DARPA's high-res camera can bullseye womp rats from 20,000 feet

Credit: DARPA

The ARGUS-IS's 1.8-gigapixel imaging module is the world's highest resolution camera ever. Technically, the ARGUS-IS has 368 image sensors; each one taken from a smartphone and connected together to create a gigantic video mosaic of high resolution bliss.

Designed to be mounted in a pod of a UAV such as the Predator drone, the ARGUS-IS can stream videos live to supercomputers on the ground. It stores everything it records; about 1 millon terabytes of video, according to PBS Nova TV.

How much detail can you see in a 1.8-gigapixel video? When zoomed in, the ARGUS-IS has enough resolution to see what kind of clothes a person is wearing and when they're waving their arms. And that's from 20,000 feet up with a range of nearly 10 square miles. In fact, the ARGUS-IS is so sharp, it can track objects as small as six inches on the ground; such as a tiny bird.

As ExtremeTech notes, the ARGUS-IS was originally designed to provided detailed surveillance in the war in Afghanistan, but the Boeing A160 Hummingbird helicopter it was supposed to be attached to was scrapped. Because this is DARPA we're talking about, and most of the stuff it does is top secret (the camera sensor hasn't been publicly shown), it's possible there are UAVs equipped with the ARGUS-IS recording us right now.

Via ExtremeTech

*To really bullseye womp rats, ARGUS-IS would need one of these.

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