US Air Force’s Revolutionary Airborne Surveillance System: ‘We can see everything’

In ancient times, Gorgon was a mythical Greek creature whose unblinking eyes turned to stone those who beheld them. In modern times, Gorgon may be one of the military’s most valuable new tools.

This winter, the Air Force is set to deploy to Afghanistan what it says is a revolutionary airborne surveillance system called Gorgon Stare, which will be able to transmit live video images of physical movement across an entire town.

The system, made up of nine video cameras mounted on a remotely piloted aircraft, can transmit live images to soldiers on the ground or to analysts tracking enemy movements. It can send up to 65 different images to different users; by contrast, Air Force drones today shoot video from a single camera over a “soda straw” area the size of a building or two.

With the new tool, analysts will no longer have to guess where to point the camera, said Maj. Gen. James O. Poss, the Air Force’s assistant deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. “Gorgon Stare will be looking at a whole city, so there will be no way for the adversary to know what we’re looking at, and we can see everything.”

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Solar-Powered Pilotless Plane Breaks World Record

A solar-powered pilotless plane which was built in the UK has been recognised as having smashed the world record for the longest time spent in the air by an unmanned autonomous vehicle (UAV), after staying aloft for two weeks.

The record-breaking flight took place in July over the US and has now been ratified by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI), which governs air sports records. The 50kg craft remained airborne for 14 days, 22 minutes and 8 seconds – 11 times longer than the previous record.

Potential uses for the aircraft, which is built by defence technology company Qinetiq, include the long-distance tracking of hijacked ships and aerial monitoring of forest fires. Chris Kelleher, chief designer, said: “This aircraft can help track pirates off the Horn of Africa and also ensure that soldiers’ communications remain unaffected when fighting in mountainous or hilly terrain.”

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US Drones To Watch Entire Mexico Border From September 1

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The U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s first MQ-9 Predator B unmanned aerial vehicle to be stationed along the northern border of the United States lands at Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D., Dec. 6, 2008. (Reuters/Department of Defense/Senior Master Sgt. David H. Lipp/Handout)

PHOENIX (Reuters) – The U.S. government will have unmanned surveillance aircraft monitoring the whole southwest border with Mexico from September 1, as it ramps up border security in this election year, a top official said on Monday.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said U.S. Customs and Border Protection would begin flying a Predator B drone out of Corpus Christi, Texas, on Wednesday, extending the reach of the agency’s unmanned surveillance aircraft across the length of the nearly 2,000 mile border with Mexico.

“With the deployment of the Predator in Texas, we will now be able to cover the southwest border from the El Centro sector in California all the way to the Gulf of Mexico in Texas, providing critical aerial surveillance assistance to personnel on the ground,” Napolitano said during a conference call.

“This is yet another critical step we have taken in ensuring the safety of the border and is an important tool in our security toolbox,” she added.

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Iran unveils long-distance bomber drone intended to deter aggression ‘and keep the enemy paralysed in his bases’

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says craft has ‘main message of peace and friendship’ but is intended to deter aggression

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Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at a ceremony inaugurating Iran’s new long-range unmanned bomber aircraft. The drone has been dubbed the Karrar, meaning ‘striker’ in Persian. (AP)

Iran has unveiled an unmanned, long-distance bomber drone described by the country’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as “an ambassador of death” to Tehran’s enemies.

At a ceremony today, Ahmadinejad said the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) – named Karrar, meaning “striker” in Persian – had “a main message of peace and friendship” but was intended to deter aggression “and keep the enemy paralysed in his bases”.

The presentation came as technicians began fuelling the Islamic republic’s first nuclear power station, at Bushehr, in a development Israel has described as “totally unacceptable”.

The US and Britain say the Bushehr plant, which is monitored by the UN’s nuclear watchdog, poses no proliferation threat because Russia is supplying the nuclear fuel and will remove the spent fuel rods, minimising any risk that they could be used to make nuclear weapons.

Iran is under UN sanctions to force a halt to uranium enrichment because of fears that it secretly plans to build nuclear weapons. It flatly denies having any such intention.

(Iran has not the capability to enrich uranium over 90%, which is neccessary to built a nuclear weapon.)

Ahmed Vahidi, the Iranian defence minister, said the Karrar had a range of up to 620 miles, which is not far enough to reach Israel.

Iranian state TV reported that the UAV could carry four cruise missiles, two 250lb bombs or one 500lb bomb.

The drone was the latest item of military hardware to be inaugurated by Iran against a background of continuing tension over the nuclear issue.

On Friday, Tehran test-fired a new surface-to-surface missile called the Qiam (meaning “rising”). It has already developed long-range missiles capable of hitting Israel and eastern Europe and of carrying a nuclear warhead.

Earlier this month, the Debka file website, which appears to have links to Israeli intelligence (LOL! Debka file is a Mossad asset!), reported that the father of Iran’s UAV programme, Reza Baruni, had been assassinated in a bomb attack in his home town of Ahwaz, in Khuzestan.

Read moreIran unveils long-distance bomber drone intended to deter aggression ‘and keep the enemy paralysed in his bases’

US Predator Drones to Surveil Mexican Border

See also: Big Brother DHS And DOD Want To Open US Skies To Spy Drones


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A Predator drone takes off on a U.S. Customs Border Patrol mission from Fort Huachuca, Ariz.

WASHINGTON — The Homeland Security Department will use unmanned surveillance aircraft and other technological upgrades in its ongoing effort to protect the southern border of the United States.

The department said Wednesday it has obtained Federal Aviation Administration permission to operate unmanned planes along the Texas border and throughout the Gulf Coast region. Customs and Border Protection will base a surveillance drone at the Corpus Christi Naval Air Station in Texas.

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Big Brother DHS And DOD Want To Open US Skies To Spy Drones

Just in case Americans want to resist the New World Order.


Government under pressure to open US skies to unmanned drones despite safety concerns

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Predator B is powered by a turboprop engine and can carry a greatly increased payload.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Unmanned aircraft have proved their usefulness and reliability in the war zones of Afghanistan and Iraq. Now the pressure’s on to allow them in the skies over the United States.

The Federal Aviation Administration has been asked to issue flying rights for a range of pilotless planes to carry out civilian and law-enforcement functions but has been hesitant to act. Officials are worried that they might plow into airliners, cargo planes and corporate jets that zoom around at high altitudes, or helicopters and hot air balloons that fly as low as a few hundred feet off the ground.

On top of that, these pilotless aircraft come in a variety of sizes. Some are as big as a small airliner, others the size of a backpack. The tiniest are small enough to fly through a house window.

The obvious risks have not deterred the civilian demand for pilotless planes. Tornado researchers want to send them into storms to gather data. Energy companies want to use them to monitor pipelines. State police hope to send them up to capture images of speeding cars’ license plates. Local police envision using them to track fleeing suspects.

Like many robots, the planes have advantages over humans for jobs that are dirty, dangerous or dull. And the planes often cost less than piloted aircraft and can stay aloft far longer.

“There is a tremendous pressure and need to fly unmanned aircraft in (civilian) airspace,” Hank Krakowski, FAA’s head of air traffic operations, told European aviation officials recently. “We are having constant conversations and discussions, particularly with the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security, to figure out how we can do this safely with all these different sizes of vehicles.”

Read moreBig Brother DHS And DOD Want To Open US Skies To Spy Drones

Worldwide annual military budget rose 5.9%, arms spending unaffected by financial crisis

Why? Because ‘they’ are spending your money, not theirs!!!


Worldwide annual military budget rose 5.9% in real terms according to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute

F35 Joint Strike Fighters
The US’s decision to increase its F35 Joint Strike Fighters programme is in keeping with a wider global pattern that bucks the trend towards austerity. (AP)

Governments around the world might be heralding an age of austerity, and warning citizens that they will need to cut public services, but the aftershocks of the global financial crisis have had little impact on military budgets, a leading thinktank says.

Last year, $1.5 trillion (£1tn)was spent on weapons, an annual increase in real terms of 5.9%, according to the latest report by Sipri, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

The US accounted for more than half of the total increase, though arms spending increased fastest in Asian countries, with China raising its military expenditure most, followed by India. Global spending has risen by nearly 50% over the past decade, said Sipri.

The US headed the list of the world’s top 10 arms buyers last year, spending $661bn on military equipment. It was followed by China (spending an estimated $100bn), France ($63.9bn), Britain ($58.3bn), Russia (an estimated $53.3bn) and Japan ($51.8bn), according to the report.

Read moreWorldwide annual military budget rose 5.9%, arms spending unaffected by financial crisis

Government Is Funding Research To Get Drones To Fly Anywhere in Britain

The UK is broke, …

Britain At Risk Of Worse Government Debt Crisis Than Greece

… but there is always more than enough taxpayer money left for corporate pals, Big Brother and the New World Order.


The Government is funding new research aimed at getting permission to fly drones anywhere in Britain, in a move which could benefit defence companies BAE Systems, EADS and Thales but inflame civil liberty concerns.

Police aerial surveillance drone
Eye in the sky: a Merseyside police officer tests a remote control helicopter Photo: John Giles/PA Wire

The use of unmanned aircraft for surveillance hit the headlines last week, after Merseyside Police had to ground their drone when it was discovered they were using it without a licence.

But a government-funded European group is pushing ahead with work aimed at showing that drones, known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), can safely be used in civil airspace. Drones cannot be flown outside regulated areas at present because they are controlled remotely and do not have the ability to “see”.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) must be satisfied the aircraft has the same ability as a piloted plane to spot unexpected obstacles and take action to avoid them, before they will be let loose above Britain. The CAA also restricts the use of drones for surveillance because of concerns about invasion of privacy.

The European Defence Agency has hired aerospace and defence group EADS to research how communication via satellites can be used “for the integration of unmanned aircraft systems into European airspace”, with the goal of starting demonstration missions next year.

The study aims to show that satellites are reliable enough to allow uninterrupted communication between the drone and the person piloting it remotely, giving the aircraft an adequate “sense and avoid” capability to make it safe to fly in built-up areas and to share the sky with other planes.

Drones are of interest to the military and the police as surveillance tools, and could be used by immigration authorities for patrolling Britain’s coastline. But concerns have been raised because the UK is already one of the most “watched” countries in Europe, with the proliferation of CCTV cameras.

Read moreGovernment Is Funding Research To Get Drones To Fly Anywhere in Britain

Future Big Brother Police State: Meet the UK’s Armed Surveillance Robot Drones

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Police forces all over the UK will soon be able to draw on unmanned aircraft from a national fleet, according to Home Office plans. Last month it was revealed that modified military aircraft drones will carry out surveillance on everyone from protesters and antisocial motorists to fly-tippers, and will be in place in time for the 2012 Olympics.

Surveillance is only the start, however. Military drones quickly moved from reconnaissance to strike, and if the British police follow suit, their drones could be armed — but with non-lethal weapons rather than Hellfire missiles.

The flying robot fleet will range from miniature tactical craft such as the miniature AirRobot being tested by Essex police, to BAE System’s new HERTI drone as flown in Afghanistan. The drones are cheaper than police helicopters — some of which will be retired — and are as wide as 12m in the case of HERTI.

Watching events on the ground without being able to act is frustrating. Targets often got away before an unarmed drone could summon assistance. In fact, in 2000 it was reported that an airborne drone spotted Osama bin Laden but could do nothing but watch him escape. So the RAF has been carrying out missions in Afghanistan with missile-armed Reapers since 2007. From the ground these just look like regular aircraft.

The police have already had a similar experience with CCTV. As well as observing, some of these are now equipped with speakers. Pioneered in Middleborough, the talking CCTV allows an operator to tell off anyone engaging in vandalism, graffiti or littering.

Unmanned aircraft can also be fitted with speakers, such as the Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD), which could not only warn fly tippers that they were breaking the law but also be loud enough to drive them away.

The LRAD is a highly directional speaker made of a flat array of piezoelectric transducers, producing intense beam of sound in a 30-degree cone. It can be used as a loudhailer, or deafen the target with a jarring, discordant noise. Some ships now carry LRAD as an anti-pirate measure: It was used to drive off an attack on the Seabourn Spirit off Somalia in 2005.

LRAD makers American Technology prefer to call its product a device rather than a weapon, and use terms such as “deterrent tones” and “influencing behaviour.” Police in the US have already adopted a vehicle-mounted LRAD for crowd control, breaking up protests at the G20 summit in Pittsburgh last year, although there have been warnings about the risk of hearing damage.

The LRAD has been tested on the Austrian S-100 unmanned helicopter, and the technology is ready if there is a police requirement.

But rather than just driving them away, a police drone should be able to stop fleeing criminals in their tracks. Helicopters already mount powerful searchlights, and strobe lighting capabilities can turn such systems into effective nonlethal weapons. High-intensity strobes can cause dizziness, disorientation and loss of balance making it virtually impossible to run away.

This effect was first harnessed in the “Photic Driver” made by British company Allen International in 1973. However, it has taken improvement in lighting technology (such as fast-switching Xenon lights) and an understanding of the physiology involved to make such weapons practical.

A “light based personnel immobilisation device” developed by Peak Beam Systems Inc has been successfully tested by the US military, and work to mount it on an unmanned helicopter in the States is under way.

This sort of light would be too dangerous for a manned aircraft because of the crew being affected. But an unmanned “strober” could be a literal crime stopper, and something we could see deployed within the next couple of years.

Even the smallest drones could be used for tactical police operations. As far back as 1972 the Home Office looked at model aircraft as an alternative to rubber bullets, literally flying them into rioters to knock them off their feet.

French company Tecknisolar Seni has demonstrated a portable drone armed with a double-barrelled 44mm Flash-Ball gun. Used by French special police units, the one-kilo Flash-Ball resembles a large calibre handgun and fires non-lethal rounds, including tear gas and rubber impact rounds to bring down a suspect without permanent damage — “the same effect as the punch of a champion boxer,” claim makers Verney-Carron.

However, last year there were questions over the use of Flash-Ball rounds by French police. Like other impact rounds, the Flash-Ball is meant to be aimed at the body — firing from a remote, flying platform is likely to increase the risk of head injury.

Another option is the taser. Taser stun guns are now so light (about 150 grams) that they could be mounted on the smaller drones. Antoine di Zazzo, head of SMP Technologies, which distributes tasers in France, says the company is fitting one to a small quad-rotor iDrone (another quad-rotor toy helicopter), which some have called a “flying saucer”.

Read moreFuture Big Brother Police State: Meet the UK’s Armed Surveillance Robot Drones

Big Brother: UK Police Plan to Use Military-Style Spy Drones

Not just in the UK: Police State: DRONES used to spy on AMERICANS!


Arms manufacturer BAE Systems developing national strategy with consortium of government agencies

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Drones could be used for civilian surveillance in the UK as early as 2012. Source: BAE

Police in the UK are planning to use unmanned spy drones, controversially deployed in Afghanistan, for the ­”routine” monitoring of antisocial motorists, ­protesters, agricultural thieves and fly-tippers, in a significant expansion of covert state surveillance.

The arms manufacturer BAE Systems, which produces a range of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for war zones, is adapting the military-style planes for a consortium of government agencies led by Kent police.

Documents from the South Coast Partnership, a Home Office-backed project in which Kent police and others are developing a national drone plan with BAE, have been obtained by the Guardian under the Freedom of Information Act.

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