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  • Satellites Monitor Pesticides in Europe

Photonics Spectra
Nov 2007
Site Similarity Certification, a service developed by Spatial Business Integration GmbH under the auspices of the European Space Agency, is using satellite images to compare agricultural crop sites across Europe in an effort to promote the more efficient use of pesticides.


The European Space Agency has defined comparable climate zones across Europe to promote more efficient use of pesticides. Courtesy of the European Space Agency.

Pesticides used within the European Union must be registered with the nations that are members of the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO), which requires efficiency data derived from field trials. The EPPO has defined comparable climate zones across Europe, allowing data generated in one country to support registration in another with similar climate characteristics.

The service merges satellite images with conventional data such as temperature, precipitation, soil characteristics and recurring natural phenomena to improve the scientific approach in defining comparable zones and to enable the transferability of field trial results from one member state to another.

Proving the comparability of crop sites allows the pesticide industry to avoid expensive perennial trials and to plan more efficient studies.

The service was developed as part of the space agency’s Earth Observation Market Development project.

The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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