Science: Islands for Defense

To detect approaching enemy bombers, the U.S. has spread a web of radar stations along its coastlines and across the wastes of northern Canada and Alaska. Except for Navy picket ships and patrolling "Pregnant Geese" (radar-laden Lockheed Super Constellations), the protective net stops at the water's edge, leaving U.S. port cities vulnerable to sneak atomic attack. Last week the Air Force revealed that it plans to eliminate part of the gap with a string of artificial, radar-equipped Atlantic "islands," located from Newfoundland to the Virginia capes (see map) and as far as 150 miles offshore.

In building the new defenses, the Air...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!