DARPA Doubling Down on Spy Technologies

CHARLESTON, S.C. — The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency plans to increase investments in aerial surveillance systems. Long-endurance aerostats, autonomous sensors and other ISR (intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance) technologies are among the agency's top priorities, said Ellison “Dick” Urban, special assistant for strategic execution and analysis at DARPA.
Declining budgets mean that DARPA has had narrow down its wish list, and agency leaders have determined global ISR to be one of the most important study areas, Urban said April 17 at the National Defense Industrial Association’s annual science and engineering technology conference.

U.S. drones in Iraq and Afghanistan have been relatively unchallenged, but the next conflict may require ISR operations in contested airspace. So DARPA is looking into sensors that would be powerful enough to fly in friendly airspace and peer into countries where access is denied.

In addition to persistence, DARPA is focusing on higher resolution imagery and wider view sensors...


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