The European Defence Agency has hired aerospace and defence group EADS to research how communication via satellites can be used "for the integration of unmanned aircraft systems into European airspace", with the goal of starting demonstration missions next year.
The study aims to show that satellites are reliable enough to allow uninterrupted communication between the drone and the person piloting it remotely, giving the aircraft an adequate "sense and avoid" capability to make it safe to fly in built-up areas and to share the sky with other planes.
Drones are of interest to the military and the police as surveillance tools, and could be used by immigration authorities for patrolling Britain's coastline. But concerns have been raised because the UK is already one of the most "watched" countries in Europe, with the proliferation of CCTV cameras.
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