Sky eye offers airborne security

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By Roger Snodgrass

Although still somewhat under wraps, a project known as Angel Fire has been mentioned enough recently to arouse some curiosity.

Described formally as a “wide field of view persistent surveillance (WFVPS) aerial collection asset,” in an Air Force document, it is also less formally described by Los Alamos National Laboratory Director Michael Anastasio as technology for real time situational awareness on the battlefield.

In testimony last year before the House Armed Service Committee, Terry J. Jaggers, deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force called Angel Fire, “a staring array.”

He said, “Angel Fire will allow the war fighter to zoom in and observe more closely any area within the collected image cone, as well as allowing playback of significant events, essentially providing a ‘GoogleEarth, TIVO-like’ capability to monitor areas of interest.”

Speaking at a media round table recently in Washington, D.C. Anastasio referred to Angel Fire at the top of his list of the kind of project that the lab could accomplish for the wider range of customers to be served as the nuclear weapons laboratories shift emphasis in the coming years.