Washington DC Could Soon Be Defended By Blimps
Developed by Raytheon, the helium aerostats will hover at 10,000 feet and can see up to 320 miles in any direction. Unlike ground-based systems, they can provide warnings to military personnel minutes, rather than seconds, in advance.
What's the Latest Development?
If tests continue to go well, starting next year the city of Washington, DC will have one more line of defense against air attacks: The Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor (JLENS) consists of two helium blimps that use radar to see any incoming airborne enemies and to help guide any missiles launched to destroy them. Designed by Raytheon, JLENS -- which will be tethered to the ground, or possibly to a ship at sea -- will hover at 10,000 feet, a height that allows it to send alerts to personnel minutes, rather than seconds, in advance. Also, unlike drones, it can stay up there for weeks, because its power sources are also on the ground.
What's the Big Idea?
The concept of using blimps and other types of aerostats for defense purposes goes all the way back to World War I, and the Raytheon project is one of several that are attempting to use this technology in a more modern way. These include the World Surveillance Group's Blimp in a Box, which only goes up to 2,000 feet and, as the company's name implies, focuses on watching events down here rather than happenings in the air.
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
In his final years, Martin Luther King, Jr. become increasingly focused on the problem of poverty in America.
- Despite being widely known for his leadership role in the American civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. also played a central role in organizing the Poor People's Campaign of 1968.
- The campaign was one of the first to demand a guaranteed income for all poor families in America.
- Today, the idea of a universal basic income is increasingly popular, and King's arguments in support of the policy still make a good case some 50 years later.
10 of the most sandbagging, red-herring, and effective logical fallacies.
- Many an otherwise-worthwhile argument has been derailed by logical fallacies.
- Sometimes these fallacies are deliberate tricks, and sometimes just bad reasoning.
- Avoiding these traps makes disgreeing so much better.
For Damien Echols, tattoos are part of his existential armor.
- In prison Damien Echols was known by his number SK931, not his name, and had his hair sheared off. Stripped of his identity, the only thing he had left was his skin.
- This is why he began tattooing things that are meaningful to him — to carry a "suit of armor" made up the images of the people and objects that have significance to him, from his friends to talismans.
- Echols believes that all places are imbued with divinity: "If you interact with New York City as if there's an intelligence behind... then it will behave towards you the same way."
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.