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Earth Observation
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DLR/NASA – 3D radar measurements of forest areas

15. July 2015

A tangle of treetops and branches, through which just the occasional clear area provides glimpses of the trunks and roots growing below. Whether it is woodland with German spruces or a tropical rainforest, very few sensors are able to see through this green carpet and clearly visualise the underlying structures. The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) is developing radar technology that, for the first time, will enable a three-dimensional visual representation of forest areas from the roots to the crowns.

Federal Minister Hendricks visits Schneefernerhaus Environmental Research Station

8. July 2015

Whoever wants a glimpse of the future of our climate has to cast his eyes upward. Almost into outer space, up some 100 kilometres, at night. Then the consequences of global warming become rapidly evident. For years the German Aerospace Center (DLR) has been monitoring the temperature of the atmosphere at this altitude and analysing the changes—in order to improve climate models and to detect natural disasters early, like flooding, earthquakes and tsunami. The "base camp" for measurements is Germany‘s highest research station, the Schneefernerhaus Environmental Research Station (UFS) on Zugspitze mountain.

Satellites – a reliable source for Earth observation

11. May 2015

How is the ozone layer changing? What is the distribution of trace gases in Earth's atmosphere? How are forests, coastlines, landmasses and polar regions changing on a global scale?

DLR Earth Observation Conference – in contact with Merlin and Copernicus

30. April 2015

The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) is hosting the 36th International Symposium on Remote Sensing of the Environment (ISRSE) in Berlin from 11 to 15 May 2015. Earth observation satellites ensure that changes to Earth are documented and fundamental information on the weather and climate, biodiversity and the ecosystem, sustainable agriculture and forestry, mineral resources and resource consumption, and water and air quality is provided. Satellite data can also provide support in the event of crises and natural disasters. The German radar satellites TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X play an important role in this.

Earth Observation 2.0 – how satellite data reveal our Blue Planet

16. April 2015

The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) is organising the 36th International Symposium on Remote Sensing of the Environment (ISRSE) in Berlin from 11 to 15 May 2015.

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TanDEM-X image of the month - Changes in permafrost landscapes

1. April 2015

Earth's cryosphere is particularly susceptible to climate change. Rising temperatures are certain to result in profound and widespread changes at high latitudes, where the ground remains frozen all year.

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TanDEM-X – a feel for ice

25. November 2014

Shelves of ice, hundreds of metres thick, breaking into thousands of small icebergs that melt away in just a few days. This is not a scene from a disaster movie, but actually happened in the Antarctic in 1995 and 2002.

TanDEM-X – Start of the Science Phase of the mission

10. October 2014

The radar satellite TerraSAR-X has been orbiting the Earth since June 2007; in June 2010 its twin, TanDEM-X, followed it into space. For almost four years, the two satellites have been operated in a close flight formation by DLR.

Radar remote sensing – research for agriculture and climate

19. September 2014

The 2014 harvest season is coming to an end, and throughout Germany the signs are of good yields for wheat, corn and similar crops. But the differences are large depending on the location. Hence, for optimum cultivation, it is important to be constantly aware of the condition of the soil and the crops. Radar images are particularly suitable for providing large-scale observations – using an aircraft or a satellite.

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TerraSAR-X image shows spread of lava at Bardarbunga

16. September 2014

The lava outflow on the Holuhraun field northeast of Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano continues unabated. The lava field has grown to cover an area greater than 25 square kilometres.

A volcano comes to life – satellite picture of Bardarbunga on Iceland

10. September 2014

Bardarbunga, (Bárðarbunga) in Iceland, one of the largest volcanoes in Europe and located beneath the biggest glacier in Europe, became active again in mid-August. For several years now, DLR researchers have been keeping a close eye on Bardarbunga and the system of volcanoes associated with it – an enormous network of subterranean magma channels, vents and craters.

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).

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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.

 
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