22 Dec '14, 5pm
This radar-carrying blimp will help protect the nation's capital. See how:
The radar on each blimp can track moving pieces of machinery as far as 340 miles away. That’s partially because the radar is so powerful, and partially because JLENS is airborne. Think of it this way: When you’re standing on the ground, you can only see for a few miles because of the earth’s curvature, and even less if there are trees or houses in the way. But if you go to the top of a tall building, you can see much further and your view isn’t blocked. Radars work the same way – put one on an aerostat, send it up to 10,000 feet above sea level, and voila! It has a range as wide as the state of Texas! From so high up, it can track things flying close to the ground – like cruise missiles. And because JLENS is almost 3,300 feet higher than any mountain east of the Mississippi , its radar will be able to detect what’s coming around the mountain… before it comes.