The International Charter "Space and Major Disasters" is an association of space agencies and satellite operators with the aim of providing a unified system for the rapid acquisition and delivery of satellite data in case of a disaster or crisis situation.
The Charter members thus enable the free availability of satellite data to authorised users in the event of a disaster, such as relief and civil protection organisations or defence and security organisations, to support relief operations in the event of humanitarian or natural disasters. The data of the Charter is analysed either by the user himself or by rapid mapping organisations such as the ZKI and the results are made available to authorised users, the requesting authorities and the public as mapping products.
The International Charter "Space and Major Disasters" was initiated in 1999 by the European and French space agencies (ESA and CNES) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) joined in 2000. In the meantime, the consortium has grown to 16 partners that are spread across the globe and provide data from around 30 satellite missions. The active satellite missions currently include, for example, the following SPOT-6/7, Pléiades, Landsat-7/8, RADARSAT-2, ALOS-2, RISAT-1, KOMPSAT-2/3 and the DMC constellation. DLR officially acceded to the Charter in October 2010 and provides data for the TerraSAR-X radar satellite mission, which is fed by the two identical satellites TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X. In addition, DLR provides data of the optical satellite mission RapidEye.
The tasks, especially those of the DLR/ZKI, are divided into two parts: