Government Orders Spy Blimp to Spy on Americans


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thirty-thirty
June 18, 2006, 09:57 AM
GOVERNMENT ORDERS SPY BLIMP
Friday, June 16, 2006 - FreeMarketNews.com

The government has hired defense subcontractor Lockheed Martin to design and develop an enormous blimp that will be used to spy on Americans, according to the Athens News. Government agencies such as the NSA are anticipating that as early as 2009 the blimp will be operational and begin supporting new ways of monitoring everything that happens in the country.

A prototype of the blimp is already being developed at a cost of $40 million. The spy ship, called the High Altitude Airship, will be seventeen times larger than the Goodyear Blimp and hover 12 miles above the ground. Although it is very large it will be invisible to both the naked eye and ground radar because of its distance from the earth. Fuel economic and self sufficient, it will be powered by solar energy and will be able to fly for years at a time.

The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command has already conducted a study to determine some of the uses of the spy ship. It has the capability of monitoring an area 600 miles in diameter at a time with surveillance equipment, such as high-resolution cameras. The government has ordered 11 of them enough to monitor every parcel of land in the U.S.

http://www.freemarketnews.com/WorldNews.asp?nid=15095

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Nightfall
June 18, 2006, 10:11 AM
Tin-foil is looking more fashionable all the time... :scrutiny:

Otherguy Overby
June 18, 2006, 10:20 AM
Look for more attempted 50 caliber bans. After all they can be used to shoot something down 12 miles up... :what:

gm
June 18, 2006, 10:35 AM
"Fuel economic and self sufficient, it will be powered by solar energy and will be able to fly for years at a time"



hey..just thought of something..a way to move all the illegals back home and solve the corporate greed with free rides.:D :D

GTSteve03
June 18, 2006, 10:38 AM
What's the point of this over a satellite? I'm sure there are enough over the US anyways to get high-res shots of anyone. Look at Google Maps. You can see your own house using that, and that's just commercial satellite equipment. :uhoh:

Nehemiah Scudder
June 18, 2006, 10:41 AM
I looked it up a bit. It's an unmanned radar missile detection system.

The Real Hawkeye
June 18, 2006, 11:01 AM
Government Orders Spy Blimp to Spy on Americans

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

GOVERNMENT ORDERS SPY BLIMP
Friday, June 16, 2006 - FreeMarketNews.com

The government has hired defense subcontractor Lockheed Martin to design and develop an enormous blimp that will be used to spy on Americans, according to the Athens News. Government agencies such as the NSA are anticipating that as early as 2009 the blimp will be operational and begin supporting new ways of monitoring everything that happens in the country.

A prototype of the blimp is already being developed at a cost of $40 million. The spy ship, called the High Altitude Airship, will be seventeen times larger than the Goodyear Blimp and hover 12 miles above the ground. Although it is very large it will be invisible to both the naked eye and ground radar because of its distance from the earth. Fuel economic and self sufficient, it will be powered by solar energy and will be able to fly for years at a time.

The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command has already conducted a study to determine some of the uses of the spy ship. It has the capability of monitoring an area 600 miles in diameter at a time with surveillance equipment, such as high-resolution cameras. The government has ordered 11 of them – enough to monitor every parcel of land in the U.S.I guess someone was watching the sci-fi movie Aeon Flux.

This is a perfect idea if you are attempting to impose an Orwellian nightmare superstate on the American People. As for the potential victims of said superstate, I think they'd be well advised to oppose this measure.

rbernie
June 18, 2006, 11:05 AM
an enormous blimp that will be used to spy on Americans, according to the Athens NewsAnd exactly *who* is Athens News, and how did they derive this knowledge from the available info?

DunedinDragon
June 18, 2006, 11:36 AM
Does anyone else find it suspect when just below the above-mentioned story there is the following disclaimer:

Free-Market News Network does not represent, warrant, or endorse the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of any of the information, content, views, opinions, recommendations or advertisements contained on, distributed through, or linked, downloaded or accessed from any of the information contained in this News Story.

Kinda makes ya go......hmmmmmmmmmmmmm???!!!!:scrutiny:

Kharn
June 18, 2006, 11:36 AM
GTSteve:
What's the point of this over a satellite?Satelites orbit in set patterns, anyone can find out when there will be a gap between coverage and exploit it. It takes a lot of fuel to change a satelite's trajectory if a look at a different area is required, and they can only carry so much. With a blimp, the overflight times arent set, so no one will know when they're being watched or not.

Kharn

cropcirclewalker
June 18, 2006, 11:49 AM
So I wonder if these big gas bags will be visable by commercial satellite like the one they use with gooooooooooogle?

Some enterprising entrapenoor could set up a service and make a handsome profit by publishing it's location.

The free market is a cool thing.

Kharn
June 18, 2006, 11:52 AM
Google's probably not buying real-time feeds.

Kharn

The Real Hawkeye
June 18, 2006, 12:13 PM
Admit it Kharn, you're a spook, aren't you? :D

White Horseradish
June 18, 2006, 12:14 PM
I think one advantage of this over a satellite would be cost. It's pricey to fling things off the planet.

longeyes
June 18, 2006, 12:24 PM
It's fitting that D.C. gasbags should use gasbags to spy on us.

zoom6zoom
June 18, 2006, 04:36 PM
Hell, that damn thing was on the cover of Popular Mechanics something like twenty years ago....

Roadwild17
June 18, 2006, 04:43 PM
it sounds like a bad amusement park ride :neener: .

Kharn
June 18, 2006, 05:20 PM
Nope, I just have a lot of time to read while flying around for my job.

Kharn

Bartholomew Roberts
June 18, 2006, 05:36 PM
High-altitude reconaissance has existed since the 1950s... somehow though when we discuss the U2, SR71, or similar programs nobody ever phrases it as "Government Orders Spy Plane to Spy on Americans."

The fact that the blimp is designed to be invisible to ground radar strongly suggests that it will not be used for domestic surveillance. Not much point in specifying that the blimp be invisible to ground radar when you own all the ground radar sets over the area being surveilled.

I notice this story is strangely absent on facts to - like the facts that support the blimp being used for domestic surveillance. While I'd agree that the coverage is well within normal media regard for accuracy, they sure didn't spend much time explaining how they reached the conclusion that the blimp would be used operationally here.

Jeff White
June 18, 2006, 05:37 PM
I looked it up a bit. It's an unmanned radar missile detection system.

I guess all you guys who use intermediate range missiles for home defense need to be concerned about this. Imagine it, they'd be able to detect your launch and have counter battery fire enroute before your missile landed....Yep it's real threat to our freedom....:uhoh:

I thnik I'll work on a way to hide the thermal signature of your launch. That way you'll only have to buy some stealth technology so they can't track the missile back to your house by it's trajectory. :rolleyes:

If any of you guys want to contribute to my research send me a PM :D LOL

Jeff

cropcirclewalker
June 18, 2006, 05:55 PM
Yo, Mr. White, Thanks for the clarification.

I raise the question.......Have or are we being plagued by a bunch of criminal launches of intermediate missles lately?

11 systems at 40 mil each rounds out to 440 million bux. Is it worth it just to prevent one launch? For the children?

Is there some other use to which these gas bags may be put?

Lucky
June 18, 2006, 05:58 PM
"High-altitude reconaissance has existed since the 1950s... somehow though when we discuss the U2, SR71, or similar programs nobody ever phrases it as "Government Orders Spy Plane to Spy on Americans."

That seems like a reverse conspiracy theory, inside-out tinfoil and all heh heh. I hate to ruin a perfectly good reverse-conspiracy theory with facts, but planes like the SR71 could get to targets to be observed in hours. A solar-powered Hindenburg could never get to any target worth surveilling in any time to view it, weeks maybe. And the odds of it being invible to radar - take a wild guess. Solar panels? Cameras & lenses? Maybe even the big old blimp itself?

The notion that solar powered blimps would be designed for anything other than loitering and observing is quite ridiculous, to be honest. I hate to play the shrink, but anyone suggesting these blimps are not to be used on their countrymen would still be in the first stage of grief.

Car Knocker
June 18, 2006, 06:17 PM
I'd bet one good-size cargo plane could move a deflated blimp quite handily to just about anywhere in the world.

cropcirclewalker
June 18, 2006, 06:24 PM
Does anybody know anything about the jet stream?

How high and how fast?

Seems like I remember seeing them big ol' Thunderheads back in Iowa when I was a kid. I thought the weather guy said they went to over 100,000 feet.

That's like almost 19 miles up.

Maybe I am remembering it all wrong, but a giant gas bag seems likely to get blowed around up there.

edited.

Okay, I googled "Thunderhead altitude" and linkded up with a cute little chart..

63,360 feet Twelve miles high
60,000 feet Tops of highest cumulonimbus thunderhead clouds

can be seen at http://www.spacetoday.org/SolSys/Earth/AltitudesChart.html

Maybe they figger that the gas bag will get out of the weather.

6-11 miles Troposphere of Earth's atmosphere, including weather we feel on the surface.

Maybe so.

JohnBT
June 18, 2006, 06:31 PM
www.globalsecurity.org/intell/systems/haa.htm

"According to the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), 11 high-altitude airships would provide overlapping radar coverage of all maritime and southern border approaches to the continental U.S., and may be a significant asset in homeland defense efforts."

"On 29 September 2003 Lockheed Martin Naval Electronics & Surveillance Systems, Akron, Ohio, was awarded agreement HQ0006-04-9-0001 for design and risk reduction phase 2 of the High Altitude Airship advanced concept technology demonstration."

http://www.globalsecurity.org/intell/systems/images/haa-rl.jpg

Bartholomew Roberts
June 18, 2006, 06:41 PM
I raise the question.......Have or are we being plagued by a bunch of criminal launches of intermediate missles lately?

How about Iraq during the first Gulf War? Remember them using SCUDs to both attack Allied forces and try to draw Israel into the war in an effort to break up the coalition? Also remember the difficulty the U.S. had in identifying and destroying the mobile launchers?

For another fun stroll down IRBM Memory lane; how about the Cuban Missile Crisis?

The current plan is to use the 11 blimps to monitor coastal waters for an IRBM launch directed at the United States from freighters or submarines (http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/2006/01/lockheed-wins-1492m-contract-for-high-altitude-airship-updated/index.php).

11 systems at 40 mil each rounds out to 440 million bux. Is it worth it just to prevent one launch? For the children?

The Air Force has requested $5.3 billion from Congress over the next five years in order to provide a two-satellite demonstration system of space based radar (http://www.space.com/spacenews/archive05/AFbudget_031405.html). These are intended to provide an interim solution and don't have the drawbacks of satellites (people knowing when they are overhead) and also to test sensors for the satellite development. (http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/2006/01/lockheed-wins-1492m-contract-for-high-altitude-airship-updated/index.php) The nineteen satellite constellation the USAF wants is estimated to cost $34 billion.

The notion that solar powered blimps would be designed for anything other than loitering and observing is quite ridiculous, to be honest. I hate to play the shrink, but anyone suggesting these blimps are not to be used on their countrymen would still be in the first stage of grief.

Yes, I guess the notion that a blimp designed to spot IRBM launch would be used for anything but spying on Americans is pretty crazy.

A solar-powered Hindenburg could never get to any target worth surveilling in any time to view it, weeks maybe

Yes, you are correct. We would never dispacth a craft that can loiter for months at a time to monitor a potential trouble spot like Iraq, North Korea, etc. That would be as crazy as dispatching a carrier battle group to a troubled region... I mean it at only 30kts and limited to blue water, it could never get anywhere in time to be useful.

And the odds of it being invible to radar - take a wild guess.

So just to clarify, the story is right about the giant surveillance blimp being designed to spy on Americans; but wrong about it being invisible to radar?

cropcirclewalker
June 18, 2006, 06:48 PM
Yo, Mr. BT, thanks for the picture, way cool.

I don't see anyplace to put the hellfire missles. Did they leave something out?

Next question......Not impossible, but seems to me like the higher the altitude the less pressure is required to fill up said gas bag. At 11 miles one is nearly at the top of Earth's atmosphere.

You know, P=IE and like that. A spray can of helium would most likely be enough to fill the bag at that altitude. Yes, I can see how a blimp could be filled with helium at sea level and then as she gained altitude she would vent off the excess pressure helium till once at altitude it could assume neutral bouyancy by venting off all the required gas.

Now, she runs out of hellfire missles or other stuff, broken electronix, struck by small meteors, that kind of stuff and has to return to base for maintenance.

They ain't gonna fly no helicopter up there to fix it. Maybe the space shuttle could do it, but it seems like she would go by pretty fast to offload supplies.

As the gas bag descends, the pressure increases, the volume of gas is diminished and bouyancy is lost.

I know they can figger it out, but it just seems like it would require a pretty big container of pressurized helium to get it back down.

The other thing would be to build the bag such that it could maintain extreme pressure, sort of like an ASME coded tank, however, it seems like that would be pretty heavy.

YMMV

The Real Hawkeye
June 18, 2006, 06:55 PM
High-altitude reconaissance has existed since the 1950sActually, if I'm not mistaken, both sides in the US Civil War used hot air balloons for "high altitude reconnaissance."

PS: Didn't Jules Verne write a story about this?

cropcirclewalker
June 18, 2006, 06:57 PM
Yo, Mr. Roberts, thanks for the reply.

How about Iraq during the first Gulf War? Remember them using SCUDs to both attack Allied forces and try to draw Israel into the war in an effort to break up the coalition? Also remember the difficulty the U.S. had in identifying and destroying the mobile launchers? I was unaware that this weapon system was for use in foreign markets. The original piece indicated that they would have eleven of them to cover the good ol' USofA

I feel pretty sure that somebody would call 911 if they saw somebody driving a SCUD missle launcher around Cleveland.

Bartholomew Roberts
June 18, 2006, 07:09 PM
I was unaware that this weapon system was for use in foreign markets. The original piece indicated that they would have eleven of them to cover the good ol' USofA

Yes, that does appear to be the intent of the program. I would imagine they would have uses elsewhere though.

Here is another good blast from the past (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0743261127/002-1080163-3472052?v=glance&n=283155) regarding the program. Imagine a North Korean or Iranian sub equipped with IRBMs trying something similar.

Lucky
June 18, 2006, 07:54 PM
"Yes, I guess the notion that a blimp designed to spot IRBM launch would be used for anything but spying on Americans is pretty crazy."

No, I'm not saying that, I don't want to be insulting. I was suggesting that a giant solar-powered blimp would be adequate for station keeping, not trans-continental voyages. As further reasons why it wouldn't be used over Russia or North Korea, besides the time to get there, if it gets there, would be that they might not want it up there - and would take it down. The original article has factual errors, as you see below.


"We would never dispacth a craft that can loiter for months at a time to monitor a potential trouble spot "

I think you missed previous people's posts about the history of spy planes and satellites. They do exist and are/were used. See also UAVs, there are high-altitude models about based on gliders, with long loiter times.


"So just to clarify, the story is right about the giant surveillance blimp being designed to spy on Americans; but wrong about it being invisible to radar?"

That's about right. To be less dramatic, you could replace "spy" with "monitor", and "Americans" is a little selective but apt enough.

And with simple calculations one can see that the original article is to be trusted in base only. 3,108,600 would be the sq.miles viewed, out of 5,625,000. Viewing only inland USA they could not 'cover' the country. So they likely are part of a large border defence system, as it says in the later article. Though they'd really need 20 to cover your borders. And they view not only the border, but a 1.6 million square miles behind it, at least.

If they can't do simple math, I doubt they're informed about em radiation properties. Lol, maybe it has Plasma stealth:) (which would still be observeable to long range OTH radar)

DunedinDragon
June 18, 2006, 10:12 PM
www.globalsecurity.org/intell/systems/haa.htm

"According to the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), 11 high-altitude airships would provide overlapping radar coverage of all maritime and southern border approaches to the continental U.S., and may be a significant asset in homeland defense efforts."

"On 29 September 2003 Lockheed Martin Naval Electronics & Surveillance Systems, Akron, Ohio, was awarded agreement HQ0006-04-9-0001 for design and risk reduction phase 2 of the High Altitude Airship advanced concept technology demonstration."



If that's what we're talking about this is nothing more than a high altitude, long-duration AWACS. The only way you might conceive of this being "monitoring" is if you consider radar to be monitoring or spying. All this is doing is providing location and direction of moving airborne targets. Hardly what I would consider to be tromping all over US citizen's rights.

Good lord...all THIS over THAT????
:rolleyes:

Lou629
June 18, 2006, 10:23 PM
I get the sense that there may be a lot more hot air with this entire story than the new blimps could probably hold if they get built.

Lucky
June 19, 2006, 01:05 AM
"All this is doing is providing location and direction of moving airborne targets."

I believe that's what's referred to as 'a leap of faith'. Plus I think they already have radars that do that.

I understand what you're saying, but I believe you have to break it down to a fundamental issue of whether it is OK to be surveilled without justification, either yes or no. If no, then you ought to view every intrusive technology and judge it by the potential for abuse. Just imo.

JohnBT
June 19, 2006, 07:44 AM
Does that mean you're against the air traffic control system? How about the Coast Guard? Lifeguards at the beach?

They're all watching you. :)

John

kkb
June 19, 2006, 08:02 AM
Is this any worse than Los Angeles' eye-in-the-sky drone (http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20060617/lf_afp/uspolicedrone_060617210138)? (Gosh, hope they didn't buy Rampart the Hellfire option :eek: )

DunedinDragon
June 19, 2006, 08:16 AM
I believe that's what's referred to as 'a leap of faith'. Plus I think they already have radars that do that.


Nope...no leap of faith here. Ground based radars are limited by line-of-sight, which is overcome by an airborne platform. Thus, AWACS.

Aside from that, if this were a "black" project it would never be announced, particularly by the contractor, as that opens up the specifications for public scrutiny. For example, the stealth fighter was never announced until it was unveiled, AWACS was.

You know it's hard to take anti-gunners seriously when they don't even understand the most basic details about a gun. The same applies here.

bogie
June 19, 2006, 08:21 AM
1) How does this relate to legal and political re: firearms ownership?

2) I don't think they need a blimp.

ApexinM3
June 19, 2006, 08:41 AM
:scrutiny:

I think the tin-foil hats have their fashion a little too tight. Seems like a farce to me...

tegemu
June 19, 2006, 10:07 AM
This program would be a tremendous boon to drug interdiction efforts. It could eliminate many weaknesses that our current systems have. Homeland Defense does not only consist of Military or terrorist threats, which would be aided by this system. It makes a lot of sense to me. As for spying on all Americans - let's be real. The data gathered would require such a monumental system to analyze and extract illicit activity from normal activity, that it becomes practically an impossibility. However this does provide an excellent channel for the Conspiracy Theorists to develop new ulcers over.

engineer151515
June 19, 2006, 11:13 AM
That balloon will have operational limits. You can hit some serious windspeeds between 30 and 60K feet (~12 miles up). Stationary orbiting will be at the will of the weather - and subject to rapid change without notice.

Justin
June 19, 2006, 11:18 AM
Free-Market News Network does not represent, warrant, or endorse the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of any of the information, content, views, opinions, recommendations or advertisements contained on, distributed through, or linked, downloaded or accessed from any of the information contained in this News Story.

Kinda makes ya go......hmmmmmmmmmmmmm???!!!!

You really shouldn't need a disclaimer to prompt you to do that with every news source.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/intell/systems/images/haa-rl.jpg

Oh, and Lockheed Martin's in-house production department sucks. They churn out work that would have gotten me a C- in college. Some of the worst 3d animation and compositing work I've ever seen come out of a professional company.

mrmeval
June 19, 2006, 11:34 AM
They found they absorb certain wavelengths very well and really didn't block anything. In otherwords it's an antenna!!! :what:

For complete protection you'd need a Faraday cage (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faraday_cage), a complete metal enclosure. A woven metal mesh would do fine, you could shape it to your body or line your house with it as long as it's all connected.

Note if you do make a suit it should stop the microwave pain generator they have. I'm not sure about heat though.

Silly? It's a chicken cage of sorts. :)

longrifleman
June 19, 2006, 11:48 AM
A woven metal mesh would do fine, you could shape it to your body or line your house with it as long as it's all connected

http://www.a2armory.com/mail.htm


Would one of these work? I've always wanted one, so this would serve multiple purposes. Modern paranoia, zombies and Saracens.


Just one more step on the road to a total surviellance society. No differecce in kind from what we have now, just better technology.

Art Eatman
June 19, 2006, 11:59 AM
enuf.

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