The Pentagon’s All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO) is ramping up its abilities to sense and track unidentified flying objects (UFOs)  – otherwise referred to as unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAP) – as part of its ongoing mandate to investigate the presence of those phenomena in the air, sea, space, or on land.

Sean Kirkpatrick, director of the AARO at the Department of Defense (DoD), talked about his office’s push to improve its UAP sensing and tracking capabilities on May 31 during a public meeting on Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena hosted by NASA.

“Given what we’ve got so far, that is going to be an important first step to understanding which sensors are going to be relevant,” Kirkpatrick said. “From there we are augmenting with dedicated sensors that we’ve purpose-built and designed to detect, track and characterize those particular objects. We will keep putting those out in very select areas for surveillance purposes,” he said.

During his presentation, Kirkpatrick discussed the range of objects that his office is looking at, which may include anything from weather balloons to other peculiar objects such as metallic “spherical orbs” with odd flying patterns.

“This is a typical example of the things that we see most of, we see these all over the world, and we see these making very interesting apparent maneuvers,” said Kirkpatrick.

The importance of finding out more about UAPS and UFOs has become a more public  priority captivated at the Defense Departments after a recent report found that the number of UAPs has been increasing over the course of the past few years.

“While NASA is evaluating unclassified data sources for its study, AARO’s dataset includes classified material focusing on national security areas,” said Kirkpatrick.

Kirkpatrick concluded his remarks with eight recommendations for NASA and other agencies for their efforts to sense and track UFOs/UAPs alongside the working being done by the AARO:

  • Use of unclassified crowd-sourced data following a prescribed format;
  • NASA can use large-scale, ground-based scientific instrument evaluation;
  • All NASA and NOAA earth sensing satellites should be looked at as possibly being able to enhance AAROs capabilities;
  • “NASA/NOAA can explore techniques to integrate tips and cue collection capabilities across the scientific architecture;
  • NASA can help by giving insight on what type of propulsion technology is being used by some of these UAPs;
  • NASA should review archived data sets against parameterized UAP targets;
  • NASA can possibly review unclassified sightings and develop an analogue map;
  • Foreign and public partnerships can be used to review data sets that can uncover possible useful information.
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Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.