Analysis of Simulated Drift Patterns of a High Altitude Balloon Surveillance System
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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This study evaluates the potential of high altitude balloons as surveillance platforms. It begins with the mobile Theater Ballistic Missile TBM detection problem encountered during the Persian Gulf War of 1990-1991 and it describes a possible scenario using high altitude balloon surveillance systems to locate TBMs accurately enough for effective engagement by strike assets. It presents the history and military use of balloons, and it describes the current state of technology of differing balloon types. Atmospheric circulation impacting balloon drift is presented along with a description of available atmospheric models. Trajectory prediction programs are reviewed and a revised program is used to conduct a simulation of balloon trajectories. Balloon locations at fixed times are analyzed for variability. The study concludes that high altitude balloons have some potential for use as surveillance platforms for limited periods of time. Missile defense, Theater missile Defense, Scud, Surveillance, Balloon, High-altitude balloon, Super pressure balloon, Atmosphere, Stratosphere, Atmospheric circulation, Command and control.
- Military Intelligence
- Target Direction, Range and Position Finding