Earlier this year, one of America’s best-known defense think tanks went looking for ways to get the most out of the U.S. military’s spy drones. To do it, that august institution turned to the editor of a documentary called Boob Jobs & Jesus.
That editor, Timothy Snell, was one of several reality TV production experts consulted for a recent RAND Corporation report that advocates applying Jersey Shore-style production techniques to help the Air Force mine through mountains of surveillance data.
The idea might not be as crazy as it sounds. Air Force officials have acknowledged that they’re already buried under the heaps of footage that spill in, every hour of every day, from the myriad sensors and cameras that collect data.
Even as they struggle to manage the current data load, in excess of 10,000 hours a month, the glut is only expected to increase. In particular, the introduction of wide-area surveillance systems — namely ARGUS and Gorgon Stare camera suites, which can spy on whole cities at once — practically guarantees that overburdened analysts will have to sift through way more footage than ever before.
RAND’s new report, titled “The Future of Air Force Motion Imagery Exploitation: Lessons from the Commercial World,” sets out to revamp how the Air Force tracks all that information. The key: using the infinite wisdom of — wait for it — reality television.
“These RAND reports don’t occur in a vacuum,” he says. “Odds are, the Air Force has already tried some of these ideas, and they wanted them to be considered more fully.” It might not be long before the military’s precarious surveillance Situation gets majorly juiced.
On another occasion, he and his brother watch live TV broadcast about drone action that is about to destroy a trailer known to be intercepting drone communication. They quickly realize that it is their own trailer where Memo has his equipment, and run to save their father whose life is in danger. However, they are too late, and the vehicle launches a rocket at the father, who had miraculously escaped a first attack on the trailer, instantly killing him.
The system is capable of capturing motion imagery of an entire city, which can then be analyzed by humans or an artificial intelligence, such as the Mind's Eye project being developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. This motion imagery is not considered video as it is collected at fewer hertz than the standard definition of video. TV-like quality of video is 24–60 Hz. Gorgon Stare needs to utilize a system of tagging and metadata to be fully effective. The Air Force plans to deliver one system in 2011, another in 2012, and a third in 2014, though they will not enter service until accepted by the commander in the theatre of operations. Gorgon Stare has been under development for more than two years and it is designed to download 65 different images to a variety of military users for analysis; this is what is refers to as “wide-area surveillance.”
Gorgon Stare is being developed and tested on the MQ-9 Reaper at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. with the 53rd Wing. These sensors pods have been in development since 2009 by the Air Force’s Big Safari group and Sierra Nevada Corp.
Not long ago, we delivered freedom via Liberty Ships, now we deliver the 'Gorgon Stare' via 'Reaper' Drones. What the hell happened to this country? Seriously folks - its over.
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