Many of us heard about DARPA’s (Defense Advanced Research Project Agency) air-drones equipped with 1.8-gigapixel camera for surveillance. Those 1.8 Giga-pixel super high-resolution cameras are called Autonomous Real-Time Ground Ubiquitous Surveillance Imaging System (ARGUS-IS). So far, we knew nothing about ARGUS-IS except the featured 1.8-gigapixel camera. Thanks to PBS Nova who has posted a video entitled “Rise of the Drones“, revealing some more information of the world’s highest-resolution surveillance camera.
ARGUS-IS is able to spot targets as small as six inches on Earth from an altitude of 20,000 feet. The camera can view 15 square miles of terrain at a time and zoom in on targets with surprising clarity. It can see a bird flying through a parking lot from more than three miles in the air. The camera uses 368 five-megapixel camera sensors aimed through a telescopic array to pick out birds in flight and humans on the move on the Earth’s surface. The system creates 600 gigabytes of data per second and is capable of stitching together a 1.8 billion pixel video and can store up to 5,000 hours of HD footage. Here’s a video of ARGUS-IS.
You will find out more about the ARGUS-IS and other drones in PBS’s Nova special “Rise of the Drones“.