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Dust Devil Myth

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  • The Myth - By driving in circles on a dusty road, a group of cars can kick up enough dust to blind a surveillance drone flying overhead.[N 1]
  • Verdict - Busted
  • Notes - The Build Team set up a circular practice course to simulate poor visibility in a dust storm and outfitted the cars with various guidance and safety systems. Their first attempts to drive the course ended in failure, but they discovered that the paper they had used to cover the windshields was too opaque. After replacing it with burlap for the correct visibility, Tory, Kari, and two staff members were able to drive the course safely, with Grant coordinating their movements.

    On a desert plain, they set up a new circle and placed Kari at its center to act as the film's kidnapping victim. Tory and three staffers drove around her to kick up dust clouds, after which one pulled up for her to get in and all four drove away in different directions. Grant tried to pick the right car, watching from a helicopter and using a similar camera setup as an actual drone. He succeeded in the first test due to the lack of dust clouds at the center of the circle; however, when the cars drove straight past Kari in a second test, he was unable to pick the one that took her. A repeat of this test, using a thermal imaging camera such as those used on drones, allowed him to find her easily.

    Returning to the shop, the team looked into ways to foil the camera system and discovered that a CO2 fire extinguisher could blind it effectively, due to the low temperature of the discharge. One last straight-run test in the desert, with the cars spraying CO2 into the sky, kept Grant from being able to locate Kari. The team judged the myth busted, since the technique in the film did not work, but they noted that the underlying idea could be used successfully under different circumstances.[1]

ReferencesEdit

NotesEdit

  1. Based on a scene in the film Body of Lies.[1]

SourcesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Fire and Ice Episode Wikipedia entry

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