Interesting post nice!
I wouldn't be interested in it myself as its illegal and Im sure what they do there is in the interest of national security etc etc.
However, for amusement,
Go for the Japanese way, keep it simple, forget Radio Control and heavier than air things, ur gonna need balloons and lots of them!
Heres my 2c;
1. Truck Plus highway closest to Area 51 and knowledge of prevailing winds,
2. Helium gas and Balloons for the air vehicle, preferably several hundred I reckon, heck a thousand - with enough motivation should be achievable.
3. Several hundred pinhole cameras, each based on some serious trial and error with whatever u can find and i guess 1 strip of 35mm film per camera,
trying to achieve a good test landscape picture with required attributes
4. Several hundred shutters that open after a set time, then close after required exposure. Very Difficult , one idea is to use bits of LCD wired to
watch batterys, setup so that charge dissipates at required time making LCD transparent exposing light to film, then another battery doing opposite -
or some such kinda grasping at straws there! Electronic shutter gives greater control at expense of cost.
EDIT*Added a mechanical shutter idea at bottom of post*
5. Balloons need to come down after rough time, perhaps chemical fuse on top that melts through after certain time (ie.acid between tape melts after
set time based on thickness of tape between acid and balloon)
6. High Vis Colours and Streamers for max fun.
The Japs launched 9,000 balloons towards America during WW2 of which apparently 1,000 arrived (only a few did damage thankfully but concept worked),
so 1/9 over many thousands of miles compared to less than 100.
Would require much manpower to assemble so many and $$$ but I think more chance of success than RC, tbh if enough contributed to a balloon production
line it would be heck fun! even if none were recovered! The main drawback would be the shutters - v difficult, and setting up several hundred balloons
for simultaneous launch from a vehicle for minimum exposure time.
EDIT: Added cheap mechanical solution
for shutter, thats all ur ready to go ! I
expect pics by next year! The mechanical solution is based on an egg timer with a notched disc for shutter, a spring drives the disc, and using
identical parts and a ruler + x amount of turns should give u a start,
has some tips for aerial pinhole fotos,
add some nice big balloons for high altitude (greater field of view) and multiple payloads of cameras to maximise chances!
All parts will need to be multiplied by many hundreds, and I am thinking upgrade the truck to a lorry. Large balloons for extra alt will carry more
cameras per balloon but on a plus side give plenty of advertising space for greenpeace, pepsi, microsoft, yahoo (they will def take this for
publicity), aol (another sucker too).
Actually with the amount of manpower ur gonna need Im now thinking multiple lorrys - perhaps a small convoy, soft topped trailers for quick release
from highway of ur choice. Don't worry about civilian traffic - its a no fly zone - and if u hit a F-117 or B-2 remember - plausible deniability is
on your side!!
[edit on 25-8-2008 by stringue]