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Tethered Aerostat Radar System

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Offline Casa Grande

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Tethered Aerostat Radar System
« on: March 16, 2018, 06:05:27 PM »
While touring out with the family today,  we ran across Marfa's Tethered Aerostat Radar System.


It provides "low-level radar surveillance along the southwest border of the United States and Mexico."

This thing can rise up to 15,000 feet, while tethered to the ground!

That's incredible to me. What do you think?

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« Last Edit: March 16, 2018, 06:24:16 PM by Casa Grande »

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Tethered Aerostat Radar System
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2018, 07:56:16 PM »
Cool! I also see a large uptick in Marfa Lights/UFO reports in the near future.
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline Txlj

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Re: Tethered Aerostat Radar System
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2018, 08:45:03 PM »
That's a lot of kit string!

sent from flatland


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Offline Solo

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Re: Tethered Aerostat Radar System
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2018, 10:35:22 PM »
There are a few along the border at intervals.  If you are near Sierra Vista in SE Arizona you can see the one that kept me company while climbing Miller & Carr Peaks.  I was near 10K and it was significantly above my altitude that day.

The tether station is at the bottom of this pic. Love that iphone "quality":
'Tis distance lends enchantment to the view, and robes the mountain in its azure hue.  -Thomas Campbell

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Offline presidio

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Re: Tethered Aerostat Radar System
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2018, 10:35:29 PM »
While touring out with the family today,  we ran across Marfa's Tethered Aerostat Radar System.


It provides "low-level radar surveillance along the southwest border of the United States and Mexico."

This thing can rise up to 15,000 feet, while tethered to the ground!

That's incredible to me. What do you think?

The Marfa balloon has been operational since at least 1991 and may have been as early as 1988.
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<  presidio  >
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Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

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Offline Jalco

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Re: Tethered Aerostat Radar System
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2018, 10:38:31 PM »
This thing can rise up to 15,000 feet, while tethered to the ground!

I thought that was a typo until I read the article.  That's amazing!

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Offline Casa Grande

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Re: Tethered Aerostat Radar System
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2018, 08:35:21 AM »


The Marfa balloon has been operational since at least 1991 and may have been as early as 1988.

Yes,  I read that too.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Big Bend Chat mobile app


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Offline Hang10er

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Re: Tethered Aerostat Radar System
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2018, 08:38:58 AM »
If they are smart, they'd put it on a fishing rod like my dad used to do, makes it easier to reel in.

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Online BlindWilly

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Re: Tethered Aerostat Radar System
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2018, 02:08:23 PM »
Reviving an old thread, but I saw one while driving from Marathon to Key West 2 weeks ago.  It wasn't 15k feet high, more like 5K is my guess.
Wife had the pictures on her phone, as I was driving.
"No matter where you go, there you are"
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Offline presidio

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Re: Tethered Aerostat Radar System
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2018, 06:06:54 PM »
If they are smart, they'd put it on a fishing rod like my dad used to do, makes it easier to reel in.

Hmm...I missed your comment in March.

The aerostat is tethered to a huge winch and connected with a large kevlar cable carrying power and data.
_____________
<  presidio  >
_____________
Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

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Offline Buck

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Re: Tethered Aerostat Radar System
« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2018, 02:05:40 PM »
I have an old friend (ex-father-in-law) who was head of air operations for the USBP Laredo Sector for many, many years and is now retired.  He told me these things have been used for some time and were very much 'on the low down' back in the 80's.  He said the cost of the cable is unbelievably expensive and that, at least in the early days, the things would break free with some regularity and have to be 'chased down'.  Interestingly, I was down at Matagorda a few weeks ago and noticed driving into town that they had what looked like a tether for one across the road from the ICW.

https://www.google.com/maps/@28.7104895,-95.9574165,419m/data=!3m1!1e3
"Hey, how 'bout a Fandango..?"

 


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