Benefits and Features

NextGen Gorgon Stare integrates on the MQ-9 Block 5 and permits weaponizing the platform by consolidating the entire Gorgon Stare system into a single pod. 

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

Operationally proven with over 100,000 combat flight hours supporting Counter-Terrorism and Counterinsurgency operations with Pattern of Life development. 

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

Agile Flight Paths provide improved flexibility in a wide variety of operational scenarios, enabling persistent WAMI from standoff distances and a dynamically sizeable collection area. 

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

A new miniaturized Ground Station reduces the GS ground footprint by 75% over previous version while increasing archived data capacity by 85%. 

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

Capable of live imagery stream dissemination via multiple communications paths and datalinks complete with airborne edge processing and data storage. 

An integrated communications suite allows Gorgon Stare to be Airborne Mission Networking ready and gives the flexibility to adapt to new AORs with minimal configuration changes. 

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

The Government recently took on the challenge of weaponizing Gorgon Stare and enhancing system interoperability between host MQ-9 Block 5s. Gorgon stare is consolidating the two-podded GS system into a single pod that occupies a single wing station of the MQ-9 Block 5. This modernization effort will allow the host MQ-9 Block 5 to host weapons and other mission enhancing podded systems that are complimentary to Gorgon Stare WAMI.

The Future of Gorgon Stare

The Future of Gorgon Stare

Originally designed for counterinsurgency missions, Gorgon Stare is evolving 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.

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. Gorgon Stare is a battle-proven ISR system with over 100,000 combat flight hours. It has detected and neutralized numerous threats and has historically been many Combatant Commanders’ reconnaissance asset of choice. 

System Features

In early 2021, GS 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.

Driven by a need to integrate onto the MQ-9 Block 5 and to weaponize, the Dual-Sensor WAMI Pod (DSWP) program is re- architecting the two-pod GS system into a single pod that installs on Station 3 of the MQ-9 Block 5. In lieu of the significant power modification required for GS on the MQ-9 Block 1, DSWP enables integrated power conversion enabling any Block 5 to carry GS.

DSWP also has provisions to install multiple tactical radios that transmit data to the ground user for situational awareness and targeting. Further, the team miniaturized the GS Ground System and will have the ability to deploy to any MQ-9 Block 5 Launch and Recovery Element (LRE) and provide immediate connectivity over SIPRNET and directly to the AFDCGS network. This allows for rapid deployment and connectivity for data dissemination to the user community. The GS DSWP, coupled with the BLOS pod, and miniaturized ground station provide the most robust WAMI capability available in the DoD. 

System Features

AI-Ready Airborne Processor and Data Storage System

The AI-RAPDSS leverages the legacy GS airborne edge processor. To address OUSD(I) Project Maven and AF-1067 requirements, SNC optimized GPU/CPU, increased backplane bus speed, and improved thermal management features. The AI-RAPDSS high performance computing improvement increases collection frame rates (Figure 8), improves imagery resolution, enables EO (color) processing in order to increase detection, tracking, and classification accuracy of Project Maven’s AI/ML algorithms and other automated target recognition systems

EO/IR Concurrent Collection (Co-Collect)

EO/IR Concurrent Collect (Co-Collect) is the ability to collect, process, and disseminate EO and IR WAMI simultaneously. The added redundancy allows the sensors to cycle on and off independently from one another. 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 when operating during daytime. Finally, it Enables EO/IR Fusion for enhanced object characterization. 

Autonomous Tip & Cue

The GS 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

The Collection Area is the area captured within Gorgon Stare’s WAMI FFoV. The AI-RAPDSS and Agile Flight Paths enable 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