Intelligence: May 2, 2003

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There was only one Global Hawk UAV available for operations over Iraq. The long duration of the Global Hawk (12-24 hours per flight), coupled with  it's 550 pound synthetic aperture radar (SAR) proved to be a powerful combination. The SAR can distinguish objects three feet wide on the ground in search mode (covering an area 37 kilometers wide), and then zero in at one foot resolution (up to five kilometers away). The major advantage of synthetic aperture radar in Iraq was that it can see through sand storms, any time of day. It was the Global Hawk that spotted Iraqi divisions trying to move while sand storms raged, and then circled overhead while coalition bombers hit the targets Global Hawk was picking up.

 


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