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29 June 1945

From:Design Section, Special Projects Unit
To: Director, Special Devices
Via: Engineering Coordinator
Subj:Kite-elevated Camera; Project request for.

  1. Successful photographs have been taken from kites since about 1900, using amateur equipment. It is believed that research and developmental work might be carried on by Special Projects Unit to produce a kite elevated camera of military value.
  2. Such a device could be used as follows:
    1. Scouting parties in hilly terrain would be able to photograph country beyond the surrounding hills and plan their course of advance.
    2. Landfall Techniques crews preparing maps "on location" could photograph small areas not covered sufficiently by previous surveys.
    3. Kite camera could be used to spot enemy units on the move or preparing new defenses in an area beyond direct vision or at night. Kite would be less easily detected than photographic airplane, and is smaller target.
    4. Proposed device could be used for aerial photography when airplane facilities are not available.
  3. Development and inclusion of the following items in subject device are expected to produce a practical and useful device, superior to any kite-elevated camera known to this Unit.
    1. Spring operated film winders.
    2. Solenoid-activated shutters.
    3. Quick-developing apparatus.
AER-SD-243-EF   Subj: Kite-elevated Camera. Project request for.
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    1. Wind-operated mechanism for opening shutters and winding film automatically.
  1. Project status is requested for developmental work on proposed device, and the number 5-KC (Confidential) is suggested.

    E. Fitz Simmons
    Lt. (jg) USNR

    Noted & forwarded

    Viktor Schreckengost
    Lt. USNR

    Approved, disapproved