“ROVER” (Remote Operational Video Enhanced Receiver) is an unimpressive piece of equipment. Mostly, it looks like a ruggedized laptop with antennas. But SpaceWar.com quotes Lt. Col. Gregory E. Harbin, of the 609th Combat Operations Squadron at Shaw Air Force Base, SC, who says “…the ROVER is bringing a phenomenal capability to our people on the ground.” ROVER is the Remotely Operated Video Enhanced Receiver, which receives camera images from nearby aircraft and UAVs (somewhat like Israel’s wrist-mounted V-RAMBO), then integrates them with other US positioning and targeting software.
Staff Sgt. Justin Cry, a Shaw Joint Tactical Air Controller (JTAC), has a job that’s an art form at the best of times. Describing features from the ground to a pilot looking down while flying at high speed is no easy task. According to a Dec 16/05 USAF article, he used the system in Iraq and in New Orleans, and says simply: “I can circle an area on my screen, drawing arrows for emphasis, and what I’m drawing appears on (the pilots’) screens as well.”