Monday, June 25, 2012

Center Considering Helicopter Surveillance Program

Sikorsky S-55 Whisperjet
Special Projects Chairman Doc Sloan operated a helicopter program a decade ago in the wake of the 911 terrorist attacks.  Doc Sloan was marketing the Sikorsky S-55 Whisperjet to municipalities as a surveillance tool because of its special feature: an unbreakable glass floor.

Center President Norris McDonald took a ride on the copter in 2003 from National Airport to areas around Washington, DC (approved copter airspace).  McDonald, who has taken several helicopter lessons, notes that the advantage of this helicopter is that you can look straight down, whereas in the average helicopter, there is more of a forward looking view.

Doc Sloan
The Center is examining the feasibility of utilizing the helicopter to supplement its programs.  Of particular interest is locating undocumented waste sites.  We could also utilize infrared scanning to measure thermal pollution from sewer and other outfalls.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) uses an airplane, the Airborne Spectral Photometric Environmental Collection Technology (ASPECT) aircraft that is capable of remotely detecting chemicals and radiation using an array of state-of-the-art chemical and radiological detectors, high resolution digital photography, video and GPS technology combined with sophisticated software applications.
The Center would be interested in examining the feasibility of supplementing the EPA program.

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