Message #349:
From: AzTeC SW Archaeology SIG
To:   "'Matthias Giessler'" 
Subject: Airborne Rangers
Date: Fri, 25 Oct 96 15:25:00 MST
Encoding: 66 TEXT

From: Charles Randall Mmorrison

[  On Tue, 15 Oct 96 09:40:00 MST Brian Kenny - MCDOT  wrote:  

Please provide you best advice directly to Mr. Raciti. 

From: Riccardo Raciti 
Hello we are a senior design group of the department of Mechanical
Engineering at the University of Delaware. Our project is to design and
build a 7 meters collapsible bipod for Dr. Tom Rocek of the Department
of Anthropology here at U. of D. We would like to know if anything
similar to this has been already done. We appreciate your collaboration.

This has been done.  One Julian Wittlesley was running about the world doing 
site aerial photography with a number of experimental devices, including the 
"Whittlesley Bipod", a crafty device for taking not only the standard 
vertical view of excavations, but was designed specifically to produce 
stereo pairs.  Unfortunately, this was ca.1975, and Whittlesley was not a 
young man at the time.  NPS used the Bipod at Chaco Canyon in `74, and I 
believe the Chaco Center actually had one.  The contact at the time was the 
late Tom Lyons.  His then right-hand men were Robert Hitchcock and James 
Ebert.  Ebert is probably still consulting in the Albuquerque vicinity, and 
the telephone directory would probably produce his number.  Ditto Dwight 
Draeger, who did lab work for Lyons.  The field droids for NPS at the time 
also used the Bipod, and the person most likely to retain memory of the 
device is one Thomas Windes, who is with NPS in Santa Fe.  He may even have 
the thing lying about in a storage room.

The trick to making one of the things involves constructing the head.  The 
one R.W. Loose  and I used was designed to hold a Pentax 
with a specific lens.  Whittlesley supplied tables for calculating the 
distance between set-ups.  It was very simple and dependable if you remember 
to put on the proper lens and got it perfectly vertical for each shot.  My 
favorite Whittlesley device was his marvelous balloon, but that is another 
matter.  Windes is probably your best bet for information; presumably they 
have the various Lyons, Hitchcock, Draeger, and Ebert references lying 
about.  R.W. Loose is recluse on the desert, but his memory is certainly 
better than mine.

We found the Whittlesley Bipod to be a really good piece of engineering, and 
if it would be kosher to simply copy it, and if you could get the 
specifications, make one rather than reinvent the bipod.  Rotsa ruck.

[ SASIG Ed. Note --  Wile publically plying State Legislators with liquor 
and fast women outside the Arizona Statehouse not too long ago, o'erhead our 
noble copper dome's 'Winged Victory,' I spotted a mini dirigible attached to 
a tether.  On the ground controlling the tether was a gentleman whom claimed 
to be a pilot with a locally-based commercial airline.  Aboard his dirigible 
was a gimble-mounted still camera.  Since he was not a legislator, I had not 
need for further drams or favours granted to learn from him that he 
controlled the camera (still camera or VCR) using radio controls much like 
those used by RC aircraft hobbyists.  He had a viewing monitor to see 
exactly what the camera saw; and, regardless the dirigible's attitudinal 
pitch and yaw in headwinds, he could precisely position the camera to film 
or snap photos.  It seems to me that this gentleman never deflated his 
balloon, but simply reeled in his tool and herded it into a car-towed 
trailer for transport [ try claiming that at a cocktail party!  ].

This kind of device ( -- er -- the gimble-mounted flying camera ) would be 
of exceptional value to field archaeologists, land managers, and natural 
resources law enforcement rangers.  ]