I propose a lighter than air tubular unmanned mini blimp be designed. Such a craft would have many great applications. A flying UAV tube balloon snake for unlimited range and hang time for surveillance and communication, could use the fluid dynamic theories of a siphon to propel itself around and stay aloft at designated pre-determined way points. (have drawings).
If designed carefully like a floating recreational swimming pool raft, only without the beer cup holder and folded around on long end back together into a tube, then the lighter than air gas inside could be partitioned so if it received small arms fire it would not be shot down. The top of the device would be solar powered for use in internal rudder control, surveillance equipment and polymer muscle material (with memory) which would use small electrodes to bend in-flight like a snake.
One immediate use could be a sensor, which would lay underwater or in a buoy and if wave action from a Tsunami was sensed, would inflate and deploy and send the information line of sight in all directions from altitude while ascending. It would not rely on satellites or have issues transmitting under low power to satellite thru layers of dense storm clouds. There of course are many uses for such an unmanned aerial device from temporary communication to tracking sea life migrations.
"Lance Winslow" - If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs