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3. Aerial surveillance
The war in Afghanistan has seen the US extend its surveillance capabilities with a new unmanned surveillance aircraft, the Global Hawk. Designed to fly for up to 24 hours at up to 60,000 feet, it aims to circle a target without being shot down. The aircraft collects information with:
  • Optical/photographic equipment
  • Infra-red scanning
  • Synthetic Aperture Radar
    Synthetic Aperture Radar produces radar images which are so sharp they appear to be aerial photographs. Coupled with infra-red images, it could provide extremely detailed information of a target area which may, for instance, reveal an entrance in the side of a mountain.

    See also:
    Synthetic Aperture Radar (US Govt site)
    More on surveillance aircraft

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