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Wed, Dec 26, 2012

ESPN Recruited For Military UAV Video Analysis

Helping To Train Analysts To Sift Through 'Enormous Amount' Of Video From Drones

Anyone who's ever watched a sporting event ... at least with any knowledge of the broadcasting industry ... has been impressed with the ability of a producer to pinpoint multiple angles of a play to be shown almost immediately in instant replay as the announcers analyze the action. That skill has also caught the attention of the U.S. military, which has an enormous amount of footage coming in daily from drone flights over places like Afghanistan.

How much video? The military reports that the services received over 327-thousand hours of raw video last year. The amount was just under 5,000 hours in 2001.

That requires people to stare at monitors for hours and days at a time, trying to make sense of what they see. In an effort to help train its people to discern the unusual from the ordinary, the Air Force has turned to ESPN to learn how it deals with the large amount of video which comes in during sporting events.

USA Today reports that while there have been no technological breakthroughs from working with ESPN producers, they have been able to help train analysts and develop expertise. And Retired Air Force Lieutenant General David Deptula, now a senior military scholar at the Air Force Academy, said that such skills are critical. "You can't catch bad guys unless you know where the are and what they're doing," he said.

But the analysts have not, as far as we know, been given access to a telestrator.

(Predator drone image from file)

FMI: www.af.mil

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