Drowning in Drone Video, Military Asks ESPN for Help
Air Force trying to figure out how to sort through its video
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Dec 20, 2012 7:39 AM CST
Updated Dec 20, 2012 8:06 AM CST
A student pilot and sensor operator man the controls of a MQ-9 Reaper in a ground-based cockpit during a training mission flown from Hancock Field Air National Guard Base, Syracuse, New York.   (AP Photo/TSgt Ricky Best, Defense Department)

(Newser) – The Air Force has more video footage from drone missions than it knows what to do with, so it's turning to the experts in video analysis: ESPN. These days, drones fly a lot of what the Air Force calls "pattern of life" surveillance missions, recording compounds for days on end. These and other drones have left the Air Force with more footage than analysts can reasonably watch (some 327,384 hours in 2011, to be exact). So it turned to the cable network to see how it sorts through the mountains of game footage it receives every day, USA Today reports.

"They're looking at anything and everything they can right now," says the commander of a video monitoring unit. Sadly, ESPN didn't have the magical technological solution the military was hoping for, but it has been sharing its expertise, particularly around training. The holy grail, according to one surveillance honcho: A tool that would allow the military to "go back and say, 'How many times has this vehicle appeared in this geographic area over the last 30 days?' and it automatically searches volumes of full-motion video."

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Showing 3 of 11 comments
Dec 20, 2012 4:07 PM CST
I'm waiting for the Top Ten Drones of the Week with a bunch of Air Force talking heads.
Dec 20, 2012 1:53 PM CST
Seems to me that a video version of "blinker comparison" would be a slam-dunk to develop.
Dec 20, 2012 11:47 AM CST
This is exactly what the Police State Fusion Centers are employing against Americans currently. They are mapping traffic patterns down to the individuals as evidence.Combined with illegal phone monitoring, cell use patterns and GPS everyone doing something secret is busted. Banging your co-worker - busted. Moving weed around town - busted. Placing bets with your Bookie at the club - busted. This is real and happening. You oblivious dipshits think Uncle Sam wants your guns. Wrong. They want to know what you do and how to control you. A far greater danger to your freedom.