Imagine a camera, drone, and integrated video storage system that can shoot detailed images of a 15-square mile area that can see objects on the ground 6-inches wide from 17,500 feet in the sky. You would be imagining the ARGUS-IS system, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) searching and tracking technology.
The Autonomous Real-time Ground Ubiquitous Surveillance – Imaging System is designed to give the government the capabilities to pinpoint vehicles, people, and even objects of interest from far above the ground.
It combines wide view and zoom capabilities that automatically tracks moving objects. From the wide view, one can isolate up to 65 individual areas and track each in a separate window. The data capture is mindblowing, recording 600 gigabytes of data per second and storing it all for later use. It is comprised of 368 5-megapixel cell phone cameras working both in unison as well as independent of one another, giving the device a range of view unlike any system known today.
Here’s the scary part. The government has never been known to give away its best secrets prematurely. The fact that the public has been given a view of the capabilities of this technology makes one wonder if this is the “old” technology and to what degrees of advancements have they made since then? Regarding whether or not the technology is in use today, the government stated that it was classified.
Check out the amazing (and scary) video from PBS: