The research and development work conducted by DLR in the field of Earth observation covers virtually the entire range of satellite-based Earth observation topics, from innovation in sensor systems and evaluation of data to the preparation and development of new missions, their ground operations and data processing for applications. Using the wide range of expertise at its disposal, DLR works closely with industry, academia, and public sector users to make the entire range of applications of satellite-based remote sensing available for the benefit of society.
TerraSAR-X records new high-quality X-band radar images of the entire planet - independently of weather conditions, cloud cover or daylight.
Even before TanDEM-X joins TerraSAR-X, there will be plenty of tense and exciting moments. This mission blog is coming to you from the launch site in Baikonur, and the Mission Control Center in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany.
The instruments on Germany's hyperspectral Earth observation satellite, EnMAP, will observe the sunlight reflected back from Earth across a range of wavelengths from the visible to the near-infrared. This will make it possible to accurately study the condition of Earth's surface, and the changes affecting it.
The Kangerlussuaq Glacier is the largest glacier on the southeast coast of Greenland and flows into the fjord of the same name. The glacier front, which in the past was protected by an ice mélange – a mixture of sea ice and calved icebergs – is retreating at an increasing rate. The glacier calves approximately 24 cubic kilometres of ice into the ocean every year. This corresponds to about five percent of the amount of ice lost annually by the entire Greenland ice sheet. Using a time series of 150 TanDEM-X elevation models of the Kangerlugssuaq Glacier, scientists from Swansea University in the United Kingdom have measured the decrease in the glacier’s surface height.
A precise understanding of glacier evolution requires knowledge of a glacier's exact mass. This is important in South America, in the tropical regions between Bolivia and Venezuela, where meltwater from glaciers provides drinking water during the dry season.
Forests are Earth's lungs; they help to reduce greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere and thus counteract global warming, while also providing protection and resources for humans, animals and plants – and they are being lost at an alarming rate. As the view from space reveals, forests cover about one third of Earth’s landmass today.