8. May 2015

Re­al-Time Ac­qui­si­tion of Sen­tinel-1 Mis­sion Da­ta at the Ger­man Re­mote Sens­ing Da­ta Cen­ter

North­east Coast of South Africa, ac­quired by Sen­tinel-1A on 7 May 2015
Image 1/3, Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0).

Northeast Coast of South Africa, acquired by Sentinel-1A on 7 May 2015

North­east Coast of South Africa, ac­quired by Sen­tinel-1A on 7 May 2015 at 16:29 UTC. Re­ceived at the DFD Ground Sta­tion Neustre­litz from the on-board mem­o­ry at 16:52 UTC.
North­east Cost of South Africa
Image 2/3, Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0).

Northeast Cost of South Africa

Im­age sec­tion of the South African north­east coast, ac­quired by Sen­tinel-1A at 7 May 2015 at 16:29 UTC with ships off shore.
Ger­man Bay, ac­quired by Sen­tinel-1A on 7 Jan­uary 2015
Image 3/3, Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0).

German Bay, acquired by Sentinel-1A on 7 January 2015

Ger­man Bay, ac­quired by Sen­tinel-1A on 7 Jan­uary 2015 at 05:40 UTC. Pro­cessed at the Ground Sta­tion Neustre­litz.

The The Ger­man Re­mote Sens­ing Da­ta Cen­ter (DFD) (DFD) of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Neustrelitz was the first station worldwide outside the ESA core ground segment to acquire and process Sentinel-1 data. The radar data from this Copernicus satellite are being processed in near-real-time and used by DLR’s Maritime Safety Research Department in Neustrelitz and Bremen for such purposes as the automatic detection of ships and oil leaks and to derive wind, wave and ice parameters. The undergirding development work is being co-financed by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy and the State of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

Direct acquisition enables German users to have access to data from this European satellite within minutes. This is absolutely crucial for urgent applications. In addition to the maritime near-real-time services the radar data are used by DFD’s Cen­ter for satel­lite based cri­sis in­for­ma­tion (ZKI) (ZKI) to generate maps showing the current flooding situation in Europe.

Neustrelitz is the first ground station to make possible this near-real-time access to Sentinel-1 data. The systems for acquiring the data in multimission operation and the associated process control were developed at DFD and integrated into the total processing chain with the help of a processor licenced from an outside source to generate standard products.

Direct reception of data from this satellite, launched in 2014, was regulated five months ago in an agreement between DLR and ESA. Acquisition of Sentinel data is one facet of the national collaborative Copernicus ground segment.

Sentinel-1A is the first operational satellite of the Sentinel series, which is being developed and operated for the European Copernicus programme. In the context of the core ground segment contracted by ESA, data from the satellites are acquired by ground stations in Svalbard (Norway), Matera (Italy) and Maspalomas (Spain) and then transferred to the processing and archiving centres (PACs) at DFD in Oberpfaffenhofen and Airbus in Farnborough (Great Britain). At those locations they are processed and distributed to users. In addition, national ground stations in the ESA member states can also directly acquire Sentinel data – as in Neustrelitz – in order to make them available for urgent applications.

For the further development of DFD as a European near-real-time data centre the acquisition in Neustrelitz of data from additional Sentinel missions is planned. The Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-3 satellites are planned for launch in the course of the current year.

  • Melanie-Konstanze Wiese
    Cor­po­rate Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Berlin, Neustre­litz, Dres­den, Je­na and Cot­tbus/Zit­tau
    Ger­man Aerospace Cen­ter (DLR)

    Cor­po­rate Com­mu­ni­ca­tions
    Telephone: +49 30 67055-639
    Fax: +49 30 67055-102
    Rutherfordstraße 2
    12489 Berlin-Adlershof
  • Holger Maass
    Head of De­part­ment
    Ger­man Aerospace Cen­ter (DLR)
    Ger­man Re­mote Sens­ing Da­ta Cen­ter (DFD)
    Na­tion­al Ground Seg­ment
    Telephone: +49 3981 480-111
    Kalkhorstweg 53
    17235 Neustrelitz
  • Gunter Schreier
    Ger­man Aerospace Cen­ter (DLR)

    Ger­man Re­mote Sens­ing Da­ta Cen­ter; Di­rec­tion
    Linder Höhe
    51147 Köln

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