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Parliamentary questions
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29 November 2019
Answer given by Mr Avramopoulos
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-003016/2019

As part of its efforts to improve EU border management, the Commission funds research to explore new technologies.

The project Through-foliage detection, including in the outermost regions of the EU (FOLDOUT) responds to an identified need and was selected under a Horizon 2020 call for proposals(1), with the aim to improve border surveillance and search and rescue operations in forested regions, where current technologies do not perform efficiently, and demonstrate new through-foliage detection in realistic scenarios.

If research delivers promising results and Member States decide to implement them, in the longer run, the project could lead to improved border security. EU funding does not imply that the Commission endorses any technology while being explored in research.

The FOLDOUT project is aimed at integrating in one picture data from different sources, ranging from optical and radar satellite imagery to ground sensors. The ground sensors include fixed and airborne sensors, widely available on the market, including infrared, optical, radar, electromagnetic, seismic and acoustic sensors.

The test dates and locations are not yet precisely defined but are currently planned at Bulgarian-Turkish border for the Bulgarian trial (early 2021) on the Greek side of the Evros river for the Greek trial (summer 2021), in the area of Imatra for the Finnish trial (early 2021) and in the Nouragues National Nature Reserve for the French Guyana trial (early 2021).

(1)Topic Through-foliage detection, including in the outermost regions of the EU (SEC 16-BES 2017).
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