Border authorities to test surveillance balloons

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Associated Press

Posted on August 10, 2012 at 7:31 AM

McALLEN, Texas (AP) — Something new will be floating in the skies above the Texas-Mexico border soon as federal authorities test aerostats from the military to see if they might help with border surveillance.

Border Patrol spokesman Henry Mendiola says the large, tethered balloon-like devices should probably take flight by Friday in the Rio Grande Valley. He could not say how many there would be nor how long the testing would last.

The devices, on loan from the Defense Department, are often outfitted with cameras or radar in battlefield settings. Mendiola declined to discuss what technology the balloons would have. The test will determine if the aerostats no longer needed by the military could be useful for border security.

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