A team of researchers from the too-coolly-named Research Triangle Institute recently spent some time in the Nevada desert, catching some much-needed rays, and successfully testing a paint-on antenna for high-altitude airships
, which they say opens up new possibilities for surveillance and communication. Not surprisingly, exact details of the system aren't readily available, but the antenna was apparently able to transmit both voice and data links, as well as allow for teleconferencing capabilities. Military and homeland security applications are the biggest draw here, with the airships able to operate well above commercial air traffic and out of the range of most ground-to-air missiles -- although, we've gotta say, blimp-based blanket wireless access
still ain't that bad an idea.