When the first atomic scientists started experimenting with nuclear materials, they would push two lumps of Uranium-235 together slowly until a dangerous blue halo formed . Pushing the material toward imminent critical mass was a sport called “tickling the dragon,” roughly analogous to poking a beehive with a sharp stick, but with much more serious implications. The same principle applies in the activities of Phil Henry and Gray Electronics
In conjunction with radar detector maker Uniden, Henry has outfitted a midnight-black GMC Typhoon with more electronic eavesdropping equipment than a Russian trawler. The purpose? To send the patently unstealthy vehicle on snooping missions around the country to learn about speed-law enforcement and the technology arrayed by police to catch speeders. The data, including intelligence gathering on highway-patrol communications frequencies, will be used to update Henry’s “National Highway Patrol Reference Guide.” The complicated electronics suite may be the most complete signal-gathering platform outside the National Security Administration. It includes two radar detectors, one radar/laser detector, two frequency scanners, a CB radio, one VHF/FM transceiver, a cellular phone, an electronic automobile compass, and two ultra-sophisticated devices to monitor police broadcasts and determine unknown frequencies. Electronic countermeasures weren’t overlooked, either, with active X-band and K-band microwave transmitters onboard. Henry promises an after-action report.