On September 1, 1980 – 40 years ago today – the German Remote Sensing Data Center DFD began work on “Mission Remote Sensing” as an independent DLR entity. In August 1980 the executive board of what was then called the "German Test and Research Institute for Aviation and Space Flight" (DFVLR) decided to establish a new institute. Initially named "Applied Data Technology", it was placed under the leadership of Prof. Winfried Markwitz.
Today, DFD is a component of DLR's Earth Observation Center EOC, and its 40th birthday joins two other important anniversaries in 2020: the 20th anniversary of the Remote Sensing Technology Institute IMF and of EOC as a whole.
On the occasion of these milestones we begin today with the first in a series of blogs in which present and former DFD colleagues reflect on the background factors and important developments of the past decades. In the first contribution DFD's first director, Prof. Winfried Markwitz, writes about DFD's founding phase, early achievements, and formulating its strategic direction.
DFD main building at DLR Oberpfaffenhofen
Photo: Stefan Dech, October 2013