While the 2016 Olympics may have 47,000 security guards, 65,000 police officers, and 20,000 armed service personnel assigned by the Brazilian government to patrol the event, there is still a lot of ground to cover. There will be over 30 events through a span of 16 days that need to be on watch and, to help these personnel, there will be “all-seeing” blimps scouting the areas to record everything and anything that could possibly happen.
Originally developed by Logos Technology for U.S. forces, the balloons will feature 13 high-resolution cameras. The “aerostat” will be deployed through the company Altave, which is contracted by the Brazilian Ministry of Justice. The imaging system being used is called Simera and will provide coverage of an area of about 55 square miles per machine with three days worth of memory. Those who are monitoring them will also be able to alter and rotate the cameras to particular angles when needed.
The three-day limit is one of the very few negative factors that come with this technology, which could be shortened depending on the weather. “The most important part for us to make sure that our sensor can handle more turbulence and winds and that type of stuff than the balloon itself can handle so we’re not the restricting part of that type of system. If the balloon can stay up itself, then we’re able to stay up and provide good imagery,” said Doug Rombough, Logos’s Vice President of Business Development.
One of the others is the fact that the 120-megapixel cameras cannot show individual faces and is meant for broader imaging. Even so, this could potential help track any issues or threats over a large span of space.
There will be a total of four systems floating over the venues. If this technology shows success during the Olympics, it could bring a whole new way for sports (or any other large event) to provide surveillance… as long as there wouldn’t be issues with any invasion of privacy.