Finding Stuff from Above

As the U.S. Armed Forces increasingly rely on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, or “drones”) to gather information about current or potential battlefields, the time has come to remember that the skills that count among the people controlling those aircraft are not limited to remote-control airmanship. Equally important are the other abilities that give drones their value.

Most important among those skills is figuring out what you are seeing when you look down from above. For that reason, the RAND corporation has re-issued a series of papers from the early jet age about how to conduct aerial reconnaissance. This makes fascinating reading for the aviation buff, and would be fun for anyone who spends way too much time checking out Google Earth as well.

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