Imagine your unit is working through a valley in Eastern Afghanistan trying to root out an insurgent group that's been operating from the mountains above. It would be strategically advantageous to know exactly who and what awaits you on the other side of each ridge, but the nearest Predator drone is busy monitoring a key mountain pass miles away. What would really be nice is a satellite – your own little eye in the sky – to beam down some real time images of the surrounding landscape. Kestrel Eye, a system of multiple lightweight, low-cost imaging satellites that can be repositioned from the field, aims to do just that.
Kestrel Eye will be a network of 30 small satellites beaming images directly to troops on the ground to order. A mobile, backpack-ready ground receiver can link up with the satellites in real time, downloading two pictures a second covering five square miles in each shot. Those photos will then be stored on a central server so others operating in the area can take a look.
The ten-inch telescope is not capable of the high-res imaging of some of its intelligence – and increasingly its civilian – counterparts. But a resolution of five feet over five square miles is more than enough to pick out a building, locate an out-of-place vehicle or capture a convoy on the move.
But perhaps Kestrel Eye's biggest advantage is that each satellite costs only $1 million, a fire-sale price compared to larger spy satellites. Since cost is the biggest killer of a lot of the military's bright ideas, the low price tag means Kestrel Eye is in a good position to be in orbit by 2011.
Is it just me, or do we need the ability to see people on the other side of the ridge.
Is this something we want our enemies to know? Because you have essentially told them that all they have to do is be on the look out for an American Soldier carrying what you describe in your article. Secret weapons are best kept secret.
your right heck i migth be a terrorist (you cant trace where this message came from im changing my ip address every 2 seconds
Camoflauged people and vehicles at that.
Next thing you know, it becomes a laser cannon and obliterates everything in its path. No need for troops anymore. But for right now, that's going to be freaky. Imagine a terrorist taking a piss and the satellites capture that. Invasion of Privacy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
i agree with miglhats. americans are too obsessed with wanting to know everything the gov't is doing. if the public knows everything, than so does the enemy. and the if the enemy knows evertything, then what's the point? secret weapons ARE best kept secret.