Here's What A Drone Can See From 17,500 Feet

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If the revelations about the NSA collecting phone records and other data wasn’t enough to worry you consider this: FBI Director Robert Mueller just came forward and admitted that the FBI has used unmanned aerial vehicles for domestic surveillance.

What exactly can a spy drone see? Reddit user uranusaur found a video excerpt from a Nova story called “Rise of the Drones” from January.

The video shows the impressive camera technology used in drones and explores where they might be in a few years.

Using a 1.8 billion pixel camera, drones can watch entire cities at once.

By zooming in, drones can track individual objects that are moving, like cars...

...and people.

They can do this while also still watching the entire region.

They can even zoom in on individuals to the point where they can see their movements and what they're carrying and wearing.

Analysts can open up to 65 live-video windows from one camera.

By recording 5,000 terabytes a day, analysts can also look back at what happened at any given time.

They can even highlight an area and play back a video stream for just that spot.

Amazingly, the drone's camera is actually 368 smartphone cameras hooked up in a mosaic.

This gives the drone a much wider field of view than a traditional camera.

In the future, the military is hoping to put these cameras on solar-powered drones that can fly over one place for years at a time.

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