It's easy to catch sight of the Aerostat Balloon flying overhead if you are traveling south on Patton Road. The balloon is a surveillance platform for the Rapid Aerostat Initial Deployment system of sensors. It is currently being used in Iraq for surveillance. Soldiers are trained on the system by the RAID Product Office on Redstone Arsenal. Teams of Soldiers learn how to calculate the amount of helium needed to operate the balloon in various weather conditions, how to maneuver the balloon and other aspects of the operation. Training with the Aerostat Balloon is conducted quite often at Test Area 1. "It's an art to fly that thing," said training manager Walter Prosser.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16