The Buzz

The Next Frontier: Better Eyes in the Sky

DARPA, the Pentagon subsidiary charged with developing new technology, has released information about its newly developed 1.8-gigapixel spy camera, and the specs are truly stunning. ARGUS-IS, as the project is known, is thought to be highest-resolution camera in the world with the ability to recognize six-inch targets from over twenty thousand feet.

The landmark video camera can be attached to unmanned drones and transfer over six hundred gigabytes of data per second. Its storage capacity is equally impressive: ARGUS can hold up to five thousand hours of extremely high-resolution video footage.

According to ExtremeTech.com, “If ARGUS were hovering over New York City, it could observe half of Manhattan. Two ARGUS-equipped drones, and the US could keep an eye on the entirety of Manhattan, 24/7.”

Aside from the incredible technological feat this machine represents, considering ARGUS in the context of Moore’s Law raises legitimate questions. The rate of technological advance always seems to outpace our preparedness for the resulting new geopolitical vulnerabilities. Are we ready for ARGUS? And who else, friend or foe, will eventually harness this powerful tool?