Blimp-Mounted Cameras Will Watch Everything That Happens At The Rio Olympics

Panolympticon

There is too much happening at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro for any person to watch it all. Not just the sporting events, though there are over 30 events during the 16 days of the event. For the security personnel tasked with making sure athletes, attendees, and civilians are all safe during the event, that’s a sky-high task, so it helps that Brazil is going to have an all-seeing camera on a blimp record everything happening within an area of 15 square miles.

Here’s what that looks like, compared to the area the security cameras on a building can normally see.

Fast Company writes:

The system is technically an aerostat, not a blimp, which means the inflatable sack of helium carrying the cameras is attached to a tether. That tether keeps it in one place, putting the “stationary” in “aerostat,” and it also means video captured from up high can run down a cable to the people using the system. That’s a secure, faster data link than going through satellites or transmitting it in other ways.

If the weather stays calm, the system only has to land every three or so days, and another can be floated to keep the same watch in the meantime. It’s a neat technical marvel, for a highly powerful surveillance system.

Here’s what Kestrel, Simera’s predecessor, looks like spinning in action.

The catchphrases are a nice range of ominous: “Collecting the Present,” “Searching the Past,” “Safeguarding the Future.”

Read more about it, and it’s use in Brazil, at Fast Company, and watch a video about it below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3Tm_AjfM2M//
Kelsey D. Atherton

Kelsey D. Athertonis a defense technology journalist based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His work on drones, lethal AI, and nuclear weapons has appeared in Slate, The New York Times, Foreign Policy, and elsewhere.