3D Army Surveillance On the Way

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The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) which currently has the happy-sounding headline ‘Bio Revolution: Protecting Human Assets’ on their homepage is one of the main research arms of the Pentagon and its latest project is yet another notch on 3D’s belt as the Fine Detail Optical Surveillance (FDOS) Program is launched. For the project, it’s requesting proposals for prototypes of optical imaging systems that would use “advanced high-resolution 3D imaging technology”.

3D surveillance – the biggest leap forward in military technology since Airwolf? Quite possibly.

Its official website, which looks like it could be the homepage for the good ol’ boy general in Avatar, states that it wants to create these high-resolution 3D images “for rapid, in-field identification of a diverse set of targets”.

Darpa adds that the systems will be developed for use in “an active battlefield or hostile environments with designs tailored to allow for soldier portable applications as well as UAV integration”. UAV, for those of you who haven’t spent much time in fatigues, or watched the truly horrendous Stealth, is an unmanned aerial vehicle.

This new model of obtaining footage and monitoring moving targets in 3D may well come up against the kind of problems that 3D TVs have suffered from thus far, noted Wired; as in any decent form of surveillance requiring a specific degree of dim lighting to get optimal footage. However, Darpa anticipates that should they get the type of 3D surveillance they’re after, it would boost field of vision and depth of vision “by over 100X” compared to existing systems.

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