Hugh Pickens writes "An engineer at Jet Propulsion Labs says it should be possible to identify people from the way they walk — a technique called gait analysis, whose power lies in the fact that a person's walking style is very hard to disguise. Adrian Stoica has written software that recognizes human movement in aerial and satellite video footage by isolating moving shadows and using data on the time of day and the camera angle to correct shadows that are elongated or foreshortened. In tests on footage shot from the sixth floor of a building, Stoica says his software was indeed able to extract useful gait data. Extending the idea to satellites could prove trickier, though. Space imaging expert Bhupendra Jasani at King's College London says geostationary satellites simply don't have the resolution to provide useful detail. 'I find it hard to believe they could apply this technique from space,' says Jasani." Comments on the article speculate on the maximum resolution possible from KH-11 and KH-12 spy satellites.
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