Wide Area Surveillance sensors provide continuous views of expansive areas.
The image depicts an aircraft with a Wide Area Surveillance sensor orbiting above an area of interest. The dashed circle below the orbit represents the boundaries of the Wide Area Surveillance coverage area. The red line indicates what a traditional camera (camera ball) would be able to see while the yellow squares represent several areas of interest that can be monitored simultaneously by the Wide Area Surveillance sensor.
As you can see, the traditional camera can only watch a very small area while the Wide Area Surveillance system can watch an area several thousand times larger.
Both systems have value. The camera ball produces a higher resolution image but of a very limited area. The ideal solution would be to supplement the Wide Area Surveillance system with several camera balls.