Stealth UAV Relays Video to White House

On May 2 2011, a stealth UAV was reportedly used to relay video of the bin Laden mission to the situation room in the White House, reports the Washington Post.

The stealth drone apparently avoided Pakistan radars, much like the stealth helicopters. Cameras on the UAV can gaze at steep angles in all directions. “It’s all geometry and slant ranges,” said a former senior defense intelligence official.

The RQ-170 is a tailess flying wing from Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Development Programs. The RQ-170 Sentinel is a mid-altitude platform, operating below 50,000 ft.

Transmit capacities over 12 Mbps of IP content from a low-cost VSAT are feasible in today’s low-cost commercial implementations of DVB-RCS (Digital Video Broadcast with Return Channel via Satellite), while the receive capacities for total IP content over DVB-S2 to a single VSAT can easily exceed 50 Mbps.

Like the prop-powered Predator and Reaper, the jet-powered Sentinel is remotely piloted by aircrews—in this case the 30th Reconnaissance Sqdn. (RS) at Tonopah Test Range Airport in the northwest corner of the Nevada Test and Training Range. TRACER is a dual-band (UHF and VHF) synthetic-aperture radar for Predator MQ-9 UAVs. It is capable of detecting and geo-locating objects that are buried, camouflaged or concealed under foliage.

New technologies such as the Gorgon Stare ISR pod will address ground commanders’ insatiable desire for full-motion video. A single pod on a UAV can track 13 separate people as they leave a meeting place. The capability will expand to 65 people by 2012 and eventually to perhaps as many as 150 image feeds from a single UAV combat air patrol.

Gorgon Stare is currently being installed on Reaper spy drones. They use a dozen different cameras to photograph areas up to two-and-a-half miles around. Gorgon Stare’s payload is contained in two pods slightly larger than, but about the same total weight as the laser-guided bombs the Reaper often carries. A Gorgon Stare-equipped MQ-9 Reaper UAS/UAV will be capable of flying at 20,000-25,000 ft. for 14-15 hours at a stretch.

Harris Corporation has introduced KnightHawk 3G, a ruggedized, highly mobile tactical base station that enables 3G cellular services in locations with limited or no cellular connectivity. Jointly developed by Battleground Telecommunications Systems it is a customizable cellular Network In a Box compatible with commercial equipment, including smartphones and tablets with HSPA connectivity. Mercury Computer Systems provides hyperspectral image processing and storage using Intel i7 processors with FPGAs for a real-time sensor processing of UAVs.

The Air Force is exponentially increasing surveillance across Afghanistan, reports the Washington Post.

The monthly number of unmanned and manned aircraft surveillance sorties has more than doubled since last January, and quadrupled since the beginning of 2009.

Posted by Sam Churchill on .

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