Wednesday, December 31, 2008

YouTube War

YouTube War: "

The Israel Defence Forces have taken to YouTube to bolster their claims that they are - as far as possible - targeting military objectives in Gaza, that they are serious about avoiding civilian casualties, and that Hamas has deliberately turned people into human shields by storing weapons in or under inhabited buildings.

This video shows people loading rocket-shaped devices on to a truck, apparently unaware of the reconnaissance platform overhead - a UAV, judging by the apparently tight turning radius.

We've been critical here of ground commanders' addiction to this kind of imagery, but what is's being used for here is operationally legitimate - the use of the target's behavior over time to confirm hostile intent. There is a common factor between this and the tunnel strike seen here:

That factor is that we are only seeing the end of a long and complex process. The sensors used here are not that good at detecting targets in a cluttered environment, which requires wide-area, long-term surveillance and other means, probably including human intelligence.

Also noteworthy is 'the sequence that starts about 55 sec into the second video, in which three weapons are seen to strike the same tunnel'less than two seconds'apart. Either there were several laser designators involved, or the weapons were using scene-matching electro-optical guidance.


(Via Ares.)

NASA looks for places to retire space shuttles

NASA looks for places to retire space shuttles: "If your organization has the right stuff, it could display one of the U.S. shuttles that NASA plans to retire from service in 2010.


(Via - U.S..)

Chilling last minutes aboard the Columbia

Chilling last minutes aboard the Columbia: "A NASA report on the last minutes of Space Shuttle Columbia cited problems with the crew's helmets, spacesuits and restraints, which resulted in 'lethal trauma' to the seven astronauts aboard.


(Via - U.S..)


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