Watch the morning news in practically any major metropolitan area, and you know that monitoring traffic from the sky is quite a regular occurrence. Although, the job usually gets done by people in helicopters or planes, but the Colorado Department of Transportation is taking a decidedly low-tech, old school approach to keep a more attentive eye on Denver. The agency recently completed a three-day test of a helium-filled blimp with a camera mounted to it to watch Interstate 25 in the Mile-High City.

According to trucking industry news site Transport Topics, the blimp technically has the much more high-tech name of the Tactically Expedient Aerostat, but it's actually quite simple. The device is held in place by a tether and a length of CAT 5 cable stretches down to a computer on the ground to relay the camera image. With an altitude of about 400 feet, this is a way to get a wider look at traffic patterns from a higher-altitude point.

The video above from KCNC CBS 4 in Denver shows a glimpse of the blimp in action. However, there are still some major wrinkles in the tech to iron out before anyone in the city needs to worry about Big Brother watching from the air. One launch was aborted due to a hole in the craft, and the camera didn't have a gyroscopic mount for the test, which led to a very shaky picture. Still, the effort certainly showed a proof on concept that this idea could work in the future with some tweaking.


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