Surveillance aircraft floating high above Maryland
By Bonnie Berkowitz, Todd Lindeman and Gene Thorp, Published: Jan. 22, 2014
Later this year, a pair of unmanned, blimplike aircraft carrying military radar equipment will rise above suburban Baltimore to watch a 340-mile radius of the East Coast.
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.