Aerostatic balloon (2): back to the future
Threat in the US of a Chinese spy device raises the issue of sensitive data security
The eyes of the United States focused on the American skies in these hours, to scrutinize possible threats from a Chinese spy balloon, raise the issue of security on the theft of sensitive data. Their use is nothing new: the first use in North America dates back to 1860 during the American Civil War. Today, however, these are more sophisticated vehicles, equipped with cameras and radars, and one wonders what danger they generate.
Beijing's goal is to embarrass the United States and "make them aware that China is keeping up with its technology and has been replicating it. It's hard to believe they didn't think it would go undetected. It American airspace is highly controlled, by civil aviation authorities, by the air force, by the space force, by weather networks", explains John Blaxland, security and intelligence expert at the Australian National University.
The professor explains that today there is a resurgence of interest in balloons. Their advantage is that they are very cheap and easy to recover. Their limitation is that they don't offer the same level of persistent surveillance as satellites. However, today these devices are equipped with lasers or kinetic weapons that also blind satellites. Additionally, they can scan a larger territory from a lower altitude, spending more time on a given area.
AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency