Each aerostat is tethered to a mooring station and structures that contain controls, communi-cation and data-processing systems powered by generator or commercial electricity. The setup can be transported by truck, plane or boat. Data are sent through high-speed fiber optic cables in the tethers. Aerostats can also communicate by radio links. Two aircraft, or “aerostats,” will float at an altitude of about 10,000 feet. The pair, called an “orbit,” will work in tandem to detect missiles and other objects within their range. One aerostat detects threats using low-frequency, long-range radar. The other uses higher frequency radar to track threats and provides targeting data that could be used to intercept them. How they work Official name: JLENS , short for Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System. A high-powered video and infrared sensor (called an MTS-B) was mount - ed on the aerostat system for a test in Utah that was announced in 2013. It was able to follow vehicles “dozens of miles away” as well as collect video of a test participant planting a fake roadside bomb. The Army says it has “no current plans” to use this sensor in the Aberdeen test. LENGTH 243 feet The aerostats are filled with helium and can stay aloft for 30 days at a time. The other sends targeting data to ground sta- One provides 360-degree coverage. The pair will be moored roughly two miles apart above Aberdeen Proving Ground, land owned by the U.S. Army. Mobile mooringstation Communications and control,data and signal processing station OHIO WESTVIRGINIA NORTHCAROLINA NEW YORK CONN. MA. R.I. VT. N.H. AtlanticOcean Raleigh Richmond Buffalo Philadelphia New York Boston Cleveland Charleston Baltimore D.C. Aberdeen Surveillance range PENNSYLVANIA Pittsburgh VIRGINIA 1 4 0 3 4 0 Possible threat Vehicles on the ground can be detected within a 140-mile radius, an area of 62,000 miles. Radar can detect aircraft within a 340-mile radius, or an area of about 363,000 miles.
Official name: JLENS, short for Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System. A high-powered infrared sensor (called an MTS-B) was mounted on the aerostat system for a test in Utah in 2012. It was able to follow vehicles “dozens of miles away” as well as collect video of a test participant planting a fake roadside bomb. The Army says it has “no current plans” to use this sensor in the Aberdeen test.

How they work

Two aircraft, or “aerostats,” will float at an altitude of about 10,000 feet. The pair, called an “orbit,” will work in tandem to detect missiles and other objects within their range. One aerostat detects threats using low-frequency, long-range radar. The other uses higher- frequency radar to track threats and provides targeting data that could be used to intercept them.

The pair will be moored roughly two miles apart, above land owned by the Army not far from Aberdeen Proving Ground. One provides 360-degree coverage. The other sends data to ground stations.

Surveillance range

Radar can detect aircraft within a 340-mile radius, or an area of about 363,000 miles. Vehicles on the ground can be detected within a 140-mile radius, an area of 62,000 miles.

SOURCE: Raytheon, U.S. Army.