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DLR as a service provider - supplying information during crises

19. October 2010, 08.49, Jan Wörner, 1 Comment/s
DLR has long been using its special expertise and facilities to provide data and data products during crisis situations, which help humanitarian assistance, in particular, to be guaranteed. In a previous blog post, I described a discussion I had with the German Federal Minister of the Interior, Thomas de Maizière. Since then, a few weeks have gone by. We have, in that time, intensively continued the activities we discussed and have taken the first steps towards a creating a permanent institutional framework for them.

With the availability of satellites and aircraft, and using a variety of surveying techniques, DLR is in a position to provide information during natural disasters and for special situations, such as large public events, that is particularly helpful in solving the problems that these present. DLR, through its Center for Satellite-Based Crisis Information, (Zentrum für Satellitengestützte Kriseninformation; ZKI) , has the capacity to provide, from the available data, products that give emergency workers on the ground important information for making vital decisions: What? How? When? ZKI is designed for exactly this and has to be on alert 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The direct connection between ZKI and current research ensures that the most modern data processing techniques are used. At the same time, the operational practices of data product creation feed back, in turn, to research, presenting questions that form a good basis for future research.

Dammbruch in Ungarn

Image: Disaster Extent Map - Hungary - Kolantár, October 2010, DLR.

Based on the experience gained in recent years, it was a logical step for DLR to apply for membership of the International Charter 'Space and Major Disasters'. The arrangement of the activities in the charter are a good example of the implementation considerations behind 'One DLR', as research management and the German Remote Sensing Data Center have found. By setting aside individual agendas, a solid foundation for professional cooperation has been established. The charter organisation has discussed DLR’s application and come to a positive decision, so the accession agreement is being signed in Paris today. This positions DLR as a responsible partner in a very important international undertaking.

Top image: The International Charter Space and Major Disasters.


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