Citizen Scientists in Germany and Canada Jointly Research the Thawing of Arctic Permafrost Using Drone and Satellite imagery
The goal of the project "UndercoverIceAgents" of the DLR Institute for Data Science is to improve the data basis on thawing permafrost with the help of high-resolution drone and satellite images together with citizen scientists, especially school students. To this end, school classes in the Canadian Arctic and Germany will work together to generate and analyze this Earth observation data. A key component of the project will be the collection of high-resolution image data by community members and students from Aklavik, Canada, using low-cost and easy-to-use drones. Orthomosaics and surface models will be calculated from the individual drone aerial images, allowing detailed analysis of permafrost structures. Students will be involved in the analysis process by using an app to map typical degradation structures and changes in the land surface based on the drone as well as satellite data. For this purpose, the mapping process is divided into small and easy-to-solve tasks that can also be worked on the smartphone. In this way, students as well as interested citizens can support the Earth observation process and thus jointly contribute to mapping the current state of permafrost for large areas in the Arctic. In addition, image processing techniques are being developed to support the mapping process.
Project runtime: 2021 - 2024
Partners: AWI, HeiGIT
Spokeperson: apl. Prof. Dr. habil. Christian Thiel