AF: Some Gorgon Stare Probs Fixed

AF: Some Gorgon Stare Probs Fixed

The Air Force, having been prodded and pushed by Defense Secretary Robert Gates to provide much more surveillance capability for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, reacted quickly and strongly to the report that Gorgon Stare is troubled and unfit for deployment.

The Air Force says in a statement that three of the seven problems cited in the testing memo have been fixed and that it will not field the system until theater commanders say they will accept it because Gorgon Stare will not be fielded until the theater commander accepts it. The service takes it responsibilities for developing the system very seriously, because, as the statement says, ” lives depend on the quality of the intelligence products that are produced.”

Here is the full statement from Air Force Lt. Col.  Todd Vician, head  of the service’s media operations:


“This system is being fielded to meet a Combatant Command requirement for a persistent, wide-area surveillance capability that allows multiple users to access the data from one platform.

“This is a very advanced technology the Air Force is developing rapidly to meet warfighter requirements.

“Gorgon Stare is in the first increment of a multi-increment program, and the second increment will increase the warfighter’s capabilities by range and resolution.

“The document leaked was a draft memo that was later revised in January.

“The January memo includes three issues that we have identified and have fixes in place. The first was addressing critical Technical Order shortfalls; the second was Gorgon Stare Ground Station image and grid coordinate generation; and the third was Remote Video Terminal compatibility. We’re working all three issues and do not believe they will affect the deployment schedule.

“Air Force leadership understands the importance of providing quick, timely and actionable ISR for the field. Gorgon Stare will not be fielded until the theater commander accepts it.

“The Air Force takes its responsibility seriously because lives depend on the quality of the intelligence products that are produced.”

Join the Conversation

Good Afternoon Folks,

I not sure what all the fuss is about here. The technology involved in “Gorgon Stare” is sound and will work. So far as I can see all the problems have been in software and in basic equipment failures, neither of this is a game changer.

Back off from being to critical and let the software bugs and manufacturing defects be worked out. The money involved here is peanuts compared to programs that are currently being discussed. The need for what this project will be capable of doing is urgent and blowing smoke and imposing political deadlines on technology is not the way to respond to the problems. Problems will be solved if everybody just take a deep breath and them move on to something else.

ALLONS,
Byron Skinner

It is not unfounded for contractors to try and get something through with hickups already knowing what the issues and fixes are so they can hopefuly get additional funding to fix them and if they cant they will suddenly make the fixes to keep the program from dying. It happens all of the time.

How did they get to this point with IR resolution that cant even track vehicles ? — easy they just waved there hands at every problem and say the basic science is feasible even if our engineering is shit.

Perhaps they should deploy it with a little marketing pamphlet explaining to the troops how it could work in principal.

This is why you wind up blasting every vehicle on the road (think Iraqi retreat from Kuwait), killing innocent civilians, when you attempt to target a bad guy. Some of these things are good ideas but don’t work well in reality. They need to be worked hard from an engineering perspective before proceeding to full deployment in theater.

“But they had all been deceived…” (From the prologue of the movie “Lord of the Rings”)

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Part 1 / 2

So what if they make this system function brilliantly one day, with seamless angle junctions and high resolution, real time, colour broadcasts and sound, lots of missiles and ground operators, etc.? It’s good ONLY for
1) low-intensity conflicts
in
a) deserts
and
b) mountains (but only in flyable, cloudless weather!),
NOWHERE else!
Would it have helped you to discover the constantly changing Ho Chi Minh trail under the canopies of the giant, wet, forest trees?
I wonder inclusively if it will be useful in cities or villages with TALL hills, buildings, trees and walls, which will effectively hide even tanks with white-hot engines under the open sky!!!

(Continued)

Part 2 / 2

How does such a camera even follow a heroic Résistance fighter into a crowded house, under some roof, where he changes clothes amidst civilians and limps away dressed as a disabled old woman? Worse: Do you even know what it means to follow a Résistance fighter? It means that
1) either you had prior intel on the ground, telling you who they are and where EXACTLY they are right now (a GIANT flaw of this whole video-surveillance system. Basically, it allows Osama to sunbath safely even on the highest Himalayan peak. And outside enemy-held territory: Would a whole squadron of staring Gorgons have avoided the Moscow airport bombing yesterday?),
or, even worse: It means that
2) each time you spot a fleeing guerilla, an U.S. American troop carrier somewhere is already burning!
But BEFORE that first shot is fired (maybe even afterwards!), this golden-plated waste won’t even find you a battery of cannons hidden in a tent camp! (I.E.D.s?)

Just giving Abdul some ideas.

Testers can be overzealous and expect perfection from the get go. But when a program such as Gorgon Stare is being accelerated to assist forward-deployed troops, there are bound to be teething issues. They said the original Predator was not ready to be deployed…what if they had killed that program?

The Army has good news on the UAS front. Google “Army Expanding UAS Fleet, Speeding Up Delivery.” FreeFallingBomb, check out the paragraphs about A160 Hummingbird and be aware that it has been tested with a foliage-penetrating radar.

Good Evening Folks,

To citizen ffb. Yea, is not what you described Afghanistan?

Is not Afghanistan the site of the US’s current conflict?

So what’s your problem?

As my son would say hey this is just version 1.0. I’m sure even in France computers have advanced beyond the Zylog 8080 Chip 4K memory and dual 8″ floppy discs. and CPM.

As for the Ho Chi Minh trail well that was 50 years ago, in my time. Today it is a tourist destination.

“Heroic resistance fighter”, how would the French know about such a person?

ALLONS,
Byron Skinner

Lets see

it was the Intel 8080 and Zilog not Zylog. and you cant run CPM on 4K.

The Ho Chi Minh trail is not a tourist destination since it is a pain in the neck to get to from Laos or Vietnam.

Even a properly working gorgon stare will have precisely no effect on the war in Afghanistan.

The only desperate need for deployment is from the contractors so they can lock in being paid to fix the mess.

Part 1 / 2

The patriots deliberately overheard me saying
1) rain and other forms of precipitation (yup, quite typical of “Afghanistan the site of the US’s current conflict”, Byron. Especially now),
2) TOPOGRAPHICAL OBSTACLES (simple, man-size huts and property walls allow for quite some creative expansion)
and
3) cold objects (I.E.D.s, ALL light and heavy weaponry lying in wait, anti-helicopter wires strung across valleys, etc.)
Infrared, even the best, cryogenically cooled imaging-infrared or even infrared spectroscopy seekers, are totally useless against all that, whatever their platforms. (And right now, it seems, they can’t even distinguish a car with a running engine clearly from a rock. Not joking – read the previous “D.o.D. Buzz” article)

Do the U.S.A. even use the best infrared detectors in the World for their Gorgon Stares? If so, why did they replace Teal Ruby spacecraft (!) by low-flying Gorgon Stare toy planes (both have EXACTLY the same concept: Real time infrared detection and tracking!) ?

Huh, anyone?

(Continued)

Part 2 / 2

Ironically, infrared imagery only gets worse in daylight, especially in hot summers, when the contrasts fade (but will the U.S.A. even be in Afghanistan next summer?).

Stay in the crowd, press button or trigger, don’t move or act normally, and you’re as invisible to U.S. eyes as cloaked U.S. soldiers will be from human eyes… maybe in 500 years from now. The perfect killer.
Moving fast (by foot or by car) is conspiscuous, as in Nature.

And in a battle, most targets are statistically only 6 km away (the Gorgon Stare’s range is 4 km), so there’s no way you can protect all U.S. troops at all times except placing one Gorgon-Stare-equipped drone atop every single U.S. soldier and vehicle, or by covering all of Afghanistan (647.500 km²) with 12.881 Gorgon-staring drones (individually surveilled area: 50,265 km²). Otherwise it’s just a RETALIATORY weapon (heed the flattering implication), NOT a preventive measure!

Let’s see a resultant reduction in Fighter aircraft requirements! Make this project actually save some funding for other things in the military.

I have actually worked on this program while stationed at Creech for the past 4 years as an avionics technician.
My professional opinion of this program is that it is a total piece of s***!!!!!!! Honestly, what is the point of looking at an entire city when you cant make any detail out at all (this was one of the selling points)? It has been plagued with cost overruns, design faults from inception, capabilities that were, to be blunt about it, oversold and hyped up to the Air Force, picture quality that is simply not there, and technical software glitches that were brought to Creech after they NEVER TESTED IT ON AN ACTUAL AIRPLANE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! All previous testing was done off of wall power and not airplane power!!!!!!! (There is a huge difference for those of you that don’t know it). Yes, the first time it was attached to an airplane was at Creech!!!!!!!! If the system is meant to be put on an airplane wouldn’t it be prudent to test it on an airplane? What f****** moron decided to not test the system on an airplane if thats where its meant to be? I want to punch them in the face!!!!!!!!!!
On top of all that the engineers have had this hush hush mentality when working on this not telling us (those who will be working on it) ANY thing on how it works, capabilities, limitations, how to fix problems, and NO technical data period. To fix problems it would be nice to know how to fix it, what part to change, how each box integrates with the others, etc.
Ever since I have been with this program it has been touted as having a small footprint making it quickly deployable to conflicts or natural disasters (i.e. Haiti). With this system the footprint is going to double in size because you have to have additional equipment and people in the field to operate it. What the **** is that about?
In conclusion, in my professional opinion, I think this whole particular program should be ******!!!!!!!

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