back to article DARPA at Phase 3 on solar powered surveillance strato-ship

The famed Pentagon Q-branch boffinry hothouse, DARPA, has unveiled another ambitious plan to further US military-technical dominance. It has given $400m to American weapons globocorp Lockheed to develop a solar-powered robot radar airship, able to lurk in the stratosphere for a year at a time, potentially tracking individual …

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Emo
Black Helicopters

Umbrella..

..sales will soar!

Just don't look up.

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Didn't the...

...Vietcong already perfect the tactics against this?

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Black Helicopters

No good for crowds

This thing won't be able to track individuals very well - if each person is a dot on the radar, all Al Qaeda have to do is get up close and personal and one person joining a crowd (and being tracked) will become one big blob and then many small dots.

Do that often enough and you have an exponential number of dots to track...

Heligunship coz the US army will no doubt end up using it to kill all the dots it thinks might possibly be A Qaeda (and to hell with the collateral damage)

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Stop

All of a sudden...

living underground doesn't look so bad.

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Go

may i be the first to say

welcome to our chrome hovering overlord

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Coat

These would be useful.....

....for bouncing a boosted wifi signal/packet radio burst of of for file sharing purposes.

Mine's the inside-out tinfoil umbrella

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Thumb Down

So when will one of these things actually work?

All through the doc.com boom we've been hearing about metropolitan wan with stratospheric balloons, cellphone with stratospheric balloons, rocket launches with balloons.

I'm bored, deploy one of the things already!

Balloon built from a radar antenna is slightly new, but its not the first thing I'd float if it was possible. Why have none of these projects ever gotten off the ground? Are satellites really cheaper?

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Bronze badge
Paris Hilton

What a load of hot air

But wait - could one of these, or a less futuristic but still blimp-based craft be used by our future pocket aircraft carriers as a badly needed airborne early-warning platform?

One has to hope so.

Paris because she recognizes a sitting duck when she sees one.

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The successor to the Eye of Sauron border fence

Will be arriving in about 10 days time. Which might be 9 days too late.

What's the betting they contract it out to a small company that actually *knows* something about very high altitude airship design while they handle the *very* extensive paperwork needed to track progress, procurement etc.

Incidently the presens of such a large reflector in fairly stable slow orbit would also act as a passive repeater for anyone else who wanted to use it, provided their operating frequency was substantially lower to avoid interference and imperfections in the reflector (which would become more pronounced at higher than the radar's running frequency.

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Coat

What would the US do if ...

...some other "World Power" built one of these and then flew it in range of their territory? Would their laser or railgun equipped warships be able to down the thing?

While reading that article something was tickling the back of my mind. Anyone read "Orion Shall Rise"? Remember the thing that hovered over Paris throughout most of the story?

Mine's the one made of radar absorbent material.

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Black Helicopters

I wonder how much these will cost?

It doesn't take a mind like a steel trap to work out how one might bring one of these down with technology you can buy on the Internet and slightly-better-than garage facilities. What if a country where people actually live in houses decided they didn't want Uncle Sam sticking his nose in?

Shades of the Lazy Dog missile, I fear. They've even had the foresight to include an ENORMOUS microwave beacon, to help with targeting...

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Boffin

But don't forget

The U.S. is also making strides in technology to detect underground tunnels and structures... S you're never going to be safe ;)

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