ROCHESTER, N.Y., May 15 (UPI) -- Additional infrared sensors for a U.S. military wide-area airborne surveillance program are being supplied by Exelis under a $25 million contact.
The program is called Gorgon Stare and involves a spherical array of cameras attached to a large unmanned aerial vehicle to provide motion imagery of an entire city for analysis. Exelis has so far provided 12 sensing systems for the program -- six electro-optical/infrared and six infrared-only. The new contract calls for five more infrared systems.
"The latest increment of the Exelis system provides four times the coverage area at a higher resolution than the first increment, which gives military personnel more detailed data to make critical decisions more quickly," said S. Danny Rajan, director of regional surveillance at Exelis.
"Traditional full-motion video systems provide a limited view and context of activities occurring on the ground. However, a persistent, real-time, wide-area coverage system vastly improves a user's understanding of events."
Exelis sensors collect multiple views, 12 times per second, and combine them into a single seamless image. The image is then relayed to a ground station for transmission to analysts.
The company's new, enhanced sensor provides better image resolution and a coverage area double that of earlier sensors, Exelis said.
"By their nature threats are unpredictable, but having the capability to observe multiple views of various events over a large area over time improves the chances of identifying anomalous or threatening activity that may be of intelligence value," Rajan said.
Sierra Nevada Corporation is the prime contractor for the Gorgon Stare program.