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.


 
 

 

Absentee voting assistance available on FH

Exercise your right to vote! Voting assistance is available through Fort Huachuca voting assistance officers. They can help members of the Fort Huachuca Community register to vote, request an absentee ballot and notify local election officials back home of a change of address. Connecticut, Minnesota and Wisconsin will hold its primary election on August 12....
 
 
Untitled-1

Military Intelligence – Moment in MI history

Harriet Tubman was nurse, spy, scout Maj. Gen. David Hunter, Union commander of the Department of the South, issued the valuable military pass in 1861. It read: “Give her free passage at all times, on all government transport...
 
 
David Vergun

Army at ‘tipping point’ of unmanned aircraft system capabilities

David Vergun Spc. Corey Deer, unmanned aircraft system operator, launches a Raven at Fort Bragg, N.C., in 2013. WASHINGTON — “We’re on the tipping point of unmanned aerial systems’ ability to deliver capability to the S...
 

 
Gabrielle Kuholski

Installation observes National Prayer Breakfast

Gabrielle Kuholski Retired Army Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) Douglas Carver, National Prayer Breakfast guest speaker, addresses the audience Tuesday at the Thunder Mountain Activity Centre. Around 400 attendees came together for prayer...
 
 
IMG_4353

Black History Month program packs TMAC

From left, Sgt. 1st Class Andre Clovis as Malcolm X; Staff Sgt. Ken Coffey as Abraham Lincoln; Staff Sgt. Michelle Taitt portraying a slave; Staff Sgt. William Condon as President John F. Kennedy; and Sgt. Maj. Lavander Wilkers...
 
 

Tax season brings out identity thieves

Tucson — Thousands of Americans are eligible to receive refunds from Uncle Sam in 2014, and it’s not just certified public accountants who will be busy; tax season is primetime for identity thieves. With all of the personal information contained in tax documents, cons will try every trick in the book to obtain these documents...
 




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