Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Ogden, Utah police first-in-nation to use surveillance blimp

Source: alea.org
Homeland Security Newswire

A patrol car fitted with all of the police extras cost $40,000; a surveillance blimp will cost well below that -- possibly as low as $15,000; after that, it is $100 a week to keep it filled with helium and charge its electric batteries; the police in Ogden, Utah, decides this is a good deal.

The police chief in Ogden, Utah, said the city could launch a surveillance blimp by Christmas as part of the city’s crime-fighting efforts.  The 54-foot-long craft will be equipped multiple cameras and operated by pilots via remote control. It would run for five to seven hours at a time at an altitude of around 400 feet.

Nobody else in the nation is trying to do this, so the FAA has no regulations for it,” said Police Chief Jon Greiner. The Standard-Examiner reports that the FAA recently approved the first step of the blimp proposal, a 25-page administrative application — but that this is only the first of five steps before the police would be allowed to use the blimp.

FAA officials will visit Ogden at some point to view the blimp in action.

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5 comments:

Anonymous said...

At 400 feet and moving slowly, a very easy target to shoot down. A hole in the side equals no Helium, equals no lift. No need for a shotgun or rifle: A crossbow or bow and arrow will do the job. The electronics package wouldn't survive the impact.

These things are an abomination in a free society.

Just a thought.

VicB3

Anonymous said...

The helium bags inside are irregularly shaped and vary in size and number from craft to craft. It would take quite a few hits before crashing. they are designed to stay aloft with as little as 30% of the helium still in its protective envelope. plenty of flight time for the SWAT team to arrive.

Anonymous said...

Why bother. I live in Ogden, they don't care anything about finding criminals.

Anonymous said...

Another thing they don't consider is that the world's supply of helium is extremely limited. Almost all of it comes from oil and gas wells in the Oklahoma/texas panhandle area as a byproduct of declining hydrocarbon production. As nearly a 1/4 of all helium is currently used in MRI scanning (a very worthy use), would the Ogden cops be willing to forgo future MRI scans for their kids and grandkids, so that they can play with their police/surveillance state toys?

Anonymous said...

Wow. Let's fill those suckers with hydrogen then! That worked sooo well for the Hindenburg, yeah?

"Grandma, fireworks are coming EARLY this year!"

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