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Earth Observation
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News Archive

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DLR and US corporation TBE sign partnership for Earth observation instrument on board the ISS

20. May 2014

On 20 May 2014 at the ILA Berlin Air Show, the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) and the US corporation Teledyne Brown Engineering, Inc. (TBE) signed an agreement to install and operate the imaging spectrometer DESIS (DLR Earth Sensing Imaging Spectrometer) on board the International Space Station (ISS).

Tandem%2dX%2dAufnahme von Kamtschatka

A new map of Earth – in 3D and extremely precise

19. May 2014

This ambitious project started on 21 June 2010, when the radar satellite TanDEM-X set off into space to join its twin satellite, TerraSAR-X. Since then, these two German satellites have been orbiting Earth in an intricate formation and mapping its surface.

Competition: Earth Observation Data Applications for Energy and the Environment

16. April 2014

Since 2011 the "Copernicus Masters" competition has been awarding prizes for outstanding ideas, applications and business models for the innovative use of earth observation data for commercial purposes and projects to benefit society at large. Companies, startups, researchers and students can submit their ideas from now until 13 July 2014. In the category "Energy & Environmental Challenge" the German Aerospace Center (DLR) is looking for the best idea for an application in the area of environment and climate. The DLR winner will receive a prize of 5,000 euro.

Fastest glacier in Greenland – DLR satellites TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X identify speed record

3. February 2014

Since the 1990s, Jakobshavn Isbræ has been regarded as the fastest moving glacier in Greenland. According to studies carried out by researchers from the University of Washington and DLR, its speed is now increasing dramatically, with record figures for 2012 and 2013.

DLR satellite data helps in the rescue of the Akademik Shokalskiy

9. January 2014

For ten days, 74 scientists and tourists were trapped in the Antarctic on board the Russian Akademik Shokalskiy research vessel. Strong winds had driven ice floes into a bay, blocking the ship's advancement.

SWARM – Earth's magnetic field to be accurately measured by three European satellites flying in formation

22. November 2013

On Friday 22 November at 13:02 CET (12:02 GMT) the three European SWARM satellites were lifted into orbit from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia by a Rockot launch vehicle. The mission will take high accuracy measurements of Earth's magnetic field, expanding our knowledge of the processes at work in Earth's interior as well as in near-Earth space.

Radaraufnahme Deutsche Bucht

Wide-angle view from space

30. August 2013

Officially, the German radar satellite TerraSAR-X should have been out of service for over a year and a half – that's how long it has exceeded its intended lifespan. But engineers at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) have switched the satellite, which was launched to space on 15 June 2007, to yet another mode: TerraSAR-X can now record image strips over 200 kilometres wide. "The satellite does so by sweeping this large area in multiple stages, very quickly pivoting the radar beam numerous times across the direction of flight," explains DLR mission manager Stefan Buckreuss. For example, the image of the German Bight shows the Frisian Islands from Borkum to Wangerooge and cities such as Wilhelmshaven and Bremen. This new ‘wide-angle’ mode is of particular interest to oceanographers, who will be able to use it to investigate the tidal range, changes to mudflats, shipping movements, wave patterns, ice floes and wind levels.

Longest glacier in Antarctica has 'calved'

9. July 2013

Two gigantic cracks have formed in Pine Island Glacier, the longest and fastest-flowing glacier in the Antarctic. A new iceberg with an area of over 720 square kilometres and its smaller 'brother' separated from the glacier on 8 July 2013 and have 'calved' into the Amundsen Sea.

Solarturm Jülich

TerraSAR-X image of the month – A game of mirrors

11. March 2013

2153 mirrors twist and turn at DLR Experimental Solar Thermal Power Plant in Jülich, directing sunlight onto a 22-square-metre receiver. TerraSAR-X, the German radar satellite operated by DLR, can also detect the mirrors as they follow the Sun – from more than 500 kilometres above Earth.

TerraSAR-X image of the month – stage clear for the salt flats

19. October 2012

Clouds, darkness, rain – the radar 'vision' of TerraSAR-X is unaffected by these conditions. Dark and light areas contrast clearly in this image, acquired by the German Aerospace Center's (DLR) TerraSAR-X satellite.

Spurengase in ihrer horizontalen und vertikalen Verteilung

Recovery of the ozone layer continues

2. October 2012

Researchers at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) have been instrumental in the preparation of a report by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) regarding the development of the ozone layer in the stratosphere. Based on estimates, by about the mid 21st century, the ozone layer will have the same thickness as it had in the early eighties.

IGARSS 2012

Flagship event for remote sensing – IGARSS 2012 opens

23. July 2012

The most important conference in the world on geoscience and remote sensing has begun – some 2400 experts from more than 70 countries will be guests at the International Congress Center in Munich until 27 July 2012. The focus of the International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS) will be on new applications, integrated Earth observation systems, satellite image processing methods, as well as ongoing and future satellite missions. The conference looks to the future in areas at the boundaries of its specialisations and has become an annual highlight in the events calendar. IGARSS 2012 has been jointly organised by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society (GRSS), part of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

IGARSS 2012 – ‘Remote Sensing for a Dynamic Earth’

10. July 2012

One of the most important conferences on geoscience and remote sensing will take place at the International Congress Centre in Munich from 22 to 27 July 2012. The International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS) is being organised by the German Aerospace Center (DLR), the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society (GRSS), part of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). The 32nd IGARSS, themed ‘Remote Sensing for a Dynamic Earth’, is one of the highlights of the current remote sensing agenda.

Jubiläum im All: 5 Jahre TerraSAR%2dX

Anniversary in space – five years of TerraSAR-X

15. June 2012

Five years ago today, at 04:14 CEST on 15 June 2007, the German TerraSAR-X radar satellite was launched from Russia's Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. This marked the beginning of a new era in satellite remote sensing for Germany.

TerraSAR-X image of the month – Lively winter view

2. March 2012

Ice and snow can be colourful – at least when seen through the 'eyes' of the German Aerospace Center's (DLR) TerraSAR-X radar satellite. The radar signals are able to penetrate the snow cover to a depth of one metre – and the subsurface reflects the pulse in different ways.

SCIAMACHY - 10 years monitoring climate in space

28. February 2012

How has our ozone layer changed in the last 10 years? How do trace gases like nitrous oxides, carbon dioxide and methane influence our climate? How do environmental protection measures work? These were the questions that German researchers sought to address.

A step closer to mapping the Earth in 3D

13. January 2012

After a year in service, the German Earth observation satellite TanDEM-X, together with its twin satellite, TerraSAR-X, have completely mapped the entire land surface of Earth for the first time. The data is being used to create the world's first single-source, high-precision, 3D digital elevation model of Earth.

TerraSAR-X image of the month - Tents in the desert

3. November 2011

Viewed from above, the US 'Burning Man' festival resembles a spider web. In October and September 2011, the TerraSAR-X radar satellite, operated by DLR, acquired some impressive images of the festival and its setup process.

TerraSAR-X image of the month - Gas tank covers all the way from space

2. September 2011

When a series of images acquired with the German radar satellite TerraSAR-X – operated by DLR – are combined into a sequence, the result is truly amazing; even gas storage tanks can have an eventful life of their own. The position of their covers reveals the amount of gas in the tanks; as it varies over time, TerraSAR-X gazes down at the bobbing of the gas tank covers in the Italian Porto Marghera.

TerraSAR-X image of the month - Volcanic eruption in Chile

22. July 2011

The crater of the Chilean volcano Puyehue displays a striking, circular outline in this image from the German Aerospace Center (DLR) TerraSAR-X satellite – so this was not the culprit when a volcano in the southern Andes erupted on 4 June 2011. Instead, as the images from the German radar satellite show for the first time, the new eruption centre lies 6.7 kilometres further to the northwest, in the Cordón Caulle region.

 
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