On 9 July 2015 Patricia Lips and Sybille Benning visited the Earth Observation Center (EOC) in Oberpfaffenhofen. They are members of the Bundestag’s Committee on Education, Research and Technology Assessment.
Prof. Stefan Dech, Director of DFD, described the activities of the two EOC institutes during a tour of the facilities. He used specific examples to illustrate the wide spectrum of applications for earth observation. Prof. Peter Reinartz of IMF demonstrated how real-time observation of traffic flow during major public events and disasters is supported by remote sensing technology. Particularly in cases of extensive natural disasters it is essential to rapidly map large areas. Rescue teams are thus enabled to make sound plans. This challenge is at the focus of attention at the Center for Satellite Based Crisis Information (ZKI). The guests were informed about this DFD service facility and obtained an impression of the various steps involved in disaster mapping. In additional to generating national maps ZKI also responds to requests, so-called activations, made within the framework of the International Charter Space and Major Disasters.
Such services required a large collection of reference data, which is kept permanently available at the German Satellite Data Archive for future applications and generations, and regularly safeguarded for long-term preservation. On a tour of the archives the visitors from the Bundestag gained an impression of the infrastructure required to distribute, store and protect remote sensing data. In view of the large number of satellite missions, including those of the new Sentinel fleet, the volume of data will rapidly increase and reliable safeguarding of invaluable satellite data will become ever more important.