Gazing down from space, satellites have the best view of ice floes drifting, waves swelling restlessly, currents moving dangerously, the spread of oil slicks and the changing positions of ships. For this reason, researchers at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) analyse radar images or use satellites to receive ship signals. Now, DLR is pooling the research work conducted at its Remote Sensing Technology Institute and the Institute for Space Systems within the Research Centre for Maritime Safety in Bremen. DLR has set up additional research centres devoted to security on the oceans in Braunschweig, Neustrelitz and Oberpfaffenhofen
Following severe flooding in northern India and Nepal, the Indian government activated the 'International Charter Space and Major Disasters' on 19 June 2013 at 10:30.
An A320 overflying Scotland was the first aircraft 'seen' from space by a new receiver from the German Aerospace Centre (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), proving that tracking aircraft from space is possible.
On 4 May 2013 at 04:06 (CEST), when the European Proba-V satellite lifts off on a Vega launcher with the primary mission of observing vegetation from space, it will be carrying another instrument on board – one that will be keeping an 'eye' on aircraft.
Bureaucracy-free assistance in the event of an emergency – this is the aim of the 15 space agencies united within the International Charter 'Space and Major Disasters'.
A successful experiment by DLR in cooperation with the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) in Munich has opened up new possibilities in cryptography. For the first time, researchers have managed to transmit a quantum key from a fast-moving object.
The German Aerospace Center (DLR) is using knowledge for tomorrow to shape the future of our society today. DLR is a world-renowned partner for research and will continue to develop its international network in 2013 by establishing new collaborations with research institutes and universities.
From the research stage to full operation – The Center for Satellite Based Crisis Information (ZKI) is now on call around the clock. This service facility established in 2004 provides up-to-the minute satellite-based maps for activities related to natural and environmental disasters, humanitarian aid, and civil security worldwide. On 22 January 2013 the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in cooperation with the Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI) officially launched regular ZKI operations.
Reliably monitoring extensive areas of the sea is a major challenge for the coastguard and emergency relief services. Unmanned aircraft are expected to make a critical contribution to this in the future.
The ground segment for GMES is starting to take shape; the German Aerospace Center's Remote Sensing Data Center in Oberpfaffenhofen will be the European data centre for GMES satellites Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-3.
On 22 July 2012 at 08:41:39 CEST, the first small German satellite in the ‘On-Orbit-Verification’ (OOV) programme was carried into orbit from the Cosmodrome in Baikonur, Kazakhstan by a Russian Soyuz launch vehicle. TET-1 is a technology testbed with 11 experiments on board that will be operated in space for a year.
Airport security checks, traffic management in the event of a disaster, a doctoral programme in civil security research – three examples from a large range of topics featuring on the security research agenda of the German Aerospace Centre (DLR).
Helicopter flights and landings in poor visibility conditions always present pilots with special challenges. The German Aerospace Center (DLR) has now completed a series of tests with a new helmet mounted display and has brought it into use a flight simulator.
Every year, the number of small items of debris in space rises by tens of thousands. This number is currently based on estimates, as it has not been possible to track space debris accurately.
As one of Europe's leading research institutions, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) will continue to align its research work with key issues concerning environmental protection, mobility, energy supply and security in 2012.
Space debris poses an increasing threat to our orbiting assets. In a joint effort with national and international partners DLR scientists and administration as well as the German Air Force are working to put in place a space situation surveillance system.
Rapid assistance in emergencies: in the event of a natural disaster, the DLR Centre for Satellite-based Crisis Information (ZKI) provides Earth-observation data to support authorities and relief forces. Its information may also be used to improve disaster preparedness and prevention.
Exacting security standards and increasing volumes of traffic are turning airports into bottlenecks within the transport chain. Lengthy checks and queues at the counters are slowing down the flow of passengers and goods. DLR is working on making the airports of the future safer and more comfortable. The key to this is Total Airport Management (TAM), a system which improves coordination among the various security processes in airports.
When the foreign secretaries of NATO met in Berlin in April 2011, an unmanned police aircraft was hovering above the venue, delivering live aerial photographs to those in charge. In the future, such flying reconnaissance systems will become firmly established in the daily life of security authorities, rescue forces, and civil protecting and disaster relief. DLR employs its own key competencies in developing the aircraft as well as the sensors which turn a mere flying object into an efficient information device.
DLR has developed an innovative situation assessment and management system for disaster control. Called disaster management tool, it captures and disseminates any important information in the event of a crisis – and it is small enough to be carried by hand.