Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Military Space News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

New US drone spy cameras fail Air Force test: study

U.S. drone system fails in testing
Washington (UPI) Jan 25, 2011 - A proposed U.S. Air Force drone spy system, intended for use in Afghanistan, is flawed and "not operationally effective," a Pentagon assessment said. The findings are a setback in the plan to send the system, known as the Gorgon Stare, to Afghanistan this winter to improve the military's ability to track insurgents, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday. The drone, in development for two years, transmits live video from nine cameras on the craft's belly to keep a constant watch on nearly everything that moves within a 3-mile area. Air Force officials have promoted the "all-seeing eye" system as an advance over current drone surveillance systems that provide a single video feed of a much smaller area. In testing that began in October at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, the system had trouble tracking humans during the day and larger objects, such as vehicles, at night, testers said. The testers found the camera system "not operationally effective and operationally suitable," and their report recommended against deploying it, the Times said.
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Jan 25, 2011
A much-touted new camera system for US unmanned aircraft that is supposed to bolster surveillance efforts in Afghanistan has proved ineffective in tests, a US Air Force report concluded.

The surveillance system, dubbed Gorgon Stare after the mythical Greek creature whose terrifying gaze turned others to stone, has been described by enthusiastic Air Force officers as a groundbreaking program for robotic planes.

With an array of cameras mounted on a Reaper drone, the system is designed to capture images of an entire city while also tracking the movements of a particular car or individual in real time.

But Gorgon Stare performed poorly in an evaluation carried out by the 53rd Air Wing Air Combat Command, with the assessment recommending the system not be fielded until the problems are resolved, according to a leaked draft December 30 report.

The test found the system was "not operationally effective" and "not operationally suitable," it said.

The quality of the video images was often poor or delayed, while footage from multiple cameras created gaps between pictures from each camera, the report said.

The system also had a serious technical problem that produced inaccurate coordinates for a particular location, raising the possibility of a strike on the wrong target.

The report said "an unpredictable software error generates a faulty coordinate grid" rendering location information "inaccurate and inconsistent."

Winslow Wheeler, a defense analyst who often writes about wasteful Pentagon spending, first obtained the report and sent it to reporters.

"In sum, the complexity of the system impedes both the imagery and the ability of operators on the ground to receive it - let alone figure it out," he wrote.

The US Air Force on Tuesday stood by the program, saying in a statement that it had a plan to resolve technical shortcomings raised in the test.

"The document leaked was a draft memo that was later revised in January. The January memo includes three issues that we have identified and have fixes in place," it said.

The Air Force said the technical problems would be resolved and "did not believe they will affect the deployment schedule" for using the system in Afghanistan, but said commanders in the field would have the final word.

The chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, supported deploying the system to Afghanistan as soon as possible and that adjustments could be made as needed in the field, said his spokesman, Captain John Kirby.

"It's not unusual for us to try to get new capabilities into the hands of warfighters before all the technical issues have been worked out. Indeed, it would be irresponsible not to in a time of war," Kirby told AFP.

The Pentgon spent more than $400 million on the program in 2009-2010.

Share This Article With Planet Earth DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook

Related Links
UAV News - Suppliers and Technology

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Three US drone strikes kill 13 in Pakistan
Miranshah, Pakistan (AFP) Jan 23, 2011
A series of unmanned US drone strikes in a lawless district of Pakistan on Sunday killed at least 13 militants, officials said, as tribesmen took to the streets to protest the aerial campaign. The first two attacks took place in Datta Khel, some 40 kilometres (25 miles) west of North Waziristan's main town of Miranshah. The third was in Mando Khel, around 60 kilometres south of the town. ... read more

NATO, Russia meet at odds over missile shield

NATO, Russia vow unity on terrorism, disagree on shield

STSS Demonstration Satellites Complete On-Orbit Calibration, Ready For BMDS Tests

Romania wants to finalize talks on US missile shield in 2011

Kuwait Awards Contract To Raytheon For Patriot GEM-T Missiles

LockMart Receives Contract For Long Range Anti-Ship Missile Demonstrations

Raytheon nabs $145 million deal in Kuwait

S. Korea, U.S in talks over missiles

New US drone spy cameras fail Air Force test: study

Three US drone strikes kill 13 in Pakistan

Gray Eagle UAS Program Expanding

Israel to sell Brazil air force drones

RAF Begin Training With US On Intelligence Aircraft

Joint STARS Successfully Supports JSuW JCTD

JICO Support System Receives Production Approval

Northrop Grumman Demonstrates MR-TCDL Capabilities

AMF JTRS Team Demonstrates JTRS Onboard AH-64D Apache Helicopter

Long-Range Radar Program Moving Forward

Navy To Begin Initial Production Of P-8A

BAE Systems-Northrop Grumman Team Submit Bid For Affordable, High-Performing Ground Combat Vehicle Solution

Germany to sell A400M planes to cut costs

Scrapping Nimrod planes 'puts Britain at risk'

Gates blames Congress for defense budget 'crisis'

US raises stakes on global arms control deal

Gates heads to Canada for talks on war, weapons

US Republicans push UN overhaul

France rallies China, Russia for G20 reform drive

China media declares Hu US trip 'historic masterstroke'

ONR Achieves Milestone In Free Electron Laser Program

US Office Of Naval Research Achieves Milestone

Navy test fires electromagnetic cannon

Joint High Power Solid State Laser Keeps Lasing And Lasing

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement