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From 300 miles in the sky, the imagery seems indecipherable. But up close, the Satellite Sentinel Project, or SSP, is looking for clues. Researchers on the ground ask questions to try to get closer. SSP finds out the facts, and monitors what's really going on in Sudan. Satellites imagery uncovers evidence of alleged atrocities. Stories that alleged war criminals don't want told. Then SSP sounds the alarm. The world is watching because you are watching.
On a trip to southern Sudan in October 2010, George Clooney and Enough Project Co-founder John Prendergast had the idea to start the Satellite Sentinel Project.
SSP launched on December 29, 2010, with the goals of deterring a return to full-scale civil war between northern and southern Sudan and deterring and documenting threats to civilians along both sides of the border. SSP focuses world attention on mass atrocities in Sudan and uses its imagery and analysis to generate rapid responses on human rights and human security concerns.
The project works like this: DigitalGlobe satellites passing over Sudan and South Sudan capture imagery of possible threats to civilians, detect bombed and razed villages, or note other evidence of pending mass violence. Experts at DigitalGlobe work with the Enough Project to analyze imagery and information from sources on the ground to produce reports. The Enough Project then releases to the press and policymakers and sounds the alarm by notifying major news organizations and a mobile network of activists on Twitter and Facebook.
SSP is the first sustained public effort to systematically monitor and report on potential hotspots and threats to human security in near real-time. SSP synthesizes evidence from satellite imagery, data pattern analysis, and ground sourcing to produce reports.