Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Israeli surveillance balloon guarding Paris climate summit

Hit-tech Electronic Surveillance meets Low tech, balloon platform. The IDF have been using these surveillance balloons in Israel for years. Most major events have one nearby providing an over watch capability. There is normally one covering all of the Gaza Strip, usually run out of an IDF base near the Southern edge of Gaza. Here in the Rio Grande Valley balloons are also in use. The nice thing about them is that different surveillance packages can be installed on them as needed. Of course the one most used is the CCTV video surveillance systems. These can be augmented by thermal imaging systems, even radar based systems. Just for a second, think about the camera systems located on Satellites in space, that back in the 1960's could read the words on a paper a person was reading in Red Square, now think of better cameras on a balloon located much closer to earth. They are a great platform to use, and are mobile to some extent. If you look over Mission Tx just up river, there is normally one balloon sitting there, that can see from north of Rio Grande City to very close to all of McAllen. I do not know the number of balloons on the border, just as we do not know the number of Drone's operating on the border, but they are there. It is always surprising how many people are not aware of the balloons being used along the valley, but it is just as surprising how may people in the Gaza strip can hear, and sometimes see the Drones in use over Gaza. The use of surveillance platforms all over the world is going to grow, it is already a billion dollar business just along the border between the US and Mexico, with a bit more along the border between Canada and the US. The used of ground sensors along both borders is another surveillance platform It uses upgraded technology from the ground sensors used along trails in Vietnam back in the the 60" and 70's, and are often the early warning system for CBP along both borders. The Command and Control systems for these Surveillance platforms is where a lot of new technology is being developed. For instance tying the ground based sensors to the cameras and thermal systems on the balloons is getting better and better, add to this the drone platforms, that can be directed almost automatically at times to areas deemed suspect by any of the sensors, means we are getting a very good picture of the problem. This allows for more rapid ground response to the problem spots. In Paris for the climate summit the ability of the balloon with all its sensors is not quite as good as systems that have been installed for some time. Time allows for the technology to adapt to the ground traffic that is normal, which then allows suspect activity to show up better. Add to this the problems of a low (relatively) survallance balloon dealing with multi story buildings in and around the area. The buildings also get in the way of both the thermal, and radar systems often mounted on the balloons, so as always these are not silver bullets, and they can even have limited capability in areas. The nice thing about the balloons is the survallance packages can be changed as needed.
from CTI Consulting http://ift.tt/1NESCWt
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