Albania uses satellites to fight crime

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L’Albania signed a six million dollar contract with Satellogicto use two satellites in orbit to fight crime e to monitor il territory Albanian. But the American company also offers other services that may interest governments, such as the control of the territory (and the effect of climate change) and the management of environmental crises of different types. Does a future await us where the state looks down on us from above?

Albania and Satellogic, the satellites to fight crime

The Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama has signed a three-year contract with the American Satellogic. The goal is to “inaugurate a new era of legality fighting corruption and reinforcing the imposition of laws ”. And he wants to do it using satellites.

In fact, Albania will have priority access to two satellites, called Albania-1 and Albania-2which should soon arrive in orbit, launched with rockets of SpaceX. Satellogic will not only give access to satellite images, but will teach Tirana government specialists how analyze data and provide information to various government entities.

One of the main purposes will be to find areas where raw materials used in drug production are grown. Albania is among the first places for the production and distribution of cannabis according to the United Nations anti-drug office.

Although several countries are decriminalizing (at least for medical uses) the production of cannabis, Albania is implementing various measures to eradicate its cultivation. But the country also remains an important hub for the distribution of heroin in Europea, according to the authorities.

But it will not only serve to fight drug-related crime: in Albania the satellites will also serve as a key anti-building abuse. In fact, the authorities will monitor the construction of buildings and the exploitation of natural resources (such as the cutting of forests for timber). Satellogic will also provide for provide data on border access.

Monitor the environment and manage the risk

Satellogic will also provide tools that go beyond the prerogatives of the Ministry of the Interior, such as security and illegal construction. In fact it will also provide data for example on how stem uncontrolled fires, a growing problem for the Balkan region and beyond.

In fact, Satellogic recently signed a partnership with Mayday.aia German company that uses machine learning to develop models of risk management. By observing the Earth from space (Earth Observation, EO) and analyzing the data collected, they can predict some natural disasters and understand how to manage them to minimize damage.

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Emiliano Kargiemann, CEO and co-founder of Satellogic, explains that “With a dedicated constellation of satellites, Satellogic accelerates Albania’s participation in the new era of space economy. In addition, these satellites will provide a unprecedented awareness of national level problemsale through the best data from space “.

On the company’s website, we can see that the applications of the Earth Observation via satellite are many and important. They allow to analyze the impact of climate change, both globally and in the various territories. By providing “operable” data, on which governments and associations can effectively intervene to reduce their effects.

In addition, they can provide information onsupply of food, water, energy to a region, optimizing its management. And also there is the increasingly important goal of manage humanitarian crises, such as mass migrations due to the outbreak of conflicts, for example.

Although the idea of ​​being watched from above by the government sounds like an enhanced version of Orwell’s Big Brother, the Earth Observation has a much larger yardstick.. It wants to analyze macro situations to provide data that can make a difference. Although, like any technology in the phase of first adoption, we should remain attentive to its uses in the near future to really understand its effectiveness and the potential risks. Such a powerful technology could have uses capable of making a difference, both positively and negatively.

Certainly, Albania could be the first of a series of countries that use commercial satellites for safety, environmental risk management and more. Different this summer British agencies have expressed their interest to this world. And depending on how the Albanian experiment goes, other nations may also be interested: not least Italy.