Together with agricultural enterprises in the Demmin Region of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, DLR’s German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD) in Neustrelitz has been operating a long-term test site since 1999 to validate remote sensing methodologies and products. The common goal is to use satellite data as part of the agricultural routine, with the farms supplying relevant data for the purpose. Additional data is gathered during measurement campaigns on the fields, for example on biomass, ground moisture and vegetation height. These parameters can also be derived from satellite or aerial data, with their precision being ascertained by comparison with the ground measurements.
An international measurement campaign extending over several months, AgriSAR 2006 took place for the first time at the long-term test site DEMMIN. Its purpose was to use the data collected to verify the precision of algorithms which calculate such variables as ground moisture, biomass and chlorophyll content from remote sensing data. Other goals were to stimulate the development of new algorithms and to optimize the design of future satellite instruments, especially those associated with the European Sentinel missions, for agricultural applications.
The AgriSAR 2006 project was sponsored by the European Space Agency ESA and brought scientists from Italy (National Research Council, Naples University), Spain (Valencia University, Alicante University), Belgium (Gent University), the Netherlands (International Institute for Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation), Denmark (Technical University of Denmark), Great Britain (Canfield University) and Germany (Kiel University, Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, Jena University, Free University of Berlin) to the fields of the Görmin agricultural enterprise “Peenetal.” Overall management of the AgriSAR 2006 project was assumed by the DLR Microwaves and Radar Institute in Oberpfaffenhofen.
In the first week of July the third intensive measurement campaign took place and marked the culmination of the flights and sampling that had been taking place weekly since April. During that week, teams from the universities and research institutions listed above were present, as were representatives from ESA, DLR, Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), the German Weather Service (DWD) and the two flight teams. Two aircraft were used: DLR’s DO228 carried a radar system (E-SAR) developed by the DLR Microwaves and Radar Institute in Oberpfaffenhofen, and the CASA-212-200 aircraft of the Spanish National Institute for Aerospace Technology (INTA) carried INTA’s hyperspectral sensor AHS as well as the CASI hyperspectral sensor of the Canadian company ITRES Research. The planes took off from the Neubrandenburg Trollenhagen Airport. Together with the Neubrandenburg University of Applied Sciences and the NODIC company, a successful test flight also took place over Neubrandenburg to adjust the geometry of the CASI sensor.
Project work which has been going on since 2005 at the long-term test site DEMMIN by students of the Neustrelitz Gymnasium Carolinum was likewise incorporated in the weekly AgriSAR-survey conducted by DFD in Neustrelitz. Two students also had an opportunity to participate in the preliminary discussion about the third intensive measurement campaign and to join in the work of the various teams for a day.