Gorgon Stare Benefits & Features

Combatant Commanders' reconnaissance asset of choice with over 100,000 combat flight hours supporting Counter-Terrorism and Counterinsurgency operations. 

Open, standards-based, non-proprietary imagery processing and viewers. 

Tailorable for mission diversity to integrate with various manned and unmanned aircraft as a podded or de-federated system.  

Supports SNC’s Beyond-Line-of-Sight (BLOS) Pod for worldwide system Command & Control and data dissemination. 

More collected pixels than any other fielded WAMI system (8.1 Gigapixel EO/180 Megapixel IR). 

Capable of live imagery stream dissemination via multiple communications paths and datalinks. 

Integrated comms suite allows for AbMN readiness and flexibility to adapt to new AORs with minimal configuration changes. 

Agile Flight Paths provide improved flexibility in a wide variety of operational scenarios. 

EO/IR Concurrent Collection enables EO/IR fusion, enhanced object characterization and redundancy between complimentary WAMI sensors. 

Gorgon Stare Modernization Efforts

Gorgon Stare Modernization Efforts

In early 2021, Gorgon Stare began a significant modernization initiative to support the emerging requirements from the ISR and data collection community. The modernization initiative includes: MQ-9 Block 5 integration, enhanced ground communications effectiveness, reduced ground footprint, more effective expeditionary capability, advanced processing for AI/ML algorithmic compatibility, improved navigation for spectrally contested environments and advancements for Agile Flight Paths.

The previous Dual-Sensor WAMI Pod (DSWP) program has been re-architected into a single pod, installed on Station 3 of the MQ-9 Block 5. In lieu of the significant power modification required for Gorgon Stare on the MQ-9 Block 1, DSWP enables integrated power conversion.

DSWP also has provisions to install multiple tactical radios that transmit data to the ground user for situational awareness and targeting. The Gorgon Stare Ground System has been miniaturized and has the ability to deploy to any MQ-9 Block 5 Launch and Recovery Element (LRE). It provides immediate connectivity over SIPRNET and directly to the AFDCGS network, allowing for rapid deployment and connectivity for data dissemination. With these upgrades, Gorgon Stare provides the most robust WAMI capability available in the DOD. 

The Future of Gorgon Stare

Originally designed for counterinsurgency missions, Gorgon Stare is evolving further for the future fight. What once took days of intelligence preparation of the battlespace will reduce to a single mission. Currently fielded on the MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial system, Gorgon Stare simultaneously collects and feeds processed WAMI data to multiple users.

Gorgon Stare of the future integrates onto the MQ-9 Block 5, consolidating the entire system onto a single pod. And with a new miniaturized Ground Station, Gorgon Stare's ground footprint is reduced by 75% while increasing archive data capacity by 85%.

In 2023, the Gorgon Stare of the future will have an updated configuration to deliver optimized performance, mission effectiveness and utility for any fight: past, present and future. 

The Future of Gorgon Stare

AI-Ready Airborne Processor & Data Storage System

The AI-RAPDSS leverages the legacy Gorgon Stare airborne edge processor, with an optimized GPU/CPU, resulting in increased backplane bus speed and improved thermal management features. The AI-RAPDSS high-performance computing improvement increases collection frame rates, improves imagery resolution and enables EO (color) processing to increase detection, tracking and classification accuracy of AI/ML algorithms and other automated target recognition systems.

EO/IR Concurrent Collection

EO/IR Concurrent Collect (Co-Collect) is the ability to collect, process and disseminate EO and IR WAMI simultaneously. The added redundancy allows sensors to cycle on and off independently from one another. It minimizes the loss of custody on objects moving through shadows in the EO WAMI by maintaining the objects in IR. Co-Collect allows collection of EO color to the edge of its capability during day/night transition periods. Additionally, it provides failover redundancy during daytime operations. Finally, it enables EO/IR Fusion for enhanced object characterization. 

Autonomous Tip & Cue

The Gorgon Stare Autonomous Tip & Cue capability enables Cursor-on-Target (CoT) messages from multi-INT sources to autonomously “Tip” WAMI sensors and instantaneously “Cue” live Imagery Streams (“Chipout”) over the grid location (static and/or mobile objects). The Gorgon Stare Tip & Cue capability enables machine-to-machine (M2M) data exchange and rapidly reduces the observe-orient-decide-act (OODA) cycle. 

Dynamically Sizable Collection Area

Gorgon Stare features a Dynamically Sizeable Collection Area. The size of the Collection Area is adjustable based on platform altitude and other parameters. Lower platform altitudes from shorter distances (smaller orbits) reduce the Collection Area’s size and lower the GSD (increase resolution). Higher platform altitudes from longer distances (larger orbits) increase the Collection Area’s size and increase the GSD (lower resolution). 

  • Ability to search/rewind imagery & video for post-mission forensic analysis
  • AI/ML compatible for autonomous object detection, classification & tracking
  • Operable on both manned & unmanned platforms
  • Full-color daytime WAMI for enhanced object characterization & pattern-of-life identification
  • Concurrently collected electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) WAMI adds context & object characterization
  • Supports users with real-time SA & forensic/pattern-of-life analysis
  • Improved operational flexibility & area coverage, enhanced resolution with on-board knowledge generation
  • Simultaneously collect & feed WAMI to multiple users with three tiers (views) of coverage:
    Synoptic, wide-area coverage; Multiple live Imagery Streams within the Full Field-of-View; Best resolution tactical imagery streams