Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Spying on Europe’s farms with satellites and drones


Bales of hay in Wiltshire, UK - file pic

Farmers who claim more EU subsidies than they should, or who break Common Agricultural Policy rules, are now more likely to be caught out by a camera in the sky than an inspector calling with a clipboard. How do they feel about being watched from above?

Imagine a perfect walk in the country, a few years from now - tranquillity, clean air, birdsong in the trees and hedgerows, growing crops swaying in the breeze.

Suddenly a model plane swoops overhead.

But there is no-one around manipulating radio controls. This is not a toy, but a drone on a photographic mission.

Meanwhile, hundreds of kilometres up in space, the same patch of land is being photographed by a satellite, which clearly pinpoints individual trees and animals.

What is there to spy on here? No secret military installations, just farmland...[Full Article]

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