16. April 2015

Earth Ob­ser­va­tion 2.0 – how satel­lite da­ta re­veal our Blue Plan­et

Berlin Cen­tral Sta­tion from space
Image 1/3, Credit: DLR.

Berlin Central Station from space

From 11 to 15 May 2015, ap­prox­i­mate­ly 750 in­ter­na­tion­al ex­perts will meet at the Berlin ISRSE con­fer­ence up­on in­vi­ta­tion of DLR to dis­cuss Earth ob­ser­va­tion and cli­mate change. One top­ic will be the Ger­man radar satel­lites Ter­raSAR-X and Tan­DEM-X. The two re­mote sens­ing satel­lites have record­ed Berlin Cen­tral Sta­tion from space with mil­li­met­ric pre­ci­sion. The re­sults are vis­i­ble in this im­age. In the course of a year, the steel com­plex de­formed ver­ti­cal­ly by up to 1.8 cen­time­tres and hor­i­zon­tal­ly by be­tween 1.5 and 3.5 cen­time­tres. Oth­er items of ‘crit­i­cal in­fras­truc­ture’, which the radar satel­lites mea­sure from space, in­clude bridges and dams.
Earth ob­ser­va­tion and cli­mate change – the Jakob­shavn Glacier in Green­land
Image 2/3, Credit: DLR.

Earth observation and climate change – the Jakobshavn Glacier in Greenland

The Jakob­shavn Glacier in Green­land is one of the fastest-mov­ing glaciers in the world. The ice moves to­wards the sea at a rate of up to 35 me­tres per day. Cli­mate change threat­ens this glacier. By com­par­ing satel­lite im­ages, it is pos­si­ble to doc­u­ment the progress of glacial melt­ing.
A clos­er look at farm­lands
Image 3/3, Credit: RapidEye AG.

A closer look at farmlands

At first glance, it looks like a patch­work quilt; in re­al­i­ty, this im­age from a re­mote sens­ing satel­lite of the area around the small town of Dem­min in Meck­len­burg-West­ern Pomera­nia gives im­por­tant in­for­ma­tion about the sta­tus of agri­cul­tur­al land.

The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) is organising the 36th International Symposium on Remote Sensing of the Environment (36th In­ter­na­tion­al Sym­po­sium on Re­mote Sens­ing of En­vi­ron­ment (IRSE)) in Berlin from 11 to 15 May 2015. The conference has taken place every two years since the 1960s – most recently in Beijing in 2013 and Sydney in 2011. "We are expecting some 750 participants from over 65 countries," reports Helmut Staudenrausch, head of the DLR organising committee. Gunter Schreier, responsible for the technical presentations, adds: "The five-day conference will include 500 talks and over 150 poster presentations. High-ranking experts from international and national space agencies, global Earth observation initiatives and industry will also be discussing the future of Earth observation in five plenary sessions. These will examine, for example, the most ambitious Earth observation programme in the world to date – Copernicus – and the use of technologies, such as microsatellites and drones."

The conference provides the opportunity to become familiar with the world's most important Earth observation programmes and to talk to experts. How can Earth observation satellites support agriculture and contribute to food security? How can they be used to find underexploited energy potential? How does remote sensing help in dealing with disasters and catastrophes, and protect and manage scarce environmental resources such as fresh water supplies? What answers and applications do satellites offer to challenges such as global urbanisation and changes to Earth's ecosystem? In addition to the substantive aspects, ISRSE offers the opportunity to find out about and exchange information on new key technologies in Earth observation and data management. 'Big Data' is also finding its way into Earth observation.

Collaborative partners in the 36th ISRSE conference are the In­ter­na­tion­al Cen­ter for Re­mote Sens­ing of the En­vi­ron­ment (ICRSE) in Tucson, Arizona and the In­ter­na­tion­al So­ci­ety for Pho­togram­me­try and Re­mote Sens­ing (ISPRS). The conference is being held at the Berlin Congress Cen­ter (bcc). Besides DLR, the main sponsors are the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Commission, the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) and the US space agency NASA.

Keynote speakers include the DLR Executive Board Chairman, Johann-Dietrich Wörner; Gerd Gruppe, DLR Executive Board Member responsible for the Space Administration, the Director of NASA's Earth Science Division, Michael Freilich; EUMETSAT Director General, Alain Ratier; ESA Director of Earth Observation, Volker Liebig and Deputy Director General of Research and Innovation at the European Commission, Rudolf Strohmeier.

More information and the full programme can be found here: 36th In­ter­na­tion­al Sym­po­sium on Re­mote Sens­ing of En­vi­ron­ment (IRSE)

  • Elisabeth Mittelbach
    Ger­man Aerospace Cen­ter (DLR)
    Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Ger­man Space Agen­cy at DLR
    Telephone: +49 228 447-385
    Fax: +49 228 447-386
    Königswinterer Str. 522-524
    53227 Bonn
  • Dr Helmut Staudenrausch
    DLR Space Ad­min­is­tra­tion
    Ger­man Aerospace Cen­ter (DLR)
    Ger­man Space Agen­cy at DLR
    DLR Space Ad­min­is­tra­tion, Earth Ob­ser­va­tion
    Telephone: +49 228 447-594
    Fax: +49 228 447-792
    Königswinterer Straße 522-524
    53227 Bonn
  • Gunter Schreier
    Ger­man Aerospace Cen­ter (DLR)

    Ger­man Re­mote Sens­ing Da­ta Cen­ter; Di­rec­tion
    Linder Höhe
    51147 Köln
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