What is a Telescoping Mast?

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.

For example, The RATT is a portable tower that employs a pneumatic telescopic mast system made from high-strength aluminum in order to keep it lightweight, simple and rapidly deployable for law enforcement mobile surveillance, tactical long range surveillance, situational awareness, investigations, AI, LPR, video analytics (face, appearance & object search), firefighting to see smoke/hotspots with a thermal camera, monitoring large public events, crime scene surveillance/deterrent, radio/WiFi/mobile repeater antenna, long-range acoustic devices,  construction site video security, edge network applications, UAV/drone detection, UAV/drone antennas, 3D laser scanners and more. 


How high can I get a Telescopic Mast? 

Lightweight telescopic masts typically range 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. 


How are pneumatic Telescopic Masts extended? 

Pneumatic telescopic masts use air pressure to quickly extend and retract the mast. Hand pumps and electric pumps are typically used to control pneumatic telescopic masts. The RATT can be controlled via the standard hand pump or the optional electric pump both which will elevate and retract The RATT within 90 seconds. 


What can I put on top of a Telescopic Mast? 

Telescopic masts are primarily used with cameras for mobile video surveillance, situational awareness & thermal imaging, radio devices including RF antennas, cellular signal boosters, outdoor WiFi access points, edge networks and many more. 

Depending upon the height, material and diameter of the telescopic mast, weight limits for the top, payload or headload typically do not exceed 40 lbs.  


Do I have to use guying or guy wire with a Telescopic Mast? 

It is strongly recommended that you follow the manufacturer’s specifications and guidelines as mast loading, overall height and weather conditions greatly affect performance. Generally speaking, The RATT is safe to operate without guying under 30 MPH winds. Custom Finite Element Analysis (FEA) studies can be generated to predict how your specific RATT deployment reacts to real-world forces and other physical effects. This shows whether The RATT will break or work as designed.

guyed telescopic mast fully extended with directional radio antenna
Telescopic Mast with Radio Antenna Guyed
The RATT at 33' with PTZ Camera