What if generals had the technology to view battlefields in real-time, will it be a game changer? If that sounds like something from a video game, American defense contractor Raytheon is building small disposable satellites that can be launched from fighter jets. These SeeMe satellites, as they are called, will provide soldiers instant zoomed-in views of enemies in the battlefield. These satellites will basically beam images to communication devices such as smartphones and tablets. Generals can deploy these satellites in low-earth orbit, and they weigh less than 25 pounds and measure less tha 3 feet long. Raytheon says that they are capable of staying up in the orbit for a minimum of 45 days.
A general, for example, can deploy 24 satellites to form what Raytheon calls a “constellation” and keep them in range every 90 minutes. The name SeeMe stands for Space Enabled Effects for Military Engagements, and Raytheon plans to build six satellites for ground testing. DARPA has awarded the $1.5 million contract to Raytheon to make it all possible. “We’re putting near-real time data where the warfighter needs it – directly into their hands – and providing them with vital, tactical intelligence they can control,” says Tom Bussing, Vice President of Advanced Missile Systems at Raytheon Missile Systems.