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Captured On Google Earth: Mysterious Barcode Patterns Strewn Across U.S. Land

Discussion in 'Tech, Science, and Space' started by Robby, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. Robby

    Robby The Robot

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    Location:
    Terra
    Captured On Google Earth: Mysterious Barcode Patterns Strewn Across U.S. Land
    (Via Popular Science)

    Spotted near airforce bases, these curious painted asphalt patterns are Cold War artifacts.

    [​IMG]

    Consider it a barcode for bombers--an eye test for spy planes. Across empty stretches of the United States, an odd Cold War artifact persists. It is a series of asphalt rectangles coated in patterns of black and white paint. Based on the 1951 U.S. Air Force resolution test chart, the barcode-like patterns were used to test the ability and resolution of film cameras carried by airplanes.

    Google Earth images of these camera test patterns have been collected in the winter 2013 newsletter of the Center for Land Use Interpretation.

    Known as tri-bar photo targets and largely concentrated in the Mojave desert, they were used for half of a century to test the reliability of American surveillance equipment. This began with the U-2 and SR-71 spyplanes of the Cold War and continued more recently, with satellites and camera-equipped drones. According to the CLUI:

    The targets function like an eye chart at the optometrist, where the smallest group of bars that can be resolved marks the limit of the resolution for the optical instrument that is being used. For aerial photography, it provides a platform to test, calibrate, and focus aerial cameras traveling at different speeds and altitudes.

    The pattern was adopted as a uniform way for the Air Force to test cameras in 1959, and has been updated several times. In 1998, after almost 50 years in use, a military code manual deemed the pattern an outdated standard for new cameras parts and insisted that it only be used as a way to test replacement camera equipment. In 2006, after 57 years as the standard for Air Force cameras, the test pattern was retired; non-film cameras had become more common, and the tri-bar didn't adapt well to digital photography.

     
  2. Kevin

    Kevin Code Monkey Staff Abductee

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Isn't there also some large figures in China showing up on satellite pics that people have been puzzled about? I'm wondering if the same explanation would apply for them.
     
  3. Imzadi

    Imzadi Imzadi

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2013
    Location:
    USA
    :eek::eek: Congress would have a field day if they were aware of that.... ESPECIALLY RAND PAUL, who filibustered yesterday about DRONES, and how they could be used to harm people in the USA! :eek::eek::eek::eek:
     
  4. Kevin

    Kevin Code Monkey Staff Abductee

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Did Rand Paul end up achieving anything with that filibuster? I saw that he went on for 13 hours (13 hours?! :eek: ) but didn't see if it actually benefited him somehow other than getting his name in the news.
     
  5. Imzadi

    Imzadi Imzadi

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2013
    Location:
    USA
    :) Rand Paul got publicity for bringing drones to everyone's attention. It made people on the news shows discuss that laws were needed so that FUTURE presidents would have to follow guidelines for their use. Rand Paul implied that Obama would use them against Americans on US soil. :mad:
    Chris Matthews (MSNBC) still calls the "far right Republicans" "the Black Helicopter crowd". :D
    To me, the barcode structures look "evil".:eek::eek:
     

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