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A better understanding of geo-risks – focusing on the Andes
07 December 2017
More and more people around the world are flocking to cities, creating densely populated regions. This also means that natural disasters pose a threat to a greater number of people, and that risk has been rising for decades worldwide. A catastrophe is rarely an isolated event: flooding can precipitate a landslide; an earthquake may destroy electricity and water supplies, compounding the situation for those affected as well as emergency services on the ground.
06 December 2017
Since the end of 2016 the DFD antennas in Neustrelitz have been acquiring data from the South Korean earth observation satellites Kompsat 3, Kompsat 3a and Kompsat 5. With this “Overseas Ground Station” in Neustrelitz the Korean space agency KARI expands its network of international ground stations. The data will soon be used also by DLR’s Maritime Safety and Security Lab in Neustrelitz. Acquisition of data from additional Korean earth observation satellites such as Kompsat 6 is planned. Kompsat 6 has an expanded X-band SAR capability based on TerraSAR-X satellite technology.
Sentinel-5P - a quantum leap in atmospheric observation
01 December 2017
The first satellite images from the Sentinel-5 precursor were presented at the Earth Observation Center (EOC) of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) in Oberpfaffenhofen on 1 December 2017. They give a taste of the new data service. Soon, timely information on air quality, ozone and climatic factors will be available – with global coverage and a resolution up to 100 times higher than previously. Sentinel-5P is the most recent fleet member of the European Copernicus Earth observation programme; the atmospheric data and map products gained from this are freely accessible.
Update Brings Processing Environment and Optimization
01 December 2017
In the past eight months the German Copernicus Data Portal CODE-DE has been tapped by over 650 users to access Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 products. During this time data in the form of 47,000 products were downloaded via the online server platforms. The continuously updated catalogue already now includes a data volume of 800 TB.
UFS Science Report for 2015-2016
17 November 2017
For ten years DLR has been part of the science consortium and a founding member of the "Schneefernerhaus Environmental Research Station, UFS" virtual Institute on Mount Zugspitze. EOC and its neighboring Institute of Atmospheric Physics conduct research at UFS on a variety of subjects relating to atmospheric dynamics, trace gases and aerosols. The UFS science report for 2015-2016 has now been published.
EOC Scientist Receives Helmut-Rott Award
14 November 2017
EOC scientist Dr. Wael Abdel Jaber was presented with the Helmut-Rott Award on 19 Oct. 2017. This distinction is awarded every two years for outstanding dissertations in the field of remote sensing of the cryosphere. Dr. Wael Abdel Jaber (at right in the photo) received his doctorate in August 2016 at Munich Technical University (TUM). His dissertation is entitled, “Derivation of mass balance and surface velocity of glaciers by means of high resolution synthetic aperture radar: application to the Patagonian Icefields and Antarctica”.
Lake Urmia in Iran – a dying salt lake
10 November 2017
Lake Urmia in Iran—once the world’s second-largest salt lake—was still eight times the size of Germany’s Lake Constance 15 years ago. EOC research shows that the lake has shrunk to a tenth of its original area. This development also threatens the nearby UNESCO biosphere reserve, home to bird populations like flamingos and pelicans.
Innovative applications for Earth observation and satellite navigation win European competitions
09 November 2017
Fire detection from space and cyber security: these two ideas have won this year's Special Prize of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) as part of the 'Copernicus Masters' and the 'European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC)'. The competitions select ideas that demonstrate innovative uses for Earth observation and satellite navigation.
The Mesopause in 3D
08 November 2017
As part of a project financed by the Bavarian State Ministry of the Environment and Consumer Protection, EOC has installed an infrared camera (FAIM - Fast Airglow Imager) at Otlica Observatory in Slovenia. Together with its counterpart in Oberpfaffenhofen its purpose is to record in three dimensions processes taking place in the atmospheric boundary layer located at an altitude of 80 to 90 kilometres.
EOC concludes Cooperation Agreement with the European Southern Observatory (ESO)
25 October 2017
EOC scientists are setting up measuring equipment in the Atacama Desert, one of Earth’s most arid regions.
Their purpose is to find climate signals and indicators to improve the present tsunami early warning system. The European Southern Observatory (ESO) operates on Cerro Paranal, a mountain in northern Chile, the Very Large Telescope array (VLT), whose infrastructure can be used by EOC for this purpose. On 24 Oct. 2017 a corresponding cooperation agreement was signed at ESO in Garching.
Reforestation in China: wooded areas at the Yellow River have increased by 44%
18 October 2017
The catchment area of the Yellow River (Chinese: Huang He) – at 750,000 square kilometres the second largest river drainage basin in China – is the foundation for the livelihood of almost 190 million people. This livelihood is endangered by excessive use. An EOC analysis shows the progress being made thanks to Chinese countermeasures.
Premiere: Copernicus-Satellite Data received at Inuvik Groundstation
17 October 2017
On Monday, 16th of October, the DLR antenna located on the International Satellite Station Facility (ISSF) in Inuvik tracked for the first time a satellite of the European Commission to receive X-band data.
Environmental satellite Sentinel-5P is in space
13 October 2017
In which quantity are trace gases, such as nitrogen dioxide, ozone, formaldehyde, sulphur dioxide, methane and carbon monoxide, present in our atmosphere? How high are the global and regional concentrations of aerosol particles? Which processes induce changes in our environment, and how do they affect our climate, air quality, and therefore our health?
The most recent satellite to join Europe's Copernicus Earth observation programme is designed to provide answers to precisely these questions: on board a Rockot launch vehicle, Sentinel-5P took off from the Plesetsk spaceport in northern Russia at 11:27 CEST on 13 October 2017.
Ozone Hole 2017: Seldom so Small
12 October 2017
This year the ozone hole over Antarctica is noticeably small. Scientists at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) have determined that it is the second-smallest ozone hole since the end of the 1980s – since the 1987 Montreal Protocol and its follow-up agreements on protecting the ozone layer. Current measurements show a maximal extent of the ozone hole of some 20 million square kilometres this year.
Larsen C: Antarctic Giant on the Move
10 October 2017
For a while, there was nothing much to say about Larsen C iceberg number A68. After calving in July 2017 with strong media coverage, there is now more news to report. What happened? It moved. It shrank somewhat. Nothing spectacular, but nevertheless worth another blog contribution.
Bavarian State Ministry visits EOC
29 September 2017
On 27 September Ministry Department Head Dr Manfred Wolter and Ministry Advisor Mr Dietmar Schneyer from the “Innovation, Research, Technology” department of the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Media, Energy and Technology visited the Earth Observation Center (EOC).
Oil on Greek Beaches: Copernicus Data Reveal Pollution
15 September 2017
On Sunday 10 Sept. 2017 the tanker AGIA ZONI II sank for reasons not yet known off the Greek coast near Athens. While measures to contain and remove the resulting oil slick are underway, the latest satellite images reveal the extent of the pollution.
Copernicus Strategy for Germany
13 September 2017
On 13 September 2017 the German cabinet approved the "National Strategy for the European Copernicus Programme" that was presented by the Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, thereby setting concrete national goals.
Launch of Bavarian Climate Week 2017
12 September 2017
On Saturday, 9 September 2017, the Bavarian Minister of the Environment and Consumer Protection, Ms Ulrike Scharf, a member of the state parliament, formally opened this year’s Climate Week in the historic Munich Residence and afterward at the Streetlife Festival on nearby Odeonsplatz.
DLR FireBIRD Satellite Collects Data on Hurricane Irma
08 September 2017
Hurricane Irma has caused severe damage and flooding in the Caribbean over the past few days. With the highest hurricane category, 5, and wind speeds up to some 290 km/h, Irma is among the most powerful tropical storms to have appeared in the Atlantic since the beginning of systematic weather recording. Irma developed end of August near the Cape Verde Islands and started moving westward into the Caribbean. It is now heading toward Florida.
Training in Remote Sensing for WWF Colombia
01 September 2017
From 14-18 August 2017 DFD conducted a remote sensing training course at WWF in Bogota, Colombia. It took place in the framework of the IKI SULU project (Land Use Change in Savannahs and Grasslands), which is being financed by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety.
Hurricane Harvey - DLR supports Texas with satellite data
30 August 2017
On August 26th, 2017, hurricane Harvey made landfall on the coast of Texas, causing extensive flooding. In the frame of the 'International Charter Space and Major Disasters', DLR supports the crisis management activities.
Focus on Digitalisation and Disaster Management
22 August 2017
On 22 August 2017 Prof. Pascale Ehrenfreund, chair of the executive committee of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), welcomed to DLR in Oberpfaffenhofen State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI) and Federal Government Commissioner for Information Technology Klaus Vitt. The focus of the visit was on disaster management, civil security and digitalisation.
Tracking changes to the Mekong
28. Juli 2017
Vietnam’s Mekong Delta is not only one of the largest and most densely populated, but also one of the most vulnerable river deltas worldwide.
In a new, two-year collaborative project, “Catch-Mekong”, EOC scientists are cooperating with Vietnamese partners from science institutions and industry to stimulate sustainable development of the land and water resources of the Mekong Delta.
Iceberg at the Larsen-C Ice Shelf viewed by TerraSAR-X
25 July 2017
The radar image shows the gigantic iceberg in full size. Since calving ten days ago, it has receded up to five kilometres from the break-off edge.
Also during polar night the German TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X radar satellites can supply high-resolution images of the cracks in the ice, even if they are buried under several metres of snow.
Trackers in the Atmosphere
24 July 2017
Where does the air we breath come from? What is the source of the red dust on our cars? How do increased concentrations of particulate matter, pollen, gases, or even radioactivity get to a local measuring station? A tool available online and developed with EOC assistance helps answer these questions.
Summer School at EOC
18 July 2017
Nineteen upcoming scientists from 15 countries were guests of EOC in recent weeks. From 3 to 14 July the postgraduate students participated in the Summer School “Airborne Remote Sensing for Monitoring Essential Biodiversity Variables in Forest Ecosystems”.
1,000,000 Visitors View the Largest Earth on Earth
07 July 2017
On 6 July 2017 astronaut-trainee Insa Thiele-Eich welcomed the one millionth visitor to the “Wonders of Nature” exhibition at Gasometer Oberhausen. The highlight of the exhibition is an enormous earth sculpture designed by EOC. Until 30 November visitors have the opportunity to view our planet from the perspective of an astronaut and be amazed at the intelligence of animal and plant life depicted in some 150 large-format photographs by internationally renowned nature photographers.
For 26 years a successful ERS/Envisat D-PAF/D-PAC
04 July 2017
After 26 years an era came to end at DLR’s Earth Observation Center (EOC) on 21 June 2017. The endeavour that came to a successful conclusion involved processing and archiving satellite data from the ERS and Envisat missions and was one of EOC’S longest duration projects. The ERS-1/-2 Envisat D-PAF/D-PAC (Processing and Archiving Facility/Center) at DLR, commissioned by ESA, existed continuously since 1991.
First EAGLE Midsummer Dialogue
04 July 2017
On the occasion of the first EAGLE Midsummer Dialogue of the Department of Remote Sensing at Würzburg University in cooperation with the German Remote Sensing Data Center, Dr Stefan Dech, full professor of remote sensing, and Jun. Prof. Christopher Conrad, coordinator of the EAGLE graduate programme, welcomed to Oberpfaffenhofen on 23 June over 50 students, instructors and former department staff.
Virtual Alpine Observatory: Climate Research for Society, Government and Industry
30 June 2017
Some 150 high-ranking European representatives of government, industry, research and environmental protection bodies met on 29 June 2017 in Brussels to discuss the risks associated with climate change and possible courses of action. In this context the strategy of the "Virtual Alpine Observatory" (VAO) was introduced for the first time to the public. The VAO strategy contains 11 challenges that focus on urgent questions facing scientists in the next ten years.
Excellence in space - 10 years of TerraSAR-X
14 June 2017
Designed to return unique images of the Earth for five years, the German radar satellite TerraSAR-X has outdone itself. The satellite has been in operation for twice that time - and there is still no end in sight to its service.
When the atmosphere becomes turbulent
07 June 2017
We have all seen it: when walking along some watercourse we occasionally note the sudden appearance of eddies in an otherwise smoothly flowing stream. They move along with the flow for a while, then break down into ever smaller swirls and finally disappear.
Green’s Functions in Classical Physics
31 May 2017
This month Tom Rother, scientist at IMF, published the book “Green’s Functions in Classical Physics” in the book series Lecture Notes in Physics released by Springer.
The book presents the Green’s function formalism in a basic way and demonstrates its usefulness for applications to several well-known problems in classical physics which are usually solved not by this formalism but other approaches.
Traffic Management: Arial View of the Evangelischer Kirchentag
29 May 2017
Some 120,000 people met for the closing event of the Evangelischer Kirchentag, a Protestant church gathering, on 28 May 2017 in Wittenberg.
Traffic and security management activities for this five-day large-scale event were supported by the German Aerospace Center (DLR). Scientists engaged in the DLR VABENE++ project generated up-to-the-minute aerial images and analysed traffic flow near the site. They made use of a 4k camera system with real-time capabilities specifically developed by the scientists to monitor mass public events.
A Hyperspectral View of Soil
24 May 2017
Healthy soil is closely linked to efficient agriculture. Characterising and monitoring Germany’s soils with remote sensing is an important aspect of the cooperative project AGRO-DE. This three year project is supported by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture with the goal of providing on a regular basis for all of Germany key agricultural information based on satellite data.
K2 - Original and Forgery
19 May 2017
A view of K2 from the west. This rare image was photographed by the German extreme moutaineer Ralf Dujmovits from the slopes of Praqpa Ri. On the right is a view of K2 computed from satellite data.
Earth Observation for a Changing World
17 May 2017
Our world is undergoing rapid change and remote sensing technologies are keeping a close watch: they monitor environmental processes, analyse causes, and forecast developments. For that reason, over 550 experts discussed the contribution earth observation can make to adapting to global change at the "International Symposium on Remote Sensing of Environment" ISRSE.
Detecting Changes in the Atmosphere:
7th NDMC Symposium in Grainau (15-18 May 2017)
12 May 2017
Experts from 11 countries are meeting 15.-18.Mai in Grainau for the 7th Symposium of the global Network for the Detection of Mesospheric Change (NDMC). NDMC is coordinated by DFD in partnership with CONICET, which promotes science and technology in Argentina.
Traffic Assistance from Space
05 May 2017
On 2 May Tobias Miethaner, a department head at the Federal Ministry of Transport, visited EOC. Accompanied by experts from the ministry, Mr. Miethaner was informed about ways satellite- and aircraft-based earth observation can contribute to future ground traffic Systems.
EOC Innovation at BMW Welt
28 April 2017
EOC demonstrated its innovation project DriveMark, a key technology for self-driving road vehicles, at BMW Welt. This improvement makes possible for the first time highly precise street measurements based on satellite data.
Help from Space: Navigating through Ice with Radar Satellites
18 April 2017
Three weeks ago the research vessel Akademik Tryoshnikov returned from the “Antarctic Circumnavigation Expedition”. This campaign took an international research team once around the Antarctic continent. Scientists at the DLR Maritime Safety and Security Lab in Bremen and Neustrelitz were always there. Not on the ship, but in space.
Explicit Risk Assessment– EOC Heavy-Rain Zoning Now Operational
13 April 2017
Simbach in Bavaria, Braunsbach in Baden-Württemberg, and Münster in North Rhine-Westphalia – three places that stand for the risk of unanticipated heavy rains with catastrophic consequences. The Earth Observation Center (EOC) of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) has developed a rapid and research-based methodology for classifying built-up areas into risk zones. Up to now the EOC system has been used exclusively by the insurance industry. Now the analyses are available on the open market.
Crisis Management Drill in Duisburg – VABENE++ takes part
06 April 2017
Flooding in Duisburg. The water level rises continuously and then the floodgate fails. On 30 March 2017 the crisis management team of the city of Duisburg practiced responding to this scenario in order to be ready for such an emergency. EOC staff participated in the drill as observers and collected information on the disaster response as part of the VABENE++ project. This is because the 4k camera system developed at EOC is designed for use in future emergency situations like this one.
Virtual Alpine Observatory (VAO): Climate Change Research in the Alps
04 April 2017
The 4th Symposium of the Virtual Alpine Observatory (VAO) took place from 28 - 31 March in Bozen, Italy. Technological and scientific progress was described in over 50 presentations. Bavarian Minister of the Environment and Consumer Protection, Ulrike Scharf, also attended. She stressed the importance of VAO as an instrument of cross-border research on climate change and its consequences. Bavaria currently contributes about €3 million toward financing VAO.
Gold and Silver for EOC
04 April 2017
After receiving honours in Germany, the limited edition DLR calendar containing scenes provided by EOC was also a successful entrant in a calendar competition in the USA.
It received gold and silver awards in various categories.
New Aerial Camera System for Civil Protection
21 March 2017
On 16 March a new 4k camera system with real-time capability developed by the Remote Sensing Technology Institute went aloft for the first time on DLR’s Eurocopter EC 135 research helicopter and is now ready for use. The system provides high-resolution aerial images and is capable of processing and analysing them within seconds.
ZKI at CeBIT
20 March 2017
The ZKI service of the German Remote Sensing Data Center is represented also this year at the CeBIT stand of the Federal Ministry of the Interior. There, DFD staff provide information about ZKI-DE, a ZKI service for federal authorities. Since 2013 the ZKI-DE service has made it possible for public offices to have rapid access to up-to-date geoinformation, including their analysis. This collaboration between the Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI) and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) provides federal authorities with remote sensing products in emergency situations and for matters involving civil and public security.
70 Years of Earth Observation
17 March 2017
Over 70 years ago the first images of Earth could be recorded from space with the help of ballistic long-range rockets. The tests made use of V-2 rockets seized from the Germans by the Americans during World War II. The films, recovered from the rocket debris, showed Earth for the first time from a satellite perspective. In black-and-white, course grained and with poor resolution, they were nevertheless a sensation. Today, 70 years later, satellites continuously supply highly precise images of the state of our planet and they have become an essential instrument for visualising and analysing global interrelationships.
Copernicus@work: Largest European Earth Observation Programme is Operational
16 March 2017
Environmental protection, agriculture, urban planning: these are only a few of the areas that will benefit from the earth observation data supplied by the Sentinel satellites of the European Copernicus Programme. Five of these satellites are already now providing a multitude of information about the condition and structure of the earth surface, signaling that the Copernicus system is now operational. The many applications that now become possible are in the focus of the National Forum for Remote Sensing and Copernicus 2017 - "Copernicus@work".
CODE-DE – Satellite data free of charge for everyone
09 March 2017
Landscape designers, nature conservation officials, city planners, farmers and foresters, meteorologists—they can all benefit from earth observation, if they have reliable and easy access to the requisite data. Today the “Copernicus Data and Exploitation Platform – Germany”, CODE-DE, was activated for this purpose. The platform was developed together with industrial partners under EOC leadership.
Earth firmly in view – Sentinel-2B satellite successfully launched
07 March 2017
Just two years after its 'twin satellite' was launched on 7 March 2017 at 02:49 CET (6 March at 22:49 local time), the European Earth observation satellite Sentinel-2B set off on its mission on board a Vega rocket from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana.
UFS Schneefernerhaus greets Bundestag Delegation and President Krautzberger of the German Environment Agency
21 February 2017
Thanks to its high-alpine location the Schneefernerhaus Environmental Research Station (UFS) provides unique opportunities for environmental, climate, and high altitude research. On 20 February 2017 a delegation of the budget committee of the German parliament visited this research station on the Zugspitze, Germany’s highest mountain, accompanied by Maria Krautzberger, President of the German Environment Agency. There the visitors were informed about the research activities of the ten consortium partners, including the German Aerospace Center (DLR).
Federal Agencies Visit EOC
17 February 2017
On 15 February 2017 representatives from the Federal Statistical Office of Germany and the Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy were informed at EOC about the potential of earth observation and current developments.
Unusual Northern European Weather Conditions
16 February 2017
Since early February a distinct reduction in ozone concentration over northern Europe has been observed. This situation is unusual in the Northern Hemisphere.
Fires in Chile
31 January 2017
On January 24, 2017, the International Charter 'Space and Major Disasters' was activated for forest fires in Chile. The DLR/ZKI is responsible for the Project Management of this Charter Call and supports the ‘Chilean National Office of Emergency of the Interior Ministry’ (ONEMI) of Chile with the provision of satellite data and value added disaster information products.
DLR/EOC Calendar Awarded Bronze
30 January 2017
The limited-edition 2017 DLR calendar, distributed to representatives of ministries, public authorities, partners, and decision makers in science and industry, once more features EOC topics. And it was again successful in a calendar competition. On 26 January it received a bronze “gregor international calendar award” at the Haus der Wirtschaft in Stuttgart.
Arousing interest in science at an early age: EOC at Augsburg Children‘s University
26 January 2017
At “Augsburg Children‘s University” scientists teach youngsters about current research topics and provide background knowledge. EOC is involved.
500 Terabyte (TB) compressed into one image – Big Data in Earth Observation
25 January 2017
The European Sentinel-1, Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-3 missions will generate a daily data volume in excess of 20 TB by the end of 2017. In view of this large quantity, new processing procedures are called for, like those used by the TimeScan processor developed and successfully tested by EOC.
Project Launch in Lisbon
24 January 2017
The kick-off meeting for the Horizon2020 project “NextGEOSS” was held 16-18 January in Lisbon. Its goal is to make it possible for geodata that are currently available worldwide to be more easily and efficiently located with the help of intelligent algorithms.
A powerful visitor attraction: “Nature‘s Wonders” the most successful temporary exhibition of 2016
06 January 2017
Orbit Earth like an astronaut and marvel at the earthly splendour of the changing seasons. Since March 2016 visitors to Gasometer Oberhausen have been able to experience this spectacle. Some 750,000 people came in droves last year to this 100 meter high industrial monument and made " Nature‘s Wonders " the most successful single exhibition of 2016 in Germany while at the same time breaking a visitor record at Gasometer Oberhausen.
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