We greatly lament the loss of a business partner of many years, a pioneer of earth observation, and an admirable person with whom we shared more than just professional matters, Dr Rupert Haydn.
Rupert Haydn discovered his passion for earth observation at the chair of geology at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, at that time the central location for geophotogrammetry and remote sensing of DFG, a German research foundation. Primarily during later periods of study in the United States he could also gain experience with high-resolution Landsat data as well as in other areas.
This led to his decision to offer commercial services based on this type of data. Together with a consulting company and supported by a venture capitalist, in 1985 Rupert Haydn founded for this purpose a company for applied remote sensing, the Gesellschaft für Angewandte Fernerkundung mbH, GAF. This was one of the first companies worldwide with such a portfolio and the ambition to expand remote sensing from scientific investigations to commercial, operational applications. One of his partners was, and remains to this day, DLR’s German Remote Sensing Data Center, at that time still a fledgling.
As a pioneer in tapping new data and markets, Rupert Haydn established contacts with India and secured Europe-wide exclusive access to Indian earth observation mission data. In 1996 this culminated in the founding of the Euromap company at DFD in Neustrelitz, which has closely cooperated with DFD ever since. In 2007 Rupert Haydn gave up the company management of GAF but continued in an executive function for Euromap in addition to his supervisory board activities.
Rupert Haydn played an important role in achieving an additional EOC collaboration that continues to the present time. He was the person who encouraged the founder of European Space Imaging (EUSI), Mohammed El-Kadi, to operate together with DFD the ground segment for new US earth observation data.
Rupert Haydn departed this life on 2 November 2021.
We mourn together with the family of Rupert Haydn, with our partners and friends at GAF-AG, and with the many who will miss him as we do.