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Air Force asks ESPN for help in analyzing drone footage

The Air Force is tapping ESPN to help sift and analyze the massive amounts of video footage from drone missions.

As the number of unmanned aircraft around the world and the flood of footage being transmitted in real-time keeps expanding, the Air Force is faced with the task of pouring through the data. Enter: ESPN.

"We need to be careful we don't drown in the data," David Deptula, a former Air Force lieutenant general, said, according to a report in USA Today.

Drone video transmissions returned some 327,384 hours of surveillance video in 2011. Currently, much of what drones do is complete "pattern of life" missions, which involve recording compounds for days at a time.

The Air Force turned to the sports cable network to see how it sorts through the large amounts of game footage it gets everyday, USA Today reports. A meeting between Air Force officials and ESPN did not, however, result in any technological breakthroughs.

One Air Force official said the visit with ESPN had helped with developing skills and expertise, particularly in training.