Energy Blog

Energy question of the week: Can the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide be stored safely underground?

30.08.2010 | posted by Jan Oliver Löfken

Coal-fired power stations release more carbon dioxide per kWh than any other fossil fuel facility, and Germany has a large number of just this sort of power station. It is estimated that around 40 billion tons of coal are stored in potential open cast deposits in Lusatia and the Lower Rhine Basin. That makes up 14 percent of world reserves. The question is, can the carbon dioxide emissions be captured and stored underground? read more

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Brasília

TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X 'chatting' for the first time

27.08.2010

Even though the 'chit chat' between the satellites has so far consisted of no more than the exchange of synchronisation signals – "Hello, here I am!" – that is been all that was needed for the first simultaneous imagery to be captured by TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X. Since 22 July 2010, TerraSAR-X has been flying ahead of TanDEM-X at a distance of just 20 kilometres, in a formation defined for test purposes and which also affords scope for a special series of radar experiments. They have now completed the first ever experiment with bistatic radar involving two satellites flying together in formation. read more

Walking on the Moon – by telescope

26.08.2010 | posted by Rolf Hempel

We have all seen the images of the first manned Moon landing in 1969 often enough on the TV and remember the pictures of the lunar surface taken from orbit or from the landing site itself. But how much of all this can be seen with a telescope? And just where is the landing site? Here is a travel guide with a very special destination. read more

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Energy question of the week: Can wind turbines also float on the open sea?

23.08.2010 | posted by Jan Oliver Löfken

The twelve offshore wind turbines that make up the 'alpha ventus' wind farm, 45 kilometres to the north of the North Sea island of Borkum, can generate sufficient electricity for 50,000 households. Like all other wind farms in the North Sea, these turbines are installed on firm foundations at water depths of between 30 and 50 metres. However, not all coastal countries have such a flat and shallow seabed immediately off their coastline. Might it not be a great deal simpler and less expensive to install wind turbines on floating platforms? read more

The face of the Earth

20.08.2010

For a month now, we have been acquiring altitude models with the TanDEM-X and TerraSAR-X satellite pair. Already, over 1000 products have come out of our operational processing chain. Alongside many test images, some of the data also give an insight into how humankind has shaped the surface of the Earth – and how the highs and lows around them have determined the course of their lives. read more

Processing of first TanDEM-X data received at Inuvik

19.08.2010

Erhard Diedrich, in charge of the building of the Inuvik satellite station, returned from Canada with his colleagues, a happy man. The inauguration on 10 August was not only moving, but also marked the end of a successful first checkout phase. Over 300 passes of data have been acquired since April this year, among them 60 from the TanDEM-X satellite. read more

A few words about social media and DLR's online communications

17.08.2010 | posted by Marco Trovatello

Ever more frequently, we in the DLR Communication Department have to answer the question how and why we use social networks and social media in our work. In this blogpost I'd like to go into our social media strategy - and to explain our approach to online communications in general. read more

Comm Blog

DLR Blogs: improved readability

17.08.2010 | posted by Marco Trovatello

In the recent past, many of our readers pointed out a poor readability of DLR Blogs. We have optimised this last night. White font and dark blue links on a "brushed metal" background have now been replaced with a typical black font on a lighter coloured background. read more

Energy question of the week: Is any country already able to meet all of its energy needs from renewable sources?

16.08.2010 | posted by Jan Oliver Löfken

A growing volume of energy originating from renewable sources is being used right around the world – from Europe to America to China. This trend is especially widespread in the electricity-generation sector. Over the last couple of years, the USA and the countries of the EU have been building more power station capacity based on wind, water and solar energy than they in conventionally fuelled power stations, – that is, coal, gas or uranium. However, is any country already able to meet all of its energy needs from renewable sources? read more

Inauguration of the DLR ground station in Inuvik

12.08.2010 | posted by Jan Wörner

DLR’s new satellite data receiving station in Inuvik, northwestern Canada, was officially inaugurated on 10 August 2010. Representatives of several Canadian space and political organisations travelled to Inuvik for the event, as did we from DLR. The beautiful weather seemed tailor-made for celebrating the cooperation between Canada and Germany, and the event closed with an enjoyable reception. read more

Energy question of the week: Which type of electricity generation has the least impact on climate?

09.08.2010 | posted by Jan Oliver Löfken

Coal-fired power stations burn lignite or, for the most part, coal imported from overseas. Solar cells need crystalline silicon that first needs to be extracted from quartz, an energy-intensive process. Therefore, when examining the climate compatibility of power generating plants, it makes sense to not restrict the analysis just to the operation of the plant. Instead, the total energy required should be considered across the entire service life of the plant, typically in excess of 30 years. Viewed against this benchmark, which type of power plant has the best environmental credentials? read more

TanDEM-X answers its first call for crisis assistance

06.08.2010

Satellite data is an indispensable tool for quickly assessment of the situation in cases of natural or environmental disasters and for guiding emergency teams on ground. DLR's 'Center for Satellite Based Crisis Information' (Zentrum für satellitengestützte Kriseninformation; ZKI) and many other international organizations have been using the German radar satellite TerraSAR-X for three years to rapidly obtain reliable data in all weather conditions for such crisis situations. Now, our new satellite, TanDEM-X, has also provided assistance for the first time in a crisis – gathering information on the flood catastrophe in Pakistan. We were able to help not only with radar images but we also used TanDEM-X for interferometry in formation with TerraSAR-X for the first time. This has provided a more reliable technique to map floods instantaneously and more accurately, in one pass and without the need for archived data. read more

Höhendatensatz: Vulkan Longonot in Kenia

TanDEM-X ground segment kicks off!

02.08.2010

The successful setup of the 'wide' flight formation between the TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X satellites marked the beginning of the 'TerraSAR-X Add-On for Digital Elevation Measurements' mission in its literal sense: Now, with both satellites flying as a team – three seconds apart – and seeing the same region of the Earth's surface, tricky instrument commanding is no longer needed to acquire interferometric data sets. Ordering, planning and commanding of the synchronous acquisitions, as well as reception and, in particular, processing of the data sets from both satellites are performed completely automatically. read more