Q&A: Vislink Air-to-Ground Video Communications
March 6, 2023

with Dennis Protsko, Vislink’s ENG and AVDS Program and Installation Manager

Note: Dennis Protsko joined Vislink Technologies this past year as the new Law Enforcement (LE), Electronic News Gathering (ENG), and Military/Government MIL/GOV Airborne Video Downlink Systems (AVDS) Program and Installation Manager. In this key position, he mostly drives larger, more complex AVDS projects, from the time of original inception and purchase all the way through to ultimate commissioning and completion. He is the first point of contact for after-the-sale quality assurance, customer satisfaction, and initial troubleshooting if needed during all phases of project deliverance. His bio can be viewed at the end of this post. Dennis will be part of the Vislink onsite team at Heli-EXPO 2023. If you are attending, stop by and visit him and the entire team in booth #B3607.

Q: What are the latest trends you are seeing in law enforcement organizations efforts to leverage technology for keeping the public and their personnel safe?
A: “We live in a rapidly advancing technological age as well as a time of increased threats that come in many new forms and from many different directions. To both those points, we see Local, State and Governmental Law Enforcement agencies continuing to build their defenses to combat these threats while also using technology as well. And one of the main defenses that we see rapid and multiplying growth in involves better and more capable surveillance and downlink systems from the skies. From helicopters to high altitude fixed wings, to even drones. Agencies are eager to use budgetary or homeland security funds to bolster their capabilities in this arena and Vislink is the absolute leader in the field that can help bring these systems directly to bear for them.”

Q:  What are the most important capabilities law enforcement organizations seek in air-to-ground video communications?
A: “One thing for sure that we are seeing lately is a growing need and want for better interoperability. The ability for Local, State, and Governmental agencies to be able to instantly share and disseminate information, intelligence, and even live airborne video streams in real time is a constant and growing “must have”. Our motto is “Air to Anywhere”. And Vislink excels at it. Wherever that need exists and whatever that need entails exactly, Vislink is poised to put a viable solution in place to get the job done for our customers. That includes direct line of site RF, point to point backhauls, IP streaming, 5G, Mesh, and Cloud technologies. We can do it all.”

Q:  What compelling benefits do Vislink solutions offer for the LE sector?
A: “Vislink has recently put a more focused and dedicated emphasis on being a “one stop shop” for Airborne Video Downlink Systems in a more “turnkey” style way. We continue to develop industry leading AVDS equipment as always but have now extended far beyond just sales…to offer full, end to end solutions. That means a whole new priority of “service after the sale”, including program planning and implementation, installation and integration arrangements, delivery, testing, and commissioning. This takes the need for middlemen and outside services to provide the work customers often call for out of the equation. We now can provide all of that and more including multiple levels of service and warranty agreements to further back up our equipment and solutions long term. In turn, this saves customers time, money, and gives them a single point of contact for service.”

Q:  What are some of the main use cases we are seeing for our technology or main ways our solutions are being deployed?
A: “The exciting thing about Vislink is the number of different industries and entities we touch on a daily basis. Whether its live broadcasting, video production, ground and airborne ENG, law enforcement Utility, government, and even military agencies, all over the United States as well as across multiple continents and dozens of countries. One minute, we could be engaged in a meeting with the head of major production network discussing needs for a large-scale event with wireless cameras and 5G/Mesh technology here at home. And next, we’re talking to leaders of a foreign nation needing a state of the art and ultra-secure AVDS solution encompassing multiple air and ground assets with streaming distribution. And the best part is, Vislink has a winning solution for each and every one of them…guaranteed!”

Dennis Protsko bio:
Prior to joining Vislink, Dennis worked for Shotover Systems (formerly Churchill Navigation) as a Program Manager and Lead Systems Trainer for the BEAR (Broadcast Electronic Augmented Reality) platform. BEAR is the sister program to the industry leading Law Enforcement Mission Suite known as ARS and is a multi-level navigation, camera control, and production playout program he helped Shotover develop since 2015. Dennis was the very first operator to use BEAR on the air and it is now flown aboard ENG helicopters around the world. He was also instrumental in helping develop the revolutionary multi-mode GEO steering features of BEAR to control Shotover M1 gyro stabilized camera system.

And speaking of his work on air, prior to joining Shotover, Dennis flew as an ENG Airborne Reporter/Camera Operator for three decades. He has appeared as a Breaking News Specialist on over three dozen broadcast stations providing traffic, news, and other situational Live broadcast coverage. Most recently, he flew for the flagship NBC station WNBC-TV in New York City for over ten years where he won three Emmy Awards for Breaking News Coverage (and with multiple nominations), the duPont-Columbia Award for Broadcast Excellence, and an Industry Innovator Award for his many ENG technology firsts he has created and contributed.

Throughout his long and diverse career, Dennis has spent well over 22,000 hours airborne in numerous fixed and rotary wing aircraft and is also an FAA licensed Pilot. Dennis is uniquely qualified, highly knowledgeable, and deeply driven to serve the specialized needs of the LE/ENG/MIL-GOV aerial communities and AVDS customers for Vislink.