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Unmanned-Aircraft Sensor Could Detect Cave Dwellers

Photonics Spectra
Apr 2002
A sensor suite designed for unmanned aircraft promises sensitivity and resolution high enough to detect human activity in caves. The proposed Airborne Infrared Surveillance sensor would consist of three acquisition and three tracking cameras, along with their associated optics and processors.

Officials from Aeromet Inc. in Tulsa, Okla., plan to mount the 1455-lb package on a high-altitude Global Hawk aircraft, where it can provide flexible response to a variety of threats. Besides its ground surveillance, the sensor could be used to image orbiting satellites, providing configuration details and information about surveillance satellite pointing. Aeromet officials are also touting the sensor's ability to detect boost phase missiles, particularly as a replacement for the troubled Space-Based Infrared System-Low program.

The proposed system has a $300 million price tag, with three aircraft deliverable in three years.

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