The ARGUS-IS, or the Autonomous Real-Time Ground Ubiquitous Surveillance Imaging System, is a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) project contracted to BAE Systems.
ARGUS is an advanced camera system that uses hundreds of cellphone cameras in a mosaic to video and auto-track every moving object within a 36 square mile area. ARGUS is a form of Wide Area Persistent Surveillance that allows for one camera to provide such detailed video that users can collect "pattern-of-life" data and track individual people inside the footage anywhere within the field of regard. This is accomplished by utilizing air assets (manned aircraft, drones, blimps, aerostats) to persistently loiter and record video of an area 36 square miles in diameter with enough detail to track individual pedestrians, vehicles or other objects of interest as long as the air asset remains circling above. Automated object-tracking software called Persistics  from the Lawrence Livermore labs allows users to auto-track every moving object within the field of regard (36 sq miles) and generate geolocation chronographs of each individual vehicle and pedestrian's movements, making them searchable via gelocation query.
As ARGUS floats overhead for months at a time, it dragnet tracks every moving person and vehicle and chronographs their movements, allowing forensic investigators to rewind the footage and watch the activities of anyone they select within the footage. ARGUS is only one form of Wide Area Persistent Surveillance. Other WAPS systems are already being used for domestic law enforcement across the USA including Persistent Surveillance in Dayton, Ohio, Vigilant Stare  as well as Pixia’s Hiper Stare. While the government has not admitted to deploying ARGUS over the USA, it has shown video in which ARGUS was used within the United States. A variety of privacy advocacy groups including the ACLU and  Teame Zazzu have worked aggressively to bring ARGUS and other WAPS systems into the public debate.
Traffic cameras, which were meant to help enforce traffic laws at intersections, have also sparked some controversy, due to their use by law enforcement agencies for purposes unrelated to traffic violations. These cameras also work as transit choke-points that allow individuals inside the vehicle to be positively identified and license plate data to be collected and time stamped for cross reference with airborne Wide Area Persistent Surveillance Systems used by police.
The mission of the Autonomous Real-time Ground Ubiquitous Surveillance - Imaging System (ARGUS-IS) program is to provide users a flexible and responsive capability to find, track and monitor events and activities of interest on a continuous basis in areas of interest.The overall objective is to increase situational awareness and understanding enabling an ability to find and fix critical events in a large area in enough time to influence events. ARGUS - IS provides military users an "eyes-on" persistent wide area surveillance capability to support tactical users in a dynamic battlespace or urban environment.
The contract was awarded in late 2007 with a budget of US$18.5 million and duration of 30 months.
The three principal components of the ARGUS-IS are a 1.8 Gigapixels video system plus two processing subsystems, one in the air and the other located on the ground.
The sensor uses four lenses and 368 cell phone cameras, 5 megapixels each.
A demonstration of the system was made available to the PBS NOVA program and used in a story on UAVs.
- Bezier, Doug (2007-11-12). "BAE to Develop Surveillance System". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-02-19.
- "Overview: Autonomous Real-time Ground Ubiquitous Surveillance - Imaging System (ARGUS-IS)". DARPA. Retrieved 2010-02-19.
- "S&TR April-May 2011 From Video to Knowledge". LLNL. Retrieved 2012-05-08.
- "BAE has success with ARGUS-IS". UPI. 2010-02-09. Archived from the original on 11 February 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-19.
- "ARGUS - DARPA's All-Seeing Eye". Retrieved 2011-12-01.
- Video on Youtube