The “International Charter Space and Major Disasters” was awarded this year’s prestigious Pecora Prize for its work. The William Thomas Pecora Award has been conferred annually since 1974 by the US Geological Survey (USGS), to honour outstanding contributions by individuals or teams who decisively advance civilian applications for remote sensing.
The International Charter was founded in 2000 and is at present a collaboration of 16 space agencies and satellite operators. The goal is to make available a consistent system for achieving the rapid recording and delivery of satellite data in major emergencies. DLR has been a member of the Charter since 2010 and in this role assists regions worldwide that are coping with natural disasters by providing satellite images and information derived from them.
At DLR Charter responsibilities are shared between the DLR Space Administration Division and the Center for Satellite Based Crisis Information (ZKI) of DLR’s Earth Observation Center (EOC). “This award is a great honour for the entire DLR team and at the same time motivation for our future work, explains Prof. Günther Strunz, head of the Georisks and Civil Security department at EOC. “This year alone DLR was involved in over 30 so-called Charter activations and provided over 350 data sets from TerraSAR-X, TanDEM-X and RapidEye satellite missions.” Information derived from satellite data helps to provide a fast overview of the extent of damage in the affected locations and to coordinate suitable emergency measures.