The 9th RW has flown another journalist: Michael Phillips of The Wall Street Journal. There is a very good video of his experience on the WSJ website:

Equally interesting, Phillips was told about a new project to use artificial intelligence to help interpret the imagery from the U-2’s Optical Bar Camera (OBC). On pages 30-31 of DRAGON LADY TODAY, I described why this panoramic wet-film camera was still being used on occasional U-2 missions, despite this digital age.

But with such huge area coverage returned by each OBC mission, the image analysts (IAs) are overwhelmed by the task of viewing it all. So the Air Force enlisted the help of engineering students at Stanford University to develop artificial-intelligence tools to identify objects of interest.

Now this is not the first time that automatic target recognition has been employed to aid IAs. But the Stanford students must be onto something, since their work will be tested by the Air Force over the coming months, according to Phillips.