Above & Beyond
Seeing It All: Wide-Area Motion Imagery Gives Unique Perspective
Imagine having the ability to monitor an entire city-sized area at once. You could track—from the air and in near-real time—multiple suspects scattering in different directions. You could see where they’re going, who they meet up with and where they’ve been. That’s the promise of widearea motion imagery (WAMI) technology, first used by the U.S. Armed Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and now available to law enforcement domestically and abroad in various configurations.
Four units of a new wide-area sensor have been exported to Brazil. Mounted on a tethered blimp, or aerostat, and operated in the air for days at a time, this 40-pound WAMI system will be used by the Brazilian Ministry of Justice to help protect crowds this summer at the 2016 Summer Olympics. The Games of the XXXI Olympiad are a major international multi-sport event that will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from Aug. 5 to 21.
It’s the first time a non-U.S. government operator will be using WAMI at an international sporting event.