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We wish you contemplative holidays
with your family and friends as well as plenty of time to relax, reflect and make new plans.
Let us start the New Year 2022 in good spirits.
UrbanSens wins DLR Copernicus Masters Prize
15 December 2021
A team of students from the University of Würzburg's international Eagle master's program has won this year's DLR Copernicus Masters Challenge. With their UrbanSens concept, the prize winners aim to provide better living conditions in cities by deriving high-resolution information on temperature and air quality, among other things, from satellite data and making it available to the general public.
Hot summers and poor air quality are already claiming many lives in major European cities. The proposed application therefore convinced the jury members from the Bavarian State Office for the Environment, Stadtwerke München, BayWa, the University of Environmental Medicine Augsburg, ESA and DLR.
Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) re-commissions EOC
18 November 2021
An EOC-led consortium of 15 European partners was commissioned by the Copernicus Climate Change Service to generate for two-and-a-half more years time series of data on atmospheric ozone, aerosol particles and the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane. This satellite-collected data allows systematic, global monitoring as well as regional comparisons.
Global Sentinel-1 flood service launched for Copernicus
12. November 2021
Flood disasters require rapid intervention by crisis response teams and rapid information about affected areas. This is now provided by a freely available flood service developed for the European Commission in a consortium with the participation of the EOC.
Dr. Pablo d'Angelo receives Manfred Fuchs Innovation Award
12. November 2021
On November 11, 2021, the Society of Friends of DLR (GvF) awarded the Manfred Fuchs Prize to Dr. Pablo d'Angelo from the EOC. The DLR scientist earned the GvF award with his innovative development and continuous improvement of the "CATENA Multistereo" processor and its commercially successful use in industry for over 10 years.
View from space - this is how cities develop
11 November 2021
55 percent of people worldwide live in cities. By 2050, that figure could rise to 68 percent, the UN estimates. So cities will continue to grow - sometimes rapidly and unplanned: This can lead to greater vulnerability to disasters, or to problems in the supply of water, raw materials and energy. To better understand how cities expand, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the European Space Agency (ESA), in collaboration with the Google Earth Engine team, have compiled the world's most detailed dataset on human settlements: The World Settlement Footprint (WSF) has several focal points - two of which were released during the UN Climate Change Conference COP 26.
In Memory of Dr. Rupert Haydn
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.
Exercise and UAV flight campaign in Ahrtal as part of the AIFER project
22./23. October 2021
On October 22/23, 2021 an exercise and flight campaign with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) has been coordinated jointly by the Bavarian Red Cross (BRK), Department Rettungsdienst – Sicherheitsforschung and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) – Center for satellite-based crisis information (ZKI) in the Ahrtal region.
EOC gives Infrared Spectrometer Training to AWI Staff Overwintering at Neumayer
21. October 2021
Since 2013 the Earth Observation Center has jointly operated an Antarctic measurement station together with the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) to record the temperature of the atmosphere at 90 kilometres altitude. In order to extend this valuable series of local measurements also under the most hostile environmental conditions, an overwintering AWI staff member is once again being trained in the use of a DLR instrument.
Mach mit bei der #AI4FoodSecurity Challenge!
19 October 2021
# AI4FoodSecurity competition brings together participants from around the world to find the best machine learning and AI solutions to identify crops based on Planet Fusion data and Sentinel-1 and 2 data. Participation is possible until December 19, 2021.
Contact: Andres.CameroUnzueta (at) dlr.de
Volcanic eruption of "Cumbre Vieja" on La Palma
27 September 2021
On Sunday, September 19 at 15.12 o’clock local time (14:12 UTC), Cumbre Vieja, a volcano located in El Paso municipality on the Canary Island of La Palma, Spain, started to erupt. As soon as eruption began, Europe’s Sentinel-5 Precursor (S5P) satellite detected and recorded the resulting sulphur dioxide (SO
) cloud forming over the islands The S5P measurements are continuously processed at EOC and thereby constantly reveal the volcanic emissions as they evolve.
BLOG: Flight campaign on the Aletsch Glacier
21 September 2021
The Aletsch Glacier is a glacier of superlatives. With a length of over 22 kilometers and a thickness of up to 900 meters, it is the largest glacier in the Alps. One fifth of the total ice mass in Switzerland is stored by the Aletsch Glacier alone. Of course, climate change is not leaving the Aletsch Glacier unscathed. How has snow cover changed in the Aletsch-Jungfrau region in recent decades? How much mass does the glacier lose per year? For two weeks at the beginning of September, a DLR team will use high-resolution aerial images and various satellite sensors to get to the bottom of these and other questions as part of the Polar Monitor project.
What’s the Latest on the Ozone Layer?
20 September 2021
On September 16, 1987, 34 years ago, the governments of the world signed the Montreal Protocol to protect the ozone layer and banned the use of ozone-destroying substances like CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) worldwide. On the initiative of the United Nations, since 1995 September 16 has been declared International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer. That is reason enough to look at the current state of the ozone layer.
Award for special commitment to the operation of the German Antarctic Station GARS O'Higgins
15 September 2021
Dipl.-Ing. Ruslan Artemenko has successfully served as campaign and station manager of the German Antarctic Station GARS O'Higgins for many years. Even under the particularly difficult conditions during the pandemic in 2020, he managed a campaign on site lasting several months, during which important work on technological upgrading took place in addition to the operation of the station. Due to his outstanding commitment under the most difficult conditions, DLR has expressed its thanks and appreciation to him. On November 19, Institute Director Prof. Stefan Dech and Department Head Dr. Erhard Diedrich presented a certificate on behalf of DLR, signed also by the Chairman of the DLR Executive Board, Prof. Anke Kaysser-Pyzalla.
ZKI receives high award “Badge of Honour for German Aerospace” from DGLR
03 September 2021
On April 1, 2004 the German Remote Sensing Data Center founded an innovative service in the Center for Satellite Based Crisis Information (ZKI). Since that time, ZKI has decisively contributed in a variety of ways to the employment and establishment of remote sensing in the sphere of state and public administration in Germany, Europe and internationally. ZKI has now been awarded the “Badge of Honour for German Aerospace” for its “outstanding achievements in the use of earth observation data in support of crisis management after natural disasters and in humanitarian aid globally” by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DGLR).
Flight campaign on the Aletsch Glacier
31 August 2021
EOC and DLR’s Institute of Optical Sensor Systems (OS) have started a flight campaign over the Aletsch Glacier in Switzerland as part of the “Polar Monitor” project. This campaign makes it possible to test various technologies and methodologies for cryosphere research.
EOC contribution to the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report
18 August 2021
The United Nations’ climate change report of “Working Group I” recently published with nearly 4,000 pages is massive and clearly state "it is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, oceans and land".
The science behind the report is based on Earth observation data and climate models. Satellite data provide global information on key climate measurements, so called Essential Climate Variables, (ECVs), that allow us to measure and monitor different aspects of the climate system. EOC provides a number of ECVs, in particular homogenized data records of ozone derived from different European satellite sensors since 1995.
RESA RELOADED – high-resolution optical satellite data for German research projects
17 August 2021
The RapidEye Science Archive (RESA) has become operational at DLR’s Earth Observation Center (EOC) as part of the German Satellite Data Archive (D-SDA). About 60,000 high-resolution satellite scenes from the RapidEye, PlanetScope and Skysat missions ordered by RESA project users since 2009 have already been loaded into the new data collection. Future plans include the possibility for new additions through “calls for science”.
DFD at the symposium "Climate Change and Health" with Minister of State for Health and Care Klaus Holetschek
10 August 2021
DLR's German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD) presented the potential of Earth observation for monitoring our environment at the symposium "Climate Change and Health - How Climate Change Affects Our Health and What We Can Do", organised by the Center for Climate Resilience.
Planetary waves – when the climate machinery breaks down
28 July 2021
EOC analyses confirm that the number of extreme heat episodes in our latitudes has approximately doubled, perhaps even tripled, in the past 30 years. Extreme weather conditions have arisen in rapid succession in recent years, like the heat waves of 2018 and 2019, or the heavy rains in 2020 and 2021. Such extreme events are on the one hand related to rising temperatures on our planet. On the other hand there are also hints that the airstream patterns in our atmosphere are changing. EOC scientists are investigating how these processes interconnect.
Storms and heavy rain cause floods in Western Germany
15 July 2021
Storms and prolonged heavy rain caused numerous floods and associated damage in western Germany. Locations in North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate are particularly affected. Several rivers and streams have burst their banks, roads have been flooded and cellars have been filled. Numerous buildings and infrastructures were destroyed in the course of the storms. Currently, more than 40 people have lost their lives and others are still missing.
Artificial intelligence in agriculture – competition launched
08 July 2021
Agriculture is a crucial factor in climate change. It is not only a cause, but at the same time also massively affected by such changes. Adaption in the agricultural sector is vital. The project ‘Artificial Intelligence for Earth Observation’ (AI4EO) has announced a competition to obtain with AI methodology more precise agriculture data based on data from Europe’s Sentinel satellites.
Tornado in South Moravia, Czech Republic
24 June 2021
An unusual strong tornado by European Standards, reaching category F3/F4, passed through the South Moravian region of the Czech Republic on June 24, 2021. The tornado claimed several casualties and more than 200 injuries. Seven villages located between Břeclav and Hodonín were devastated by the destructive winds with speeds between 254 and 332 km/h accompanied by hailstones of above-average size. Besides severe damages to buildings, uprooting trees, overturning cars and damage of power transmission infrastructure were also reported.
Digital seeing aid for Sentinel-1 satellites
28 June 2021
EOC researchers have developed for ESA a correction procedure for the radar satellites of the European Sentinel-1 mission. With this methodology the geographic location of satellite measurements can be determined with significantly more accuracy. Every pixel can be localized on the ground with a precision of a few centimetres instead of a few metres.
Service informs about health risks from climate change and air pollution
22 June 2021
On June 11, 2021 the “Safety Future Lab” in Berlin held a workshop on the subject of climate change and public safety. The Safety Future Lab is a demonstration site in Berlin-Mitte operated by the Free University of Berlin and the Public Safety Research Forum in order to improve knowledge transfer and interactions among public policy makers, scientists, local authorities, first responders, end users and aid organisations.
Inuvik Satellite Station Facility has received data from more than 30,000 satellite overpasses in 11 years
10 June 2021
Eleven years ago, the Inuvik antenna of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) commenced operations. Located within the Arctic Circle in the Northwest Territories of Canada, the ground station is well positioned to receive data from the satellites of the German TanDEM-X Earth observation mission. DLR's German Remote Sensing Data Center (Deutsches Fernerkundungsdatenzentrum; DFD) celebrated the anniversary together with the Canada Centre for Mapping and Earth Observation (CCMEO) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) on 10 June 2021.
Large-scale deforestation in Germany
02 June 2021
Germany’s forests are in poor condition historically. Especially drought, storms and pests have given them a heavy blow during the past years. Researchers at EOC are analysing time series from Sentinel-2 and Landsat-8 satellites to document forest loss since 2018 in monthly intervals. The first results for selected regions show that deforestation activities have clearly accelerated since 2018 and continues in full swing.
Nocturnal lights as an indicator of subsidy policy
12 May 2021
EOC researchers participated in a study by the Bertelsmann Stiftung to investigate the use of satellite measurements of nocturnal light emissions to determine the effect of European subsidies in small-scale, structurally-weak regions.
1st DESIS user workshop from 28th of September to 1st of October 2021
The 1st DESIS User Workshop will be held from Tuesday, 28th of September to Friday, 1st of October 2021. Workshop attendance is free, open and fully online.
EOC researchers successful in a TV-format spin-off competition
06 May 2021
EOC satellite data show how much the ozone layer can vary also over Europe when ozone-poor air masses from equatorial zones reach northern latitudes. People on the ground notice the difference only in the evening when their sunburn starts to hurt. An EOC atmosphere researcher used his knowledge to found a spin-off that tackles the problem. The discovery convinced investors in a well-known German tv spinoff competition to provide venture capital toward its further development.
The search for atmospheric turbulence with artificial intelligence
06 May 2021
Artificial intelligence helps to detect gravity waves in the atmosphere. These break in a similar way to waves on a beach, releasing energy into the atmosphere. To quantify this influence, the EOC analyses images from high-resolution infrared cameras. AI methods help to find those with turbulence from the thousands and thousands of images per night.
Earth observation data for the federal administration
05 May 2021
Earth observation data are used in many areas of public administration - for example in traffic analysis, environmental monitoring or crisis management. The importance of these data is increasing, and at the same time, remote sensing results from space or from the air become more accurate and are available more quickly. The Federal Ministry of the Interior, for Construction and Home Affairs (BMI) has now concluded the IF-Bund framework agreement with the German Aerospace Center (DLR), which is open to all federal authorities. This enables research results from remote sensing to be identified for use in administration and quickly applied in practice.
Innovative solutions sought: Environment, energy and health in the focus of the DLR Challenge
26 April 2021
In the light of global change, pandemics as well as climate change a sustainable management of our planets resources is more important than ever. DLR is looking for innovative solutions to achieve this goal and this year is once again inviting entries for the "DLR Environment, Energy & Health Challenge" as part of the Copernicus Masters ideas competition. Ideas can be submitted as of now, the deadline is July 19, 2021.
"La Soufrière" – EOC monitors distribution of the sulpher dioxide plume
15 April 2021
On Friday, April 9, 2021, "La Soufrière" volcano erupted on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent. Since that time, EOC has been monitoring the spread of volcanic emissions, which in the meantime extend over ten million square kilometres, about the area of Canada. This information helps prevent air traffic from entering an airspace that is potentially dangerous for people and aircraft.
EOC provides technologies for the European Ground Motion Service of the European Environment Agency (EEA)
26 March 2021
An interferometry processor developed at EOC, IWAP, computes high-precision ground motion maps. By analysing time series covering a number of years and correcting for the influence of the atmosphere, the movement of Earth’s surface can be determined with millimetre accuracy. The DLR processor has already been used for the ground motion maps of the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) and has now been licensed for the new European Ground Motion Service (EGMS).
Congestion on the Suez Canal
26 March 2021
Since Tuesday, 23 March 2021, the 400-metre container ship "Ever Given" has been blocking the Suez Canal, one of the most important waterways in the world. Navigation on the canal had to be stopped. It is likely that the salvage operation will take even longer, with far-reaching consequences for the economy. According to the Federation of German Industries, international logistics turbulence is already noticeable. According to the report, central supply chains are in danger of coming to a standstill due to missing containers, delayed ships and a lack of transport capacity.
From research to application: earth observation workshop on urbanisation in Africa
23 March 2021
Nowhere in the world are higher rates of urbanisation expected than in Africa over the next few decades. Population growth and rural exodus put urban space in short supply and make housing expensive. Informal settlements are the result. EOC researchers and representatives from the science community, public and administrative authorities, and non-government organisations discussed how artificial intelligence and earth observation can help address the impending challenges.
Open Search – an unfiltered access
23. March 2021
Data provide the raw materials for research, innovation and business in the 21st century. Open, unbiased and transparent access to information is therefore a basic prerequisite for the free development of a digital society. The EOC is participating in an initiative that aims to provide an alternative search infrastructure to the large commercial providers.
EOC supports Polarstern in near real time as it circles A74
17 March 2021
With the help of DLR acquisition stations in Antarctica and in Inuvik, Canada, up-to-date TerraSAR-X recordings showing Polarstern’s expedition locale were made available. Scientists used these data on board to plan the circumnavigation of iceberg A74 and the passage between the iceberg and the ice shelf, which is only a few hundred metres wide.
BLOG: 25 Years Robot Archive in Neustrelitz
15. March 2021
Anniversaries briefly interrupt the flow of our fast-paced lives and clear the way for a look back to the past as well as forward to the future. After last year’s major event celebrating 40 Years DFD, in Neustrelitz at least, the 25th anniversary of our robot archive is on the agenda. It is perhaps worth glancing back to that time of ferment when, among other changes, the integration of the Neustrelitz ground station as part of DFD was well advanced, but by no means complete.
Iceberg A74 on the Brunt Ice Shelf
02 March 2021
The breaking off of large icebergs is a recurring spectacle in the Antarctic and is initially part of normal ice dynamics. These events can be especially well monitored with the help of radar satellites because they can keep an eye on the ice surface independently of weather and illumination conditions as well as precisely record spatial dimensions. The most recent calving of Brunt Ice Shelf in the Weddell See was recorded on 27 February 2021 and shows one of the few – and perhaps first-known – major ice breakups on the Brunt Ice Shelf in recent decades.
In Memory of Mohammed El-Kadi
02. März 2021
With great sadness we lament the loss of Mr Mohammed El-Kadi, our business partner of many years. Als Visionär setzte Mohammed El-Kadi früh auf die ersten kommerziellen, höchstauflösenden, optischen Erdbeobachtungssatelliten A far-sighted visionary, at an early stage Mohammed El-Kadi put his hopes on the first commercial, very high resolution, optical earth observation satellites. Nach seinem Erfolg mit Space Imaging Middle East in Dubai, gründete er in München European Space Imaging (EUSI). Hier hatte er mit dem DFD und bei Firmen im Münchner Umfeld kompetente Partner gefunden. After his success with Space Imaging Middle East in Dubai, he founded European Space Imaging (EUSI) in Munich. Here he found competent partners in DFD and commercial firms in the Munich surroundings.
Natural hazards and chain reactions - assessing risks more accurately
01 March 2021
Increasing numbers of people worldwide are being exposed to natural hazards, particularly in densely populated cities and conurbations. In these situations, effective risk management can save lives. Information systems can help planners and emergency services to pre-emptively draw up multi-risk scenarios and to take targeted precautions. For this reason, the RIESGOS 2.0 international project kicked off on 1 March 2021. Under the leadership of the German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD), the project partners are developing scientific methods and technologies for multi-risk analysis.
The volcano Etna hinders air traffic
17 February 2021
A pillar of smoke and ash over one kilometre high is currently hindering air traffic in Sicily. Measurements from the Copernicus satellite Sentinel-5P reveal the volcano's sulphur dioxide emissions. The data are processed operationally at EOC and made available to the user community in near real time.
High above low in the troposphere: Chaos in the stratosphere
11 February 2021
A thaw in the south, heavy snowfall in the low mountain ranges, a sudden cold spell in northern Germany, not to mention dust from the Sahara. Chaotic conditions also prevail in the stratosphere. An unstable airstream at altitudes of 20-50 kilometres often gives rise to extreme weather conditions also at ground level.
Crisis management system for natural disasters
09 February 2021
Disasters require the perfect coordination of situation rooms, rapid response teams and public authorities. Major natural disasters, complex danger situations, and cross-border events stretch first responders to their limits. Methodologies and technologies developed In the HEIMDALL project can help those involved to prepare for and effectively manage such scenarios.
Humanitarian aid with unmanned aerial vehicles and artificial intelligence
08 February 2021
In order to make the use of drones in disaster management safer , the project “Drones4Good” was launched in January. It uses EOC’s AI methodologies to derive information from aerial images collected by drones to support the coordination of local relief efforts.
DLR supports detection of Cyclone Eloise’s impacts on Eswatini
02 February 2021
Several Southern African countries were hit by Cyclone Eloise, which made landfall near Beira, Mozambique on 23rd of January 2021. Although it mostly dissipated on its path over Southern Africa, several thousands of people are affected by its impacts. Amongst the most affected countries, Eswatini has been struck by strong winds, heavy rainfalls and rising river water levels.
EOC supports with DLR’s Antarctic station new aerial based rocket launch
20 January 2021
The first few minutes after a rocket launch are decisive. Was the intended orbit reached? On behalf of Virgin Orbit, EOC provided support for the take-off of LauncherOne using its ground station in the Antarctic, the German Antarctic Receiving Station GARS O’Higgins. It was that company’s second so-called air launch.
Is stratospheric warming under way?
18 January 2021
For several days, so-called “sudden stratospheric warming” has been anticipated over the north pole. Within just a few days, air layers at altitudes above 20 kilometres can warm up by as much as 50°C. Processes under way in the stratosphere could also affect winter weather in Europe for several weeks.
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