Feeds

DARPA to build 'needle-in-haystack' detector goggles

Not a figure of speech: That's the actual spec

Security for virtualized datacentres

Radical Pentagon boffins have decided to build super high-tech binoculars or goggles which would - according to the government specifications - be able to identify and pick out "a needle moving along the surface of a haystack".

The planned technology has been dubbed Fine Detail Optical Surveillance (FDOS), and regular readers will be unsurprised to hear that it is one of the many troubled, rather disturbing yet occasionally freakishly brilliant brainchildren of rogue US military boffin bureau DARPA.

Apparently FDOS will be "a fundamentally new optical ISR [intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance] capability that can provide ultra high-resolution 3D images for rapid, in-field identification of a diverse set of targets". There will be "soldier portable applications" - eg binocular or goggle type form factors - as well as big rigs intended for mounting on flying spy robots and the like.

The Pentagon brainiacs, whose task in hunting down elusive malfeasants in faraway warzones is almost proverbially difficult, have decided that FDOS must be of suitable capability. According to a government notification issued last week:

The program can be described as developing the technology and systems analogous to that required for the rapid imaging and identification, without the need for scanning or focusing of the optical receiver, of a needle moving along the surface of a haystack, where the location and type of needle on the haystack is uncertain.

Presumably the Bottle-o-crisps Insanity Yardstick, Guilty-Pig-at-a-Barbecue lie detector and similar technologies are soon to follow. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
'Utter killjoy Reg hacks have NEVER BEEN LAID', writes a fan
'Shuddit, smarty pants!' Some readers reacted badly to our last Doctor Who review ...
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.