Friends in high places

How eyes in the sky keep us safe and secure on the water.

Friends in high places: how satellites keep us safe at sea

By Jeremy Wilks

The ongoing migrant crisis in the Mediterranean shows how indispensable satellite technology has become to those involved in saving lives at sea. But it’s not just about search and rescue; space hardware plays a crucial role in all aspects of maritime security, including anti-terrorism, anti-piracy and anti-drugs operation, as well as environmental and fisheries protection and a host of miscellaneous missions.

In this edition of Space Jeremy Wilks goes behind the scenes with the Italian coastguard to see how they use satellite technology everyday. He also visits the European Maritime Safety Agency in Lisbon to find out how the job of processing so much data from so many sources is done.

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