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BNPS.co.uk (01202 558833)<br />
Pic: PhilYeomans/BNPS<br />
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Spy in the sky.<br />
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Drone technolgy now reaches down to the farm.<br />
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Plucky British scientists have come up with an ingenious way of surveying hundreds of acres of crops - by employing a 25,000 pounds drone helicopter used to film Hollywood movies.<br />
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The cutting-edge custom-built gizmo, known as an octocopter, flies low over 800 acres of wheat fields taking measurements that help researchers better understand how crops grow.<br />
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It can collect the same amount of information in a five-minute flight than a team of staff would collect in a day.<br />
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A relatively recent invention, drone helicopters are more commonly seen on movie sets where they are used to film aerial shots.<br />
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But the carbon fibre eight-rotor copter is now being put to work by boffins at Rothamsted Research, the longest running agricultural research station in the world.