Gorgon Stare to accompany Afghanistan surge
Air Force plans to roll out pods in several waves
- By William Welsh
- Dec 16, 2009
The Air Force plans to begin deploying the new Gorgon Stare sensor to Afghanistan in spring 2010 to enhance surveillance of insurgent activities and give U.S. forces a boost during anticipated spring offensives, reports Colin Clark at DOD Buzz.
Gorgon Stare is a newly developed, wide-angle sensor that allows multiple users to view an area from multiple angles at the same time.
Three initial Gorgon Stare pods, which will be mounted on Reaper MQ-9 unmanned aerial vehicles, are scheduled to arrive in theater in March or April, Lt. Gen. David Deptula told reporters today.
Gorgon Stare’s capability is expanding rapidly. The three initial pods will be able to provide 10 video images to 10 operators simultaneously, Deptula said. A subsequent set of six additional Gorgon Stare pods will furnish as many as 30 feeds to 30 users, he said. A third planned rollout of the sensor will offer as many as 65 image feeds to a like number of operators.
In Air Force procurement, the Reaper won out over the Predator in terms of the number of each purchased because the Reaper can accommodate the Gorgon Stare and the Predator cannot, he said.
Gorgon Stare is part of the Air Force’s rapid expansion of aerial surveillance equipment, reports Brian Robinson at Defense Systems.
The new sensor works in tandem with the existing multispectral targeting sensor housed on the Reaper, which provides full-motion video of target areas. Although Gorgon Stare has a slower refresh rate, users can switch over to the full-motion video sensor to get a more detailed view of the threat.
William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.