Peru’s Drones Used For Agriculture And Archaeology

Drones are most often associated with assassinations in remote regions of Pakistan and Yemen but in Peru, unmanned aircraft are being used to monitor crops and study ancient ruins.

A drone (unmanned vehicle) flies in Lima on July 10, 2013. This control remote vehicles, popularly known as ‘drones’, begin to formally sail the skies of Peru with scientific purposes to conduct research in agriculture and archeology. (ERNESTO BENAVIDES/AFP/Getty Images)

Forget Reapers and Predators — the drones used here are hand-held contraptions that look like they were assembled in a garage with gear from a hardware store.

They are equipped with a microcomputer, a GPS tracker, a compass, cameras and an altimeter, and can be easily programmed by using Google Maps to fly autonomously and return to base with vital data.

“These aircraft are small in size, are equipped with high-precision video or photo cameras and go virtually unnoticed in the sky,” said Andres Flores, an electrical engineer in charge of the UAV program at Peru’s Catholic University.

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