The Army’s new helo-drone is to be equipped with the ARGUS surveillance system, a system capable of capturing 80 years of video every day…
The U.S. Army has plans to mount its powerful ARGUS surveillance system on Boeing’s A160 Hummingbird unmanned helicopter to create a drone that can capture up to 80 years worth of HD video everyday.
Initially developed by DARPA, ARGUS, or Autonomous Real-time Ground Ubiquitous Surveillance Imaging System, is the military’s most powerful piece of surveillance kit. It consists of a 1.8-gigapixel imaging array constructed from 92 separate 5-megapixel sensors, which together can capture footage over 36 square miles.
In a single day the ARGUS collects around six petabytes of video, which can be split across 65 separate screens for viewing.
Boeing A160 Hummingbird/ARGUS
When mounted on Boeing’s Hummingbird, the ARGUS can access the best vantage points. The unmanned A160 helo has a max altitude of 15,000ft and a loitering time of up to 20 hours, which allows ARGUS to spend literally all day up in air monitoring the skies and ground below. And the system’s 360 field of view allows it to track multiple threats heading in different directions, at least to a 36 mile extent before it decides which threat to follow.
Not to be confused with the Argus One blimp, also known as the sperm blimp – coincidentally, also an unmanned surveillance craft – the Hummingbird/ARGUS surveillance drone is scheduled to begin testing in Afghanistan later this year.
Funnily enough, the only other craft rumored to carry the AUGUS system is another blimp known as the Blue Devil, Block 2.
Blue Devil Blimp
This huge blimp could be in the skies before the ARGUS surveillance system has passed its test phase. However if all goes well it the ARGUS could make its way onto several of the military’s surveillance crafts in the future.