Persistent Surveillance Systems (PSS) flies a small Cessna aircraft 10,000 feet overhead. The surveillance planes are loaded up with specialized 192 megapixel cameras that could watch 25 square miles of territory, and it provided something no ordinary helicopter or police plane could: a Tivo-style time machine that could watch and record movements of every person and vehicle below.
After learning about the attempted robberies, PSS conducted frame-by-frame video analysis of the bookstore and sandwich shop and was able to show that exactly one car traveled between them. Further analysis showed that the suspect then moved on to a Family Dollar store in the northern part of the city, robbed it, stopped for gas—where his face was captured on video—and eventually returned home.
A person shows up as one single pixel and they can track movement of the person to a vehicle and then track the movement of vehicles.
PSS systems have witnessed 34 people being murdered within their imaged areas and been able to track people to and from those scenes. The people who confessed on being captured with assistance of their imagery confessed to a total of 75 murders. Many of the people confessed once captured to many more murders than PSS Systems tracked them to.
They work from reported crimes and start with the exact time and location of the crime. Then they track movement in and out of the crime scene.
PSS continues to hire analysts—and they prefer them to be gamers.
“The biggest requirement I have is that they play video games,” he said. “If they can do a first-person shooter, they can track cars really well. I can teach them how to do investigations, PowerPoint, and brief the officers on what they saw. Then the only problem is that then I lose them to military intelligence that pay four to five times better a few years later.”
50 gigapixel cameras are being developed. Long duration drones are becoming more inexpensive.
Each 50 gigapixel camera could track 110 kilometers by 110 kilometers.
About 900 drones in the air at the same time with 50 gigapixel cameras could monitor movement over every part of the United States.
The AWARE-10 5-10 gigapixel camera was in production and on-line in 2012. Significant improvements have been made to the optics, electronics, and integration of the camera. Some are described here: Camera Evolution. The goal of this DARPA project is to design a long-term production camera that is highly scalable from sub-gigapixel to tens-of-gigapixels. Deployment of the system is envisioned for military, commercial, and civilian applications.
A major advantage of this design is that it can be scaled. Except for slightly different surface curvatures, the same microcamera design suffices for 2, 10, and 40 gigagpixel systems. FOV is also strictly a matter of adding more cameras, with no change in the objective lens or micro-optic design
MSNBC Future of Tech – 50 gigapixels is the upper limit because it is the precision limit of lens-manufacturing technology, and also because beyond that you start running into the resolution limit of the atmosphere, i.e. what can be discerned through all those pesky air molecules between the camera and the subject. So it’s no surprise that they’re considering imaging at that size for astronomical rather than terrestrial photography.
Brady explains that right now, the size and quality of images is limited by the quality of the main objective lens, but they have already built a superior lens for 10-gigapixel images.