screenshot_01It seems that for U.S. troops, the war on terrorism never takes a break, even during the holidays. The U.S. is employing 24 new Hawker Beechcraft four-man twin-propeller planes, with the first expected to arrive this week during Christmas.

These high tech planes will provide ground troops with a full set of eavesdropping and surveillance tools, including the ability to record still images and video, and send them directly to ground troops. Ground troops are being equipped with portable computers that let them view these images and video.

According to Jeffrey Richelson, author of the “U.S. Intelligence Community” these planes are equipped with sensors that that can monitor insurgents’ conversations and help pinpoint their location.

“It’s a lot of intelligence and dissemination capability in a small package,” Richelson said. The planes, with self- protective equipment, are “also clearly designed for a combat environment.”

On that note, we hope that these planes help keep our troops safe in the coming year. And we also want to send out a Seasons Greetings to all our troops stationed overseas, and their families waiting for them at home.

(Via Bloomberg News)

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radar2The Federal Aviation Authority announced Tuesday that a new high tech surveillance system will be launched in Colorado to make airplane monitoring easier, more efficient, and more effective. Before this system, when a large aircraft entered a mountain valley, radar would go dead and air traffic controllers would be left blind to the plane’s whereabouts. Clearly unsafe, smaller Colorado airports were forced to turn away the larger aircrafts that were susceptible to this loss of radar, which resulted in a significant loss of revenue for both the airports and the state. The new surveillance system will incorporate sensors for more detailed mapping and air traffic control capabilities.

As aircraft approach a mountain valley, we have sensors that are located throughout the valleys, next to the runways, which allows us to see the aircraft as it descends and loses traditional radar service,” Travis Vallin, Director of Aeronautics with the Colorado Department of Transportation, said.

With this high tech surveillance system, three smaller regional airports will be able to accept larger airplanes with 700 passengers or more, improving the scope of air travel in Colorado.

“It’s not only the first time it’s been done here, it’s the first time it’s been rolled out in the United States,” Vallin said. “So, Colorado is a leader in this technology, and we hope to put it to good use.”

The Colorado Department of Transportation will share costs with the FAA in this joint venture to make air travel safer and more efficient.

(Via 9News.com)

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