Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Eglin testers find Gorgon Stare flaws

Gorgon Stare, an airborne surveillance system that would vastly increase the area a drone can see, was deemed "not operationally effective" when tested in the fall by the 53rd Wing at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. But military officials say such tests are done to find problems beforehand, and fixes are being put in place. The problems, including low image quality and an inability to sufficiently track people on the ground, were detailed in a six-page December draft report obtained by the Center for Defense Information's Winslow Wheeler. The memo, marked as a draft and pre-decisional, found more than a dozen problems. Gorgon Stare, being developed by Sierra Nevada and the Air Force, uses nine or more cameras aboard a Reaper unmanned system to survey a city-sized area. (Sources: Wired, 01/24/11, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Air Force Times, 01/25/11)