Only the blimp can save us from meddling gyrocopters…
Keep in mind our hard earned money goes to pay people to come up with these ideas.
According to Roll Call’s Hannah Hess, Chairwoman of the House Administration Committee, Rep. Candice S. Miller, R-Mich., the Capitol could really use a few giant surveillance blimps.
In April, intrepid Florida mailman Douglas Hughes successfully landed a gyrocopter on the Capitol’s West Front Lawn. Hughes was gyrocopting around D.C. in protest of the campaign finance system. Authorities were unaware of the gyrocopter’s approach until Park Police spotted the UFO hovering over the Lincoln Memorial about 25 minutes before Hughes landed on the Capitol’s lawn.
Hughes’ gyrocopter appeared on the FAA’s radar as a simple dot. “All available information about the slow moving, irregular symbol made it indistinguishable from other non-aircraft radar tracks,” FAA Administrator Michael P. Huerta testified. On the raw-air traffic radar feed, the gyrocopter looked like a flock of birds, weather event, kites or a balloon.
Of course every single action requires a disproportionate government reaction so clearly, the only way to stop unsolicited gyrocopters is to employ a bevy of giant blimps to provide aerial surveillance of the Capitol grounds…
Hess reports Rep. Miller visited, “U.S. Customs and Border Patrol ground stations along the Southern border in January and was amazed at the clarity of the Tethered Aerostat Radar System, or TARS. She is suggesting the “sophisticated technology” might suit the Capitol.”
Imagine the D.C. skyline, littered with giant blimps suspended in air around 10,000 feet. “Deployed by federal law enforcement, the aerostats contain 2,000-pound radars in their bellies, capable of detecting aircraft at a range of 200 miles,” writes Hess.
“They’re going to be using drones to deliver your taco here pretty soon,” Miller said during a May 20 hearing featuring Capitol Police Chief Kim C. Dine. She suggested the department might be able to get “surplus stuff” from the Department of Defense. “I mean, this is what’s coming, so how can you be able to assess using technology that’s available, as quickly as you can?”
As a side note, can we fast forward to the part where I can order up a drone delivered taco? I eagerly welcome this technological advance.
Other lawmakers take the suggestion of jumbo aeronautic balloons seriously, pointing to Hughes’ flight as justification for investing more money into surveillance of Washington’s skies.
Both Republicans and Democrats have been “very clear” to federal law enforcement authorities that they want “anybody who has anything to do with airspace to avail themselves to the most sophisticated technology,” said Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, D-Md., the ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
“We’re going to hold their feet to the fire. I think they are doing the best they can, but I think what this has shown is it shows you where you’re vulnerable,” Cummings continued. “There are always copycats.”
Hughes will be back in D.C. court on June 22, facing two felony charges and four misdemeanors. He told reporters last week he believes if his flight exposed any security risks, they have been fixed.
…“Drones are just an exploding technology,” she [Rep. Miller] said in a follow-up interview, citing Amazon’s proposed delivery service, as well as agricultural drones. “You’re not putting the toothpaste back in the tube — it’s coming. So, for all the good things that they can do, there’s also a security risk.”
Reportedly, Capitol Police are checking out the airborne technology that’s already in use near Baltimore.
Giant surveillance blimps. Who would’ve thought it would come to this?
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