U.S.

February 15, 2013

Military Intelligence — this week in history. February 15

Tags:
Ruth Quinn
Staff Historian

The Army experimented with kite aerial photography at Madison Barracks, N.Y., in the 1890s.

Feb. 10 – 16, 2013
When the USS Maine blew up in Havana Harbor, Cuba, on Feb. 15, 1898, America was launched into the Spanish American War. This conflict was important in the evolution of military intelligence as it marked the Army’s first real experimentation into aerial photo surveillance.

While balloons had been used for aerial observation during the Civil War, this aerial observation platform was not combined with photography until later in the 19th century. Arthur Batut, a French photographer, made the first aerial photograph from a kite platform in 1889, and the idea took off. Kites were cheaper, safer and more portable than balloons. They provided a whole new dimension to photographs, offering a view on the world from a perspective that had not been seen before.

How did it work? The cameras used shutters which were triggered by clock devices or fuses. They were held close to the kite, and an altimeter would record the altitude of the kite when the picture was taken, which would make it possible to scale the image. Timing was controlled by a slow-burning fuse lit when the kite was launched; after the picture was taken, a white flag was dropped and the kite was reeled in.

The Army began to experiment with aerial photography in the 1890s, hanging a camera from a large kite. This particular technique was not of lasting use, but the experiment sparked renewed interest in observation balloons — for the first time since the Civil War.

On July 30, 1909, Lieutenant Benjamin Foulois successfully completed a 10-mile round-trip qualifying flight with Orville Wright, the first military flight in U.S. history. On August 2, 1909, the Signal Corps purchased the Wright Flyer for $30,000 and redesignated the airplane Signal Corps Airplane No. 1. By the 1916 Punitive Expedition into Mexico, the Army was able to field the First Aero Squadron, commanded by none other than Major Foulois.

The invention of the airplane and the exciting new possibilities of aerial photography, with its humble beginnings in balloons and on kites, would change Army Imagery Intelligence forever.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Maranda Flynn

Combat Lifesaver Course trains Soldiers to save lives on, off battlefield

Maranda Flynn From left, Fort Huachuca Combat Lifesaver Course instructors Sgt. James Atcitty, U.S. Army Medical Department Activity, and Sgt. James Fender, 111th Military Intelligence Brigade, wrap a casualty in a heat protect...
 
 
J.D. Leipold

Army signs ‘Shifting Gears’ training partnership with GM, Raytheon

J.D. Leipold The Shifting Gears Automotive Technician Training Program proclamation is displayed after being signed by representatives from the Army, General Motors and Raytheon at a Pentagon ceremony, Tuesday. From left, the s...
 
 
David Vergun

Senior leaders explain Army’s drawdown plan

David Vergun No commander is happy when notified that a Soldier from his or her command has been identified for early separation. But commanders personally notify those Soldiers and ensure participation in the Soldier for Life ...
 

 

Online tool provides ‘voice’ for installation customers

When it comes to providing feedback on services provided by various organizations throughout the Department of Defense, the Interactive Customer Evaluation, or ICE, system allows customers to voice their feedback. ICE is a Web-based tool that collects feedback through online comment cards designed to improve customer service by allowing managers to monitor the satisfaction levels...
 
 
IMG_0131

Ship ‘docks’ temporarily at Fort Huachuca

The fully restored 36-foot replica of the USS Arizona battleship ‘docks’ at the Fort Huachuca Main Exchange last weekend as part of the 119th anniversary celebration of the Post Exchange System. Wanda and Perry Sartain, for...
 
 

Civilian of the Month

Civilian of the Month: Christine Ritzer Agency: Communications Security Logistics Activity, Information Security Division Position and duties: Analyze classified communications security data How long at current assignment: 2 years in November How long in government service: 8 years Residence: Sierra Vista, originally from New Jersey Family: Parents, Victor and Chong Alequin, brother Mike, and h...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin