Not a figure of speech: That’s the actual spec
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. […]
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.
The Register: DARPA to build ‘needle-in-haystack’ detector goggles
January 14, 2010 at 3:15 am
They should call them “militant on a mountainside” goggles to be more accurate.
I would think if you ran the lens-amped optical image through a super-high-resolution digital camera and then ran software to compare images pixel by pixel over say strobes pulsed to time how far a distant human body can move pixel to pixel and compare with algorithms to get out image noise like grass and tree in wind and heuristically clue in to linear paced vectors of movement, like a human would make, the software should be able to pin-up the movement on a heads-up display and using lasers should be able to give precise GPS coordinates for a drone.
January 14, 2010 at 3:19 am
Or, thinking more about it – just attach the “goggles” to a drone over a “no-go” zone and let it do it’s own hunting (since what they really to is target acquisition at ultra-human ranges). Presumably this would/could go for SWORDS robots as well.
All the AIs will go ballistic for these eyes.