During broadcasts of the evening World Cup games, Das Erste TV offers its viewers a special, eye-catching treat: images taken from space zooming directly into the playing fields show the World Cup stadiums in a whole new perspective. Such views, not previously available, are made possible thanks to satellite data provided by the German Aerospace Centre (DLR).
These animated zoom views should not be compared with images usually found on the web. Instead, they comprise data from actual satellite photographs combined with sophisticated digital image processing and high-resolution computer animation. Additionally, the satellite images are enhanced with high-resolution picture data gathered by aircraft in order to make additional details recognizable.
The space images are provided by scientific satellites conducting Earth observation missions and the animated zooms are created by processing images taken at different resolutions. Among other support, the commercial firm European Space Imaging served as partner to DLR and supplied very high-resolution images taken by the IKONOS satellite having a resolution on the ground of about 1 metre.
With this project, DLR and WDR (Westdeutscher Rundfunk) continue to foster their close and long-established cooperation. One goal of the project is, against the background of the World Cup championship, to boost the visibility of Germany's sophisticated technical capabilities in the area of space.
DLR is Germany's national research centre for aeronautics and space. Its extensive research and development work is integrated into national and international cooperative ventures, particularly with ESA, the European Space Agency. As Germany's Space Agency, the German federal government has given DLR responsibility for the forward planning and implementation of the German space programme as well as international representation of Germany's interests. Germany's cutting-edge space technologies range from manned space travel, microgravity research and reentry technology to robotics, camera technology, navigation, communications and Earth observation. The World Cup TV zoom shots were processed from satellite data by the German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD) located at the DLR facility in Oberpfaffenhofen and were formatted using the new HDTV television standard.
Within the ARD consortium of public broadcasters, WDR is responsible for transmitting FIFA's World Cup 2006 to the the pool of international broadcasters.