I thought I’d posted a bit about this before, but I don’t see anything.
This winter, the Air Force is set to deploy to Afghanistan what it says is a revolutionary airborne surveillance system called Gorgon Stare, which will be able to transmit live video images of physical movement across an entire town.
The system, made up of nine video cameras mounted on a remotely piloted aircraft, can transmit live images to soldiers on the ground or to analysts tracking enemy movements. It can send up to 65 different images to different users; by contrast, Air Force drones today shoot video from a single camera over a “soda straw” area the size of a building or two.
It seems to Murdoc that this will provide a ton of data but that it’s going to take some time to really figure out how to analyze it and how to utilize it in the field. But there is a lot of potential there.
“This is all cutting-edge technology that is being fielded in a short period of time,” said retired Lt. Gen. David A. Deptula, who served as deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
“If you look into the not-too-distant future, what these technologies will allow us to do is remove more and more ground forces and replace them with sensors where we normally would have to rely on people going somewhere to find something out,” he said.
This sounds like an awful lot of over-selling. I’ve got no doubt that, if used properly, this program can help increase the efficiency and effectiveness of our troops, but to claim that it it can “replace” boots on the ground in a truly meaningful way seems like a pretty big stretch. I think we’d be happy with the existing number of ground forces picking up a few percentage points in overall effectiveness by keeping them a bit safer and helping them make it a little more unsafe for the bad guys.