The DFD payload ground segment required for satellite data reception includes not only the antenna arrays in Neustrelitz and Oberpfaffenhofen but also an international network of receiving stations. These include the German Antarctic Receiving Station GARS O’Higgins on the Antarctic Peninsula (Fig. 1) and in the Arctic the Inuvik station in northern Canada (Fig. 2).
As well as overall responsibility for the two sites, the “Polar Station Development and Applications” team is charged with expanding these two polar stations and increasing the use of the data received there. This includes conceiving, planning, coordinating and executing new projects at O’Higgins or with relevance for O’Higgins.
When it comes to project implementation the entire International Ground Segment department is of course also involved.
Management of the GARS O’Higgins Station as well as logistics coordination are also the responsibility of this team.
At present the team is primarily working on the following projects:
Satellite data reception
Upgrading capabilities for the near-real-time processing of data from Germany’s TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X satellites, and in the future also from Sentinel-1. A processing chain is to be established extending from data reception to local data processing to delivery of information products to users in near real time. Initially the focus will be on the region between South America and the Antarctic Peninsula, with GARS O’Higgins as the receiving station.
Reprocessing the ERS-1/-2 data received at GARS O‘Higgins over the past two decades and scientifically assessing them for a wide coverage presentation of the long-term trend of glaciological parameters on the Antarctic Peninsula.
Expansion of the GARS O’Higgins Station
Expanding the instrument suite at GARS O’Higgins. Over the next few years the station is to become an Antarctic research station with additional scientific measuring instruments designed for long-term operation. Cooperation with universities and other science institutions will be intensified for this purpose.
DLR Junior Researchers Group
At the beginning of 2015 a new DLR Junior Researchers Group consisting of three young scientists has been established as part of the team. It will compare the ongoing glaciological and atmospheric processes triggering change at the Antarctic Peninsula.