Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Clooney's 'Antigenocide Paparazzi': Watching Sudan - GeoEye High Resolution Imagery Featured in TIME Article

Clooney, the actor, and Prendergast, a human-rights activist with 25 years of experience in Africa, had heard enough on their seven-day visit to know that a new round of atrocities could follow the January referendum on independence. If it did, the likelihood was that no one would be held accountable. Why not, Clooney asked, "work out some sort of a deal to spin a satellite" above southern Sudan and let the world watch to see what happens?...You don't have to be a spook to have an eye in the sky anymore. Private firms with names like GeoEye, DigitalGlobe and ImageSat International have a half-dozen "birds" circling the globe every 90 minutes in low-Earth orbit, about 297 miles (478 km) up. The best images from these satellites display about 8 sq. in. (50 sq. cm) of the ground in each pixel on a computer screen. That is not enough granularity to read a car's license plate or ID a person, but analysts can tell the difference between cars and trucks and track the movements of troops or horses. "It is Google Earth on lots of steroids," says Lars Bromley, a top U.N. imagery analyst...

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