Mini-Satellites Will Give Soldiers A Look At What Lies Ahead On The Battlefield

By Nick Venable | Published

Sometimes it’s like the Cold War mentality still hasn’t left some people’s minds, though Mother Russia has been substituted with a multitude of countries south of it. The technology is better though, so the paranoia of ‘the enemy’ remains of the moment. In a time when our American education is dropping down the international ladder, our military sits atop, soaking up any money trying to trickle down to anything else. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m reciting the big famous speech from Leftist ’80s Movie About the ’60s. Can you imagine how wacky those movies would have been if someone had foreseen DARPA’s chokehold on future tech?

DARPA’s latest contract went to Raytheon for development of the recently announced SeeMe satellites, which stands for Space Enabled Effects for Military Engagements. Essentially, the end product would be a team of 24 small satellites — 3 feet x 1 foot and 25 lbs. — working together to give soldiers visual access to whatever area the satellites are pointed at. The hypothetical situation would be a group of soldiers who need to know what’s on the other side of some big obstacle, and within 90 minutes the satellites can lock onto the area and beam down images to computers or smartphones, showing if any enemies are on the other side. Assuming this would be the only task taken by said satellites, which I doubt, it would be a powerful tool for strategic planning. And standing on the shoulders of giants, Big Brother awaits.

Time and money are big issues here, so I’ll save my conspiracy theories for my attic meetings. At present time, each satellite costs around $500,000, and though money will be saved by firing it from a jet fighter’s missile instead of a land-based rocket, the earth-to-orbit transport will still cost around $1.5 million. So we’re looking at a low estimate of $48 million dollars for the entire shebang, which isn’t outlandishly expensive, only there’s a time limit on the satellite’s lifespan. They would only last 45 days or so before burning up in the atmosphere. Forty-five days is an eternity during wartime, so it’s not out of the question to assume they would mass produce these things in anticipation for World War III. Of course, it would be extremely efficient should the military still be functioning during a zombie outbreak.

Still in development, SeeMe probably won’t be seen by you for another 10 years, so there is plenty of time for prices to drop and technology to change. Should that happen, it’s only a matter of time before tabloid companies and entertainment websites come together and buy their own fleet, openly doing the spying that the government lies about not doing. We at Giant Freakin’ Robot already have our own satellite up there, but we’re not spying on anybody, especially not you. That’s a nice shirt by the way.