Mercury Computer Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRCY, www.mc.com), a trusted provider of commercially developed application-ready ISR subsystems, announced that its Mercury Federal Systems subsidiary is part of the Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC)-led team that received the United States Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT) Foundation’s 2011 Industry Achievement Award. This prestigious annual award, presented October 18, recognizes outstanding accomplishments in GEOINT tradecraft by an individual or team from industry. Mercury provided SNC with onboard real-time image processing and storage subsystems, which are key components of the U.S. Air Force’s Gorgon Stare persistent surveillance system, currently deployed in Operation Enduring Freedom.
The United States Air Force (USAF)’s Gorgon Stare (GS) Wide-Area Persistent Surveillance System, developed by the SNC-led, best-of-breed industry team under the USAF/Big Safari rapid acquisition program, has been flying operational missions since April, 2011. Hosted on a USAF/General Atomics long-dwell MQ-9 Reaper unmanned air vehicle, each GS orbit provides uninterrupted, 24/7 visible and IR coverage of city-sized areas, providing real-time motion video directly to theater and tactical forces engaged in operations. In addition to its primary tactical consumers, this game-changing system also provides these products in near real-time to the Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS) enterprise for unprecedentedly rapid exploitation and time-sensitive forensic analysis support. The entire mission data set, which is recorded onboard the aircraft in machine-lossless format, is provided post-mission for live, long-term archiving and discovery, and additional current exploitation.
“The Air Force required a long-dwell, multi-sensor system that could support numerous, simultaneous surveillance missions, providing real-time support to ground forces and forensic information to analysts. Equally important was how quickly the system could deploy for operations,” said David Bullock, vice president, ISR Persistent Surveillance, Sierra Nevada Corporation. “Mercury’s renowned expertise in embedded, high-performance digital signal and image processing and their ability to accelerate time to deployment made them a clear choice for the Increment 1 core team."