Wave goodbye to privacy as you know it, as the ideas of those wishing a fully-tracked utopia may already be airborne. Known as Argus, a project which was hidden to public eyes until recently is built with one purpose in mind: surveillance, at the highest level.
Unlike any other airborne droid, such as Predator or Giant Global, Argus has the power to keep in sight a whole city, with real-time streaming, detailed zooming functions and recording capabilities of day to day event. This baby is so powerful, that theoretically, by pairing a bunch of these carriers around the country gives the government the possibility of monitoring each and every soul, be it human or animal, without its knowledge.
Why is Argus so special ?
I am more than sure that you have already been accustomed with various movies, where FBI is using a flight unit to gather information about a suspicious person, or, when in danger zones like Iraq, the US army makes uses of drones to capture precious details about raiding armies or the location of terrorist leaders. Well, following that exact pattern, and due to various limitations of existing equipment which may or may not lead to civilian casualties, Argus was developed – at least this is the cover story.
In a few words, Argus can be seen as the next-generation unit in surveillance, capable of capturing real-time images of small cities in high detail. In fact, the high quality sensor, named Argus, can be viewed as a “simple” camera which is mounted in a small pod and then attached outside the body of a flying drone, like the Predator.
Using the rather simple pairing technique, those who control the machine can capture highly detailed images of wide areas, such as small cities. Images will be then streamed in a live manner and processed using 1.8 billion pixels, the largest resolution ever encountered on a camera until now. Blowing the competition away, Argus can be used as the equivalent of 100 current government surveying systems, all focusing on the same location.
In the video demonstrating the capabilities of this equipment, Argus was sent 7500 feet above Virginia, from where the demonstrator could zoom in such detail, that even birds could be distinguished and from which people, or cars, could be identified as objects using a high-computational algorithm. This algorithm and the software threads that come along allow the end user to zoom over 65 completely different locations at the same time, and harness precious details, which may help the army find a target or, even more.
The other side of the blade
Just like any powerful device, Argus has a force that can be harnessed for the good, or for the not-so-good. Constructing a device to help identify terrorists all over the desert may sound alright, but what happens when tens of tem fly across the globe. As the system’s designer says, stationing one of these gadgets in every major city would be ideal for in-depth surveying. And although that may be seen as a bit Sci-Fi, there is one project called the Solar Eagle, which will be able to stay airborne for years, when it will be constructed.
Winding this forward a couple of years, imagine how “good” it will be for a civilian if technology would allow Argus to scan faces and track and record your each step. Is yet unknown how Argus looks like, and whether it’s airborne or not at this moment.