There are many types of surveillance aircraft that have been developed over the decades. This goes back decades, at a time when we were at war and we needed to gather information on enemy countries. Aircraft were very useful, despite being at high altitude, because of the equipment that they were able to carry. Government agencies have been improving upon surveillance aircraft for quite some time, some of which are not even visible when using standard radar. Here are a few examples of surveillance aircraft, and the type of surveillance that these aircraft will typically perform.
Different Types of Surveillance Aircraft
Also referred to as reconnaissance aircraft, these were primarily developed as part of United States Air Force. They were used for several different purposes which included aerial mapping, as well as combat aerial reconnaissance. Several companies have been involved in the production of these aircraft including Hughes and Lockheed. There are even unmanned aerial vehicles that can do the reconnaissance controlled from the ground including the MQ-1 Predator and the MQ-9 Reaper.
One of the most well-known surveillance aircraft in history was the SR 71 Blackbird. Not only was it a reconnaissance aircraft that gathered information, but it was also capable of exceeding Mach 3. Another was the F-117 Nighthawk, one of the most unique aircraft ever developed that was able to do reconnaissance from as high as 45,000 feet. All of these aircraft, including commercial aircraft that perform a similar function, use specific types of equipment.
What Types of Surveillance Equipment Do They Use?
The equipment used on these aircraft would include long range sensors, radar, and different types of video. The video would either be presented in a visual format, or you would also see videos that were able to pick up heat signatures. Night vision technology was also applied to some of the surveillance equipment, making it possible for them to see just as clearly at night.
Using all of this equipment together, they were able to do surveillance from tens of thousands of feet, allowing them to determine where enemy bases were located with ease. Similar surveillance equipment is used with civilian aircraft which would include night vision capabilities. These are almost always use to gather information on a perceivable threat, and after processing this information, make choices that can help save people’s lives.
Different Types of Surveillance Most Commonly Implemented
Although the military is often associated with surveillance, this is also done by law enforcement today. As we manage potential targets that could become dangerous for citizens, similar strategies need to be implemented. Surveillance equipment is not just used in aircraft but can also be utilized within vehicles on the ground.
Not only is this equipment used by law enforcement, but it may also be very helpful for private investigators or detectives that are trying to find out information for their clients. This may include the ability to listen in on what people are saying, potentially tapping their phones to hear conversations. Surveillance has also entered into the digital age through the ability to monitor social media, emails, and websites on the search engines. They will track your IP address, finding out what you are searching for, information that can be useful when trying to build the case.
Instead of merely surveilling from a vantage point, it is now possible to use the Internet to do surveillance that was simply not possible prior to our digital age. Terms that are commonly used in criminal investigations include electronic monitoring, fixed surveillance and technical surveillance obtained through photos and videos. There is also three persons surveillance and the well-known undercover operations that criminal investigators commonly use. All of this is used to gather information on targets and can be very revealing.
As time passes, surveillance equipment will continue to advance. As many people say, after the F-117 Nighthawk was declassified and revealed to the public, they wonder what type of technology the government now possesses. If something that outstanding can be revealed to the general public, we must have technology that we cannot imagine. Regardless of what it is that they possess, we should always know that surveillance aircraft are constantly being used, primarily to provide protection for all people from potential problems that do exist.