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Inauguration Tech Coverage

22 Jan

Yesterday, our country celebrated the inauguration of our 44th President.  During the entire day, a few stories popped up on some of my favorite blogs regarding the technology and security that was showcased during this historic event.  Here are a few of my favorite pieces of technology:

Bomb Containment Truck

It probably goes without saying that many of the agencies and forces assigned to protect Washington D.C. and attendees of the inauguration brought out some serious equipment.  What you see below {Source} is a sphere that can safely transport an explosive device.  What is even cooler is the fact that an explosive can even go off inside the sphere without harming bystanders.

Bomb Containment Truck

Hi-Res Satellite Photo of D.C. During Inauguration

The following image comes from GeoEye, a satellite that takes ultra-high resolution imagery from space.  It currently orbits at 423 miles above the surface of the Earth, taking pictures at astounding resolutions of 41 cm.  The U.S. Government prevents publicly released imagery from being at that high of a resolution, so it is limited to 50 cm or worse.  Click on the image below to get an ultra high resolution version that you can pan around and see the National Mall in extreme detail.  Another interesting factoid is that Google owns the rights to the imagery taken by the high-flying satellite and plans to utilize the photos in their Google Earth and Google Maps applications.

The clumps of people are groups viewing jumbotrons displaying the inaugural events.  You can even see Marine 1 (Presidential Helicopter) immediately to the right of the Capitol Building.

The clumps of people are groups viewing jumbotrons displaying the inaugural events. You can even see Marine 1 (Presidential Helicopter) immediately to the right of the Capitol Building.

Bulletproof (President) Obama

Many expected President Obama to be wearing a sharp looking suit on inauguration day.  And by sharp, I mean bulletproof.  A few blogs believe that the President was wearing a bulletproof suit.  Even though the platform on which the oaths took place were shielded by bulletproof glass, there was not total body protection for those on the platform.  You can see a demonstration of the bulletproof clothing in the video below.  The company that designs this technology is located in Colombia (the country).  Fast-forward to the 2:00 minute mark to see the real action.

The Beast

The Beast is what the Secret Service has nicknamed President Obama’s new Limousine.  The Cadillac branded (albeit nameless) limo is built on GMC Yukon SUV platform.  According to Wikipedia, the limo is fitted with 8 inches of armor plating with bulletproof windows likely measuring 5 inches.  This allows the limo to withstand substantial explosions and high-caliber weapons fire.  The tires are also run-flat, allowing them to be punctured and still be useful in removing the President from a dangerous situation.  The flags that fly on the front of the limo are illuminated vertically by LEDs.  Although the actual security specifications are classified, several sources have corroborated the specs that I have written about above.  You can see the official press release and additional pictures here for more details on the limo as well as the history of past Presidential limousines.

Presidential Limo

I hope you enjoyed my coverage of some cool inauguration tech.  You may also be interested to find out that the Secret Service is allowing President Obama to operate a Blackberry to stay in touch with his top aides and close friends.  The fear by security researchers is that someone could intercept the wireless calls and emails sent between the President and his correspondences.  Anyone dumb enough to try this will probably find themselves on the unfavorable side of a Secret Service/FBI investigation.

Now it’s time for a poll!

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2 Comments

Posted by on January 22, 2009 in Security, Tech News

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 responses to “Inauguration Tech Coverage

  1. Rathna

    February 11, 2009 at 5:48 am

    I am seeing Bomb Containment Truck for the first time, its great man!! Yes, I really enjoyed your coverage of cool inauguration tech, and many new video and informations were also releaved for me through this post.

     

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