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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Global Hawk over Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant

Credit: Northrop Grumman
According to a Japanese government source the U.S. military will operate a Global Hawk unmanned high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft over Fukushima nuclear power plant, possibly on Thursday, to take a closer look at its troubled reactors. Photographs taken by the plane equipped with infrared sensors could provide a useful clue to what is occurring inside the reactor buildings, around which high-level radiation has been detected.

Credit: Digitalglobe: Fukushima Dai-ichi March 16,2011
The Global Hawk is able to provide high resolution Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)—that can penetrate cloud-cover and sandstorms— and Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) imagery at long range with long loiter times over target areas. It can survey as much as 40,000 square miles (100,000 square kilometers) of terrain a day. Missions for the Global Hawk cover the spectrum of intelligence collection capability to support forces in worldwide peace, crisis, and wartime operations.

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