This team is part of the inter-institute Maritime Safety and Security Lab Neustrelitz, where the German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD) and DLR’s Institute of Communication and Navigation (KN) pool their expertise in the areas of satellite-supported real-time systems and maritime traffic engineering. The work of the lab is intended to contribute to guaranteeing safe shipping, protecting oceans and coastal waters, and assisting public authorities to combat illegal activities (such as hazardous substance dumping, illegal fishing, and piracy).
The role of the German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD) at the Neustrelitz Maritime Safety and Security Lab Neustrelitz is to develop and validate real-time systems for generating maritime information products from satellite data and to make them available for distribution to users in near-real-time. That means within 10 to 15 minutes after acquisition of the satellite data.
Satellite data acquired directly in Neustrelitz are the primary input for deriving value-added information products. These include data from various Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) missions as well as from optical sensors. Using data from several satellites and sensor systems improves the spatial and temporal availability of the information.
A large amount of information relevant to maritime safety and security can be derived from SAR data. This includes information about ship location and velocity, oil spills, sea ice cover, wind, waves, rough seas and surges, underwater topography, and surface currents. At the Maritime Safety and Security Lab Bremen the corresponding algorithms are being developed by the SAR oceanography team of DLR’s Remote Sensing Technology Institute (IMF). The thematic processors created in Bremen are integrated into the operational systems of the national ground segment in Neustrelitz and then validated. Other research in Neustrelitz includes interpreting optical satellite data to detect ships or hazardous substances.
Another thematic focus is data fusion. It is often useful to combine or merge satellite-based information products with different types of supplementary data in order to increase their information content. Sources could be satellite- or ground-based AIS (Automatic Identification System) tracking data, seamark and off-shore installation databases, nautical charts, or weather models.
The research and development activities can be summarized as follows: