ROVER Sics TacAir on EnemiesJul 16, 2012 12:17 UTC
“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.”
ROVER continues to evolve, and is becoming an unheralded but critical piece of equipment in America’s arsenal. This is DID’s FOCUS Article covering the system and its ongoing developments.