Monday, February 06, 2006

Thunder or Jet Engines?

Thunder or Jet Engines? is article #10 in the WeatherProphet series on weather modification.

In prior post I reviewed the origin of SuperStrobes, super bright strobes, which were used by Allied aerial photo-reconnaissance missions to illuminate ground targets during World War II,

SuperStrobe flashes emit more candlepower onto a surface target in the middle of a stormy night than is provided by a noon time sun under a clear blue sky.

I've questioned whether SuperStrobe technology has been advanced in the subsequent six decades since World War II, and have speculated whether SuperStrobes have continued to play a role in the top secret world of "National Technical Means" (i.e., high-tech spycraft).

I've asked what role SuperStrobe enhanced aerial photographic surveys could play in an age of LookDown Radar, and Infrared imaging devices.

I've pondered upon what possible advantages SuperStrobes offer which would justify their development, and continued deployment. I susggested that one major advantage over radar imaging systems is the covert nature of SuperStrobes.

Despite a SuperStrobe's brilliant flash, when emitted within heavy cloud cover, a SuperStrobe's flash would almost certainly be perceived as a natural, and random result intercloud lightning. In contrast sidelooking, and lookdown radar imaging systems clearly show up on military radar detection systems used across the globe.

Paradoxically despite their brillant flash, when used as a covert tool for capturing light enhanced digital images the SuperStrobe holds an advantage over radar - deniability.

A SuperStrobe if flashed horizontally through a layer of cloud cover will dispurse light vertically across a greater surface area, and at a lower altitude. Flashing SuperStrobes within clouds also reduces the possibility that a SuperStrobe equipped aircraft will be spotted.

A SuperStrobe equipped stealth aircraft flying within the upper edges of a thunderstorm can illuminate hundereds of square kilometers below it.

Such covert imaging missions could be deployed over areas of interest in durations measured in seconds, minutes, hours, or even days.

The advantages of capturing full spectrum enhanced-light images from multiple angles over target areas are many. However, paramount among those advantages is the creation of interpolated image data sets upon which the creation of three dimensional imaging (virtual reality) depends.

The large amount of image data collected by such means can be burst transmitted (shared at very high speeds via radio, or laser), processed either onboard, at a central location, or in a distributive fashion.

The end product of such a surveillance system would be extremely high resolution three dimensional renderings of targets provided in real time!

But this is only an introduction to the array of possible uses a covert weather modification platform would enable.

Thunder or Jet Engines?

As a ground observer listening to a thunderstorm it might become more difficult in the future to tell the difference between thunder, and jet engines.

Thunder, and jet engine sound patterns sound similar, and with modification of jet engine exhaust bafflings such sound patterns could be made even more similar.

I ask, if an entire generation which has grown up listening to jet engines flying within thunderstorms, always assuming those sounds to be thunder, who among us could judge what natural thunder sounds like?

I propose that trianglulated audio recordings of thunderstorms be made, and accustical analysis software be employed in an attempt to divide the needle from the straw - so to speak.

Far fetched idea?

During World War II the Japanese, who hadn't developed radar at that point in the war, developed large conical sound collection devices which they used to detect incoming Allied aircraft. Made obsolete by radar, such a device may one day find use again in the age of the stealth aircraft.

In the upcoming WeatherProphet article #11 titled, Triggered Thunder Imaging System, we'll exam the development of, and advantages to a "thunder" based sonar system!

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