Intelligence: Buckeye Busts the Bombers


June 24, 2007: While Google Streets gets a lot of media attention for its street level views of major American cities, the streets of Baghdad began getting that treatment over two years ago. This was in the name of reducing the effectiveness of roadside bombs. While Google used trucks equipped with video cameras and GPS equipment, the Department U.S. Army used half million dollar cameras operating from aircraft. This Buckeye Precision Geo-Referenced Digital Airborne Camera System created detailed digital 3-D pictures of the streets below. The pictures could not only be "driven through", on a computer, but if you took another shot of a street a few hours later, anything that had changed was spotlighted. This made it easier to find possible roadside bombs. Indeed, when Buckeye was first introduced, successful roadside bomb attacks plunged 90 percent in some cities. The terrorists tried to adapt, but since Buckeye will detect something as small as a penny, the bomb planting teams had an impossible time covering up all evidence of their work.

While nearly all towns and cities in Iraq and Afghanistan have gotten at least one visit from a Buckeye equipped aircraft, there are not enough aircraft to do the subsequent visits needed for finding all the roadside bombs getting planted out there. If a certain area shows a marked increase in bomb activity, a Buckeye aircraft will be sent. But most of the Buckeyes concentrate on keeping the main supply routes free of bombs. That's one reason you never hear of an ammo truck of fuel tanker getting blown up.


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