DARPA's dreamers and brainiacs have set their sights on a new technology for the U.S. military -- high-tech binoculars or goggles that would supposedly have the ability to find the not-so-proverbial needle in a haystack. The Register pointed out the U.S. Department of Defense proposal issued last week.
The Fine Detail Optical Surveillance (FDOS) technology would provide "ultra high-resolution 3D images for rapid, in-field identification of a diverse set of targets." Such specs could also supposedly work for either individual soldiers or with aerial drones, so that warfighters can spot moving targets at many different ranges and resolutions. We imagine this won't require the goofy 3D glasses needed for viewing Hollywood fare such as Avatar.
The proposal translates the usual needle-in-a-haystack saying into amazing literal bureaucratese. We'll refer you to the statement below rather than try to describe it:
"The program can be described as developing the technology and systems analogous to that required for the rapid imaging and identification, without the need for scanning or focusing of the optical receiver, of a needle moving along the surface of a haystack, where the location and type of needle on the haystack is uncertain."
[via The Register]
The goggles remind me of the scopes the jackel snipers wear in the Halo series.
There's no ironclad guarantee that technology will always reside with one side only. The Taliban already use night vision goggles, reportedly from Iran. Same thing with satelite phones and GPS. Sooner or later they will use these too.
Do these goggles offer good peripheral vision as well? I'm trying to imagine that the constant head swivelling required isn't a tactical disadvantage in and of itself.
Still, if a data from various sensors and other soldiers could be overlayed on what a soldier is seeing, that would be quite an advantage; symbols could point out friend and foe, show trajectories and sources of incoming fire, and so on.
This even might help us differentiate from civilian and military targets since well be able to see better.
This has been in the making for some time, programing and network capablity has hindered this project for a long time.
DARPA is wierd
Unfortionately, it could also spy on civilians in the bathroom, invasion of privacy.