Photo shows a U.S. Reaper drone carrying “Gorgon Stare” Wide Area Airborne Surveillance System pod in Afghanistan

Gorgon Stare is a pod-based sensor package used to track people, vehicles, and objects in areas of +10 square kilometers.

Formerly known as the Wide Area Airborne Surveillance System (WAAS), Gorgon Stare system is a sensor package carried by two pods, one with networking and communications payload, the other with Visible/IR Camera Arrays and Image Processing module. The package is used to identify and track people, vehicles, and objects in areas of +10 square kilometers.

The U.S. Air Force has recently released a photo which shows an MQ-9 Reaper at Kandahar Airfield (KAF), Afghanistan, marshalled before take off on Mar. 20.

The unmanned aerial system carries two seemingly identical pods (with EO/IR turrets) of the Gorgon Stare Increment 2, an updated version of the original ISR (Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance) system that we first spotted on an image posted by the Air Force online September 2014.

Although little is known about the upgraded sensor package, it appears the Gorgon Stare 2 features 192 different cameras built into an EO sensor turret and a new IR sensor.

Image credit: U.S. Air Force


About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.