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N91S (Angel FIre) and Lawrence Livermore Labs

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posted on Sep, 20 2011 @ 05:31 PM
N91S, a plane with callsign Angel Fire, first came to my knowledge from a spotter at Nellis AFB. It is Beechcraft with a serious amount of surveillance gear aboard. It flew the Nellis range, but where exactly, isn't public knowledge.

The FAA registration documents for N91S are on this website:

The plane is operated by Dynamic Aviation, a well connected government contractor. Their services range include fire fighting, bug spraying, and snooping.

N91S recently showed up on internet tracking, landing at Livermore (KLVK) airport.

It hasn't been tracked on the internet lately since it has been flying by visual flight rules rather than instrument flight rules (VFR vs IFR).

This document from Livermore indicates that LLNL (Lawrence LIvermore National Labs) has been writing software for use with Angel Fire and Constant Hawk.

“People in the department of defense got excited because they realized they could use the same techniques to look for terrorist activities,” says Duchaineau. In 2005, the video-camera effort that began with Sonoma was passed to the Department of Defense, which developed Angel Fire for the Air Force and Marine Corps and Constant Hawk for the Army.

As an aside, I thought "Constant XXX" is for USAF projects, so this document might have a bug or two in it.

The Angel Fire plane has been detected flying the general area around Livermore, and making numerous passes over the lab itself. Hey, might as well study someplace that you can access. Unknown to me is if they have placed any photo targets on the ground for Angel Fire to shoot, or if this is just a simple surveillance exercise to get data to fine tune their software. Surveillance tends to be at 10kft.

In any instrument design and associated software, you need to establish a baseline using known targets. That is, you do the remote sensing, but verify with on the ground measurements. Compare the remote data to the on-site data, and tweak the instrument and/or software for better resolution, or at least determine the capabilities of the gear.

posted on Sep, 20 2011 @ 05:34 PM
reply to post by gariac

I live in Dublin, the city next to livermore. Perhaps I'll go over there and check it out.
I drive by the Livermore Labs all the time.
Sounds pretty cool

posted on Sep, 20 2011 @ 10:47 PM
Here is a photo of the Sonoma sensor.

And a brief explanation of how it works:

Regarding spotting the plane, it appears to like to sleep-in, so you might catch it on the ground in the morning. I don't recall how easy or difficult it is to physically montior KLVK. Airports security, even for general aviation, is tight these days.

Most landings are after 4PM.

This is the flight schedule as I have detected it, but I don't have a clear view of the airport.

First Last
2011-09-20 16:14:21 2011-09-20 17:55:01
2011-09-19 14:27:37 2011-09-19 18:02:05
2011-09-16 18:09:38 2011-09-16 19:01:29
2011-09-15 16:21:17 2011-09-15 18:02:59
2011-09-14 13:38:26 2011-09-14 17:51:03
2011-09-08 17:31:58 2011-09-08 18:56:59
2011-09-07 11:50:39 2011-09-07 16:42:46
2011-09-06 15:29:45 2011-09-06 17:06:28
2011-09-02 12:02:54 2011-09-02 13:45:48

posted on Sep, 21 2011 @ 02:22 AM
Another Sonoma document, with more detail regarding how they connect all the cameras together.

Apparently a few of these DoD projects are using technology to stitch together cameras to make one large sensor. Without DSP, this would be difficult. The idea here is the smaller sensors are cheaper than one big sensor. It has to do with semiconductor yield. Also the smaller lens are cheaper to manufacture. Basically everything it commercial off the shelf (COTS).

posted on Sep, 26 2011 @ 09:23 PM
I hope this article helps shed light on Angel Fire:

First USAF Blue Devil Flies Combat Sortie

I believe Dynamic Aviation is a subcontractor to SAIC on this program. Perhaps a Big Safari effort.

posted on Sep, 26 2011 @ 09:23 PM
edit on 26-9-2011 by TAGBOARD because: [removed]

posted on Sep, 27 2011 @ 01:20 AM
reply to post by TAGBOARD

The link was useful. Of course googling Blue Devil mostly fired up the old Google echo chamber. There are a few documents on .mil domains, with this being the most interesting.

While the USAF likes airships for surveillance, there seems to be a lot of aggravation in supplying them helium.

Also the only report I read of Gorgon Stare was that it was a failure.

Not mentioned in these articles is the bandwidth issue. More data...more bandwidth. However, spectrum is finite.

posted on Jun, 22 2012 @ 07:15 PM
I noticed N91S just filed/flew to Henderson NV. [For those not familiar with Las Vegas, Henderson is the town right next to Vegas. It is hard to tell where one stops and the next begins.]

As mentioned in this thread, N91S is now used as the Argus testbed. [Argus is a scheme to combine multiple cameras for a wider scan area.] It may show up over the Nellis range, or it may just be passing through. Time will tell.

Note that the tracking the flightaware page stopped. This may be because the plane changed from IFR to VFR, potentially going to a different airport (Lincoln, Nellis, Base Camp, who knows).

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