This fall, the military plans to deploy airships called “Aerostats” over the nation’s capitol to add an extra layer of air defense.
While specifics were not released, their airspace will generally be in the 10,000 foot range and will include communication capabilities from the middle Eastern Seaboard as far north as Boston.
Currently, these Aerostats or blimps as they are more commonly called, are being used over the war-zone in Afghanistan. Their radar and cameras are highly sophisticated and have the capability to monitor ground activity as well as track suspected insurgent activities.
The Pentagon made it perfectly clear in their news release that although cameras are used on the airships in Afghanistan, they have no plans to use cameras over the skies of America. There will be no data gathering by the blimps; their sole purpose is for surveillance.
Vernon Herron, a Homeland Security analyst at the University of Maryland, says people should not worry. "The technology is not designed to collect data, it's just surveillance."
Testing will begin in October and is expected to last for approximately three years.
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