Fatherland Security will rule the skies with Zeppelins! Oh yes!

Sensor-Equipped Blimps Could Aid Homeland Security

Blimps could play a key role in homeland security, say military researchers, who envision dirigibles hovering over Washington, protecting the region. During last fall's sniper crisis, in fact, the military tried to deploy a blimp with sensors capable of spotting a flash from a firearm's muzzle. [...]

The Office of Naval Research, based in Arlington, is advocating the use of sensor-equipped airships for various missions, including detecting chemical attacks, tracking submarines or other underwater threats, identifying military targets for attack, aiding in search-and-rescue operations and finding drug laboratories. [...]

The demonstration featured the Littoral Airborne Sensor Hyperspectral (LASH) system, a sensor that detects minute color shifts that the human eye cannot see. [...] Last October, Navy teams outfitted a blimp with a sniper-detection system known as VIPER to help find the shooters terrorizing the Washington area. "We were doing the initial checkouts when they caught the guys," Huett said. Equipped with LASH, radar and other sensors, two or three blimps could provide constant surveillance over the Washington area, Huett said.

Tags: , ,
Current Music: Belly -- Slow Dog ♬

9 Responses:

  1. thesliver says:

    A blimp is a tethered balloon.

    A dirigible is a self propelled lighter than air vehicle.

    Pedants 'R Us.

  2. kiad says:

    It worked for hitler.

    Why not for Bush?

    Besides. They make me feel so 1930s. Lets break out the absinthe.

  3. marm0t says:

    I wonder if this explains why I've seen blimps landing at a nearby military airport every single evening this week during my commute home. I'm not even kidding.

  4. dygel says:

    I really liked the commentary that Comedy Central's The Daily Show had on this story.
    "All of this comes from the recent USAF feasibility report titled, 'Hey, What If We Put A Camera With A Zoom Lens On A BlimP'?

  5. 9-11-2003, Washington D.C.
    Invisible and silent, circling overland
    Scanning, taping, filing, instantly checking
    Every human, car and plane of the quarters we survey...

  6. baconmonkey says:

    ahh, now I know why you wanted the robo-cam.
    you're developing stuff for the homeland scurity folks!

  7. ex_sjc says:

    Fire up the jetpacks, boys - looks like those Ratzis are attempting to take the air! We'll show 'em what happens when you mess with helium!

  8. rzr_grl says:


    oh geezus, got im himmel, please no blimbs.