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Pirates are being watched from space

Piracy at sea evolved along with the maritime trade. Disjoined attempts of different countries aimed at curbing pirates do not yield desired effect though up-to-date techniques of satellite imagery of Earth from space allow receiving remotely detailed information on activities and infrastructure of pirate groups.

The Israeli company-operator ImageSat International N.V. has utilised highly-detailed small satellite EROS B to receive a series of images with spatial resolution of up to 0.7 m featuring the area offshore Somalia where vessels seized by pirates are clearly seen. The company ImageSat Int. provided ScanEx RDC with satellite images showing villages and bases of pirates on the coast of Somalia, moorings of their speedboats and motorboats.

The capabilities of the up-to-date EROS B satellite hardware allow detection of the entire infrastructure of the Somali pirates. But the situation with the pirates reflects the paradox of our times: enormous technical capabilities are not utilized for finding solutions to regional political and economic issues.