no risk of crashing the device, unlimited duration, all weather, and a larger camera with better zoom capability. Also, it is much safer when operating near large crowds and is considered less intrusive than a UAV/drone.

Yes. The RATT can be configured with a 360 degree PTZ camera with a tethered PTZ controller that has an integrated LCD display.

You may also purchase a Cloud Connectivity Kit that includes an LTE router (FirstNet approved) along with a Cloud VMS subscription for both live streaming & cloud storage. 

As for the DVR, there are various options as well. 

Yes, we offer a roof-mount option to directly mount the camera atop a vehicle. 

Yes, you can deploy The RATT in the following 3 scenarios: Connect to a vehicle's Class III 2x2" hitch receiver, fixed or wall-mounted to a permanent structure's wall or mobile command vehicle and lastly,  freestanding on a tripod.