At a briefing luncheon on 2 December 2015 hosted by the Aerospace Parliamentary Group and the Aerospace Forum e.V., Prof. Pascale Ehrenfreund and Prof. Stefan Dech, director of the German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD), spoke on DLR's contributions to meeting global challenges.
As customary, the chairman of the Aerospace Parliamentary Group, Klaus-Peter Willsch, opened the luncheon with a brief word of welcome. After a short introduction by Prof. Ehrenfreund to the main features of DLR and the future priorities she would like to establish, Prof. Dech gave an overall view of typical applications of earth observation for addressing global challenges. These included measuring the evolution of the ozone hole, satellite images showing the spreading of an oil slick, and a 3D model of Earth. There are many application fields for such a model, for example in agriculture, in the security field, and as a planning basis supporting disaster management. Dr. Dech illustrated the high resolution of satellite images with the help of a satellite image showing Burj Khalifa in Dubai. He also described maritime applications such as the detection of so-called uncooperative ships, and global monitoring of changes in nitrogen dioxide pollution levels.
Dr. Dech called on the delegates to protect the “wealth of satellite data” in a National Satellite Data Archive. So far, most of the data has been safeguarded in a DLR archive in Oberpfaffenhofen, but a national solution needs to be considered.
The parliamentary delegates present as well as the representatives from industry were particularly interested in DLR’s large portfolio of applications for addressing global challenges.