The spy in the sky that sees backwards in time

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        #Discussion(General) [ via IoTGroup ]

        But aerial surveillance can also reach backwards in time by the expedient of indiscriminately recording everything that is going on in a particular neighbourhood and then looking for useful patterns in the resulting footage.This technique called wide-area motion imagery ( WAMI ) has been around since 2006.

        WAMI was first employed by American forces in Iraq to track down those placing roadside bombs.Clearly though the omniscience provided by WAMI can be employed for many other intelligence-related tasks and the number of jobs the technology is being used for has thus multiplied.A study published last year by researchers at the RAND Corporation a think-tank showed that America’s air force has responded to the flood of data from WAMI sensors by archiving most of it without inspection.

        Better means of sifting WAMI footage are needed.But special tricks are also being deployed—for example a mathematical technique called higher-order moments anomaly detection that can distinguish moving objects reliably from background clutter by looking at groups of pixels in a video and deciding whether their changes from frame to frame are the result of actual movement or just electronic noise.Meanwhile WAMI devices themselves are becoming yet more effective.The video images it shoots are 3 D rather than the 2 D of a normal WAMI feed.WAMI began with an aircraft-borne system called Constant Hawk which was developed by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.

        A blimp-mounted arrangement called Kestrel intended to watch over installations such as military bases emerged from Logos Technologies a firm that has John Marion one of Constant Hawk’s inventors as its president.L 3Harris a company in Florida sells WAMI sensors for use as automatic sentries.These combine several types of instrument with WAMI to increase effectiveness.At the moment the employment of WAMI for crime fighting is (as far as is known) still rare.But some police forces in America have tested WAMI

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