Photo: Blimp at the Border
Tethered close to 2,000 feet above Nogales, flies a new beluga whale blimp being tested by the United States Border Patrol. The blimp is equipped with a wide area surveillance system that operates 24 hours a day. Previous surveillance equipment used by Border Patrol only worked during the day, thus leaving it ineffective at monitoring the borders.
The blimp may not be a permanent fixture in Nogales, however, as Border Patrol will still analyze the results and decide if they are satisfactory. If officials are satisfied with the new system, they will then begin a bidding process to purchase more blimps and surveillance equipment.
The surveillance equipment uses a 360 degree persistent camera which has the capabilities to scan a city sized area at one time making it nearly impossible to enter the area without being noticed. Yet it’s capabilities at night are what really sets this system apart from previous surveillance.
This is one of many efforts the U.S. government is using to secure the border.