The Department of Defense (DOD) is set to use “surveillance blimps” to patrol and spy on the southern border in order to prevent drug smuggling.
These crafts, also known as “aerostats” or persistent threat detection systems (PTDS), have been used in Afghanistan for military tactical support and have been able to see at a distance of 200 miles out.
The Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection want to repurpose these aerial surveillance tools. Historically, people have not been fond of huge blimps floating in the sky and spying on them.
Regardless, in 2022 the Pentagon plans to spend $52 million taxpayer dollars to deploy blimps outfitted with specialized sensors and cameras. These devices will be able to take granular images from a distance of 10,000-15,000 feet up in the sky, with the purpose of preventing drug smuggling from Mexico.