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Satellite images show lack of snow in the Italian Alps
December 21, 2022
The snow line in the Italian Alps averaged 400 meters last spring, in some regions even almost a kilometer higher than usual. This was determined by researchers at the EOC. They evaluated around 15,000 satellite images of the Alps from 37 years. The scientists also investigated what influence the snow cover of the Alps had on the water shortage in northern Italy. This year, northern Italy experienced one of the most severe droughts in the last 70 years.
Tracking the effects of environmental factors on health
December 20, 2022
Satellites keep an eye on the earth: They observe changes on the surface, analyze the atmosphere - and they even help to understand the spread of diseases. This has now been shown in a study conducted by DLR together with AOK Baden-Württemberg. The European Copernicus Sentinel satellites monitor air quality: concentrations of trace gases such as nitrogen dioxide or particulate matter are detected here daily from space. DFD combines them with data from ground-based measurements, information from emission inventories and with numerical computer models.
Mauna Loa volcanic eruption in Hawaii
December 9, 2022
After 7 year of quiescence, the Hawaiian volcano Mauna Loa began to erupt on Nov. 27. Evaluations of the EOC show the heavy sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions being carried long distances from Hawaii. The measurement of volcanic emissions allows, among other things, to warn air traffic of volcanic ash clouds that can be dangerous to aircraft engines.
SPD Member of Parliament Carmen Wegge visits EOC
December 9, 2022
On December 8, 2022, Carmen Wegge, SPD Member of the Bundestag, was hosted at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Oberpfaffenhofen. She informed herself about the current research, especially with regard to her activities in the Interior and Legal Affairs Committees of the German Bundestag and for her local constituency of Starnberg-Landsberg-Germering.
Urban Green Tracker and DriveClean win Copernicus Masters Challenges 2022
02 Dezember 2022
This year, the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) has the pleasure of congratulating two winners on their success in the Copernicus Masters competition. The annual innovation competition honours applications and ideas that use satellite data from the Copernicus Earth observation programme to address societal and environmental challenges. More than 20 individual prizes as well as the overall Copernicus Masters 2022 prize were awarded on 1 December 2022 at the New Space Economy Expo in Rome. There, the Luxembourg start-up WEO won the DLR Challenge on ‘Environment, Energy and Health’ with its ‘Urban Green Tracker’. Hartmut Runge's DLR team was awarded the special prize from the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV) for their ‘DriveClean’.
EnMAP – Ready for science
November 02, 2022
Since its launch seven months ago, the German Environmental Mapping and Analysis Program (EnMAP) satellite has been busy collecting data. It has recorded more than 11.4 million square kilometres of Earth's surface – an area larger than Europe – from an altitude of approximately 650 kilometres, using its 242 spectral channels. But these data were not collected for scientific purposes. They were needed to set up the Hyperspectral Imager (HSI) instrument for scientific operation optimally and to check the quality of the acquired data.
Drones collect data for rapid disaster relief
October 31, 2022
Altenburg, Altenahr, Reimerzhoven, Rech and Dernau are among the places that were particularly badly affected by the floods in the Ahr Valley in the summer of 2021. Under the direction of DLR and the Bavarian Red Cross (BRK), aerial photographs of these places in the district of Ahrweiler (Rhineland-Palatinate) have now been taken once again. Four drones were used. The current data serve as a basis for the development of methods for automatic image evaluation in the event of disasters.
Cooperation with the German Federal Foreign Office: Flood information on Chad and ACIS project meeting in Berlin
October 26, 2022
Strong, continuous rainfall has led to serious flooding in southern and central Chad. At the request of the Federal Foreign Office, DLR-ZKI analysed the flood situation from July to October within a few hours and forwarded the information to other institutions, including several embassies in Chad and UN bodies. The analyses were also presented at a joint ACIS project meeting at the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin.
Energy crisis – DLR quantifies energy-saving potential in the building sector for selected areas
October 13, 2022
The ongoing energy crisis and climate-neutral conversion of the energy economy has brought energy-saving measures sharply into focus. The building sector alone is responsible for nearly one-third of German energy consumption. This enormous potential for conserving energy was quantified with the help of EOC.
EOC's 4k camera in use for automated driving
October 10, 2022
The EOC coordinated a large-scale measurement campaign in Braunschweig. In the process, various traffic scenarios were recorded by a large number of sensors on the ground and from the air. The data set thus obtained is used to develop methods with which automated vehicles will be able to determine their position themselves in the future.
DLR welcomes satellite ground station experts from all over the world to Rostock
Oktober 07, 2022
The German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD) in Neustrelitz was host to the 31st Landsat Technical Working Group Meeting that took place in Rostock from October 3-7, 2022. The Neustrelitz ground station is a component of the international ground station network of the U.S. Landsat earth observation programme. The first Landsat satellite was launched 50 years ago.
Pipeline leaks in the focus of DLR research
October 07, 2022
Since last week, the leaks in the Nord Stream 1 and 2 natural gas pipelines have dominated the headlines in the Baltic Sea region. According to initial estimates, between 100 and 500 kilotons of methane have been released into the sea within a few days. It is still unclear what proportion of the methane remains in the ocean and how much has escaped into the atmosphere.
Video: Nord Stream 2 pipeline leak near Bornholm
DFG Award for EOC Scientist – Analysis of Antarctic Melting Processes
September 26, 2022
The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), a research-funding organization, has granted EOC scientist Dr. Mariel Dirscherl the Bernd Rendel Geoscience Award 2022 for her doctoral dissertation on supraglacial lakes on the Antarctic ice sheet. This award is bestowed on only two scientists annually.
What’s the latest on ozone? – International Ozone Layer Protection Day –
September 16, 2022
September 16 is Ozone Layer Protection Day. In 1987 on this day in Montreal the representatives of 46 states signed an agreement that prohibited the use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFC). These compounds had already seriously damaged Earth’s ozone layer. What has happened since then to the ozone layer, 35 years after this agreement went into effect?
IceLines available at EOC GeoService
September 14, 2022
is surrounded by ice shelves holding back the glacier flow to the ocean in many parts of the coastline. As soon as iceberg calving happens and buttressing parts of the ice shelf are lost, the ice shelf front retreats and the buttressing effect weakens. This results in increased glacier flow velocities enhancing the contribution of the Antarctic ice sheet to global sea level rise.
Floods in Pakistan: ZKI provides information on their duration
September 08, 2022
Pakistan has been suffering from unusually heavy monsoon rains since mid-June 2022. They have caused severe flooding over large parts of the country, and as they continue so does the risk of water- and vector-borne diseases. ZKI has generated a data product that shows the area flooded from August 1, 2022 to September 5, 2022 and the number of days which parts were inundated with water.
China, the European Union and the United Kingdom operate the largest number of offshore wind farms
August 11, 2022
The European Union (EU), China and the United Kingdom (UK) operate the largest number of offshore wind farms in the world. This information is the result of an analysis of satellite data by the EOC. The researchers used Artificial Intelligence (AI) to determine not only the number and locations of the plants, but also the developments over the past few years, the output and the emergence of new plants.
Satellites keep an eye on burnt areas in Europe
August 18, 2022
Satellite data show the full extent of the forest fires currently blazing across Europe. The German Aerospace Center is offering a new service that allows developments to be monitored on a daily basis and over time. The satellite data are automatically evaluated and transferred to a map. The ZKI Fire Monitoring System is available immediately and can be used free of charge.
IEEE GRSS David Landgrebe Award for EOC scientist Prof. Mihai Datcu
August 16, 2022
Prof. Mihai Datcu of DLR’s Remote Sensing Technology Institute was awarded the prestigious IEEE GRSS David Landgrebe Award at this year’s International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS) in Kuala Lumpur. It was in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the study of earth observation data using innovative concepts to analyse big data, image mining, machine learning, smart sensors and quantum resources.
EOC Earth sculpture viewed by half a million visitors
August 8, 2022
Despite the Corona pandemic and various adversities the exhibition entitled “A Fragile Paradise” at Gasometer Oberhausen has already passed the 500,000 visitor milestone. The highlight of the exhibition – a huge Earth sculpture suspended in a 100 metre high airspace – was brought alive by EOC experts with the help of animated satellite data.
IMF Director retires
August 3, 2022
On July 28, 2022, after a two-year interruption caused by the covid pandemic, an EOC summer get-together took place for the first time again in Oberpfaffenhofen. This festive framework was also used to honour the director of the Remote Sensing Technology Institute, Prof. Richard Bamler, who is retiring after 34 years at DLR.
Horst Rauck Founder Award
July 25, 2022
The EOC spin-off ajuma receives the Horst Rauck Founder Award of the Society of Friends of DLR. The spin-off has developed a UV bodyguard that, when worn on the body, warns against sunburn and an overdose of UV radiation.
ajuma GmbH was founded out of the German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD).
Landsat is 50 – Happy Birthday!
July 23, 2022
Fifty years ago on July 23, 1972, the US Landsat-1 satellite was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. This was the beginning of an ongoing satellite series and the start of the earth observation era. With its four channels in the visible spectrum and near-infrared as well as its then-revolutionary 60-metre resolution, scientists could for the first time continuously document changes in the land surface at high resolution. Starting in 1976 the German Remote Sensing Data Center DFD was selected to process and distribute Landsat data.
On the road in Vietnam on climate change adaptation
July 19, 2022
Vietnam is now one of the countries most affected by climate change. At the same time, Vietnam's Central Highlands are experiencing increasingly frequent pronounced droughts. In the Drought-ADAPT project, German and Vietnamese project partners are developing adaptation strategies to make Vietnamese agriculture more climate resilient. The EOC coordinates the project and contributes its expertise in Earth observation.
EOC supports EO-Lab with national earth observation data
July 15, 2022
On July 11, 2022 the "EO-Lab" internet platform was launched. It enables German researchers to efficiently analyse earth observation data. The portal is a component of the "artificial intelligence" strategy of the German government and was commissioned by the DLR space agency. EOC supplies the platform with data from national earth observation missions.
Science Summer at the DLR site in Neustrelitz
July 02, 2022
On Friday, July 1, 2022, a Science Summer was held for the first time at the Neustrelitz site of the German Aerospace Center (DLR). In addition to the successful development of the site over the past 30 years, the event focused on current projects from maritime security and space weather research and the German Remote Sensing Data Center DFD. The event concluded with the commissioning of the new tri-band antenna for data reception of future missions.
DLR mission CO2Image - focusing on the climate
June 21, 2022
Climate change represents one of the greatest challenges of our time. A significant reduction in the emission of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane is required to limit the temperature increase. Satellites can continuously and impartially monitor progress in the struggle against global warming. In particular, the monitoring of power plants, industrial facilities and coal mines is crucial since they emit large quantities of these harmful greenhouse gases. However, until now the spatial resolution of the available instruments was inadequate for detecting the contributions made by the individual actors responsible.
German radar satellite TerraSAR-X – 15 years in space and still in perfect shape
June 14, 2022
Fifteen years – who would have thought it? The German radar satellite TerraSAR-X, which was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 08:14 local time on 15 June 2007, was originally designed to last five and a half years – until the end of 2012. It has been delivering data of outstanding quality ever since, regardless of weather conditions, cloud cover and daylight levels. The scientific mission for TerraSAR-X and the satellite itself are operated by the German Aerospace Center
EOC scientists receive DLR Science Price 2021
May 30, 2022
Dr. Homa Ansari, Dr. Francesco de Zan and Mr. Alessandro Parizzi were awarded the DLR-Science Price 2021 for their work, “Study of Systematic Bias in Measuring Surface Deformation with SAR Interferometry”, which was published in 2020 in IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing. The outstanding scientific and technological achievements of these researchers at EOC could thereby be honoured.
EOC technologies for the new European Ground Motion Service
May 25, 2022
The first products of the new European Ground Motion Service (EGMS), an EU-financed Copernicus Land Monitoring Service, have been published. The IWAP interferometry processor developed at EOC computes highly precise ground motion maps from radar satellite data. After assessing years of time series and correcting for atmospheric effects, Earth’s ground displacement can be determined down to the millimetre. The DLR processor has been used since 2017, also for the ground movement service of the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR).
Analysis of traffic-caused pollutant emissions using EOC satellite data
May 11, 2022
Traffic emissions endanger our health. Especially at heavy traffic locations, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter limits are often exceeded. EOC researchers and partners have therefore derived from satellite data ground concentrations of these air pollutants in the S-VELD project and analysed their sources and temporal distribution.
DLR data shows where people are at risk from
May 10, 2022
In cooperation with the World Bank, African settlements with more than 10,000 inhabitants have been recorded from space. Earth observation data help to identify critical developments and better prepare cities for natural hazards. The German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD) has linked its World Settlement Footprint (WSF) products with other databases. Machine learning methods help to process the enormous amounts of data. Focus: Space, digitalisation, security, Earth observation, climate change, Big Data, artificial intelligence.
EOC scientist receives Helmholtz Prize for Doctorate
May 02, 2022
EOC scientist Dr. Celia Baumhoer was one of the six participants at the Helmholtz spring reception on April 28, 2022 in Berlin who were awarded a Helmholtz Prize for her doctoral dissertation. In her work Ms. Baumhoer analysed the ice dynamics in the Antarctic and developed methodologies for the automated derivation of glacier and ice shelf fronts.
German EnMAP environmental satellite delivers first images
May 04, 2022
rogram (EnMAP) satellite, which is managed by the German Space Agency at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) in Bonn on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK), has spent roughly one month in space since its launch on 1 April 2022. It has now delivered its first high-resolution satellite images. Following the successful completion of the mission’s the Launch and Early Orbit Phase, the individual subsystems of the highly complex hyperspectral instrument were put into operation piece by piece under the control of the German Space Operations Center (GSOC). EnMAP has now imaged a strip approximately 30 kilometres wide and 180 kilometres long over Istanbul on the Bosporus, Turkey, where Europe meets Asia and sent the data down to Earth via the DLR ground station in Neustrelitz.
300 000 visitors - EOC earth sculpture
April 07, 2022
Six months after the exhibition opened, over 300,000 visitors had already seen the huge EOC Earth sculpture at Gasometer Oberhausen. The Earth sculpture is the highlight of an exhibition entitled “A Fragile Paradise”.
Burn Scar Monitoring for Europe: New Products available in EOC’s Geoservice
April 05, 2022
Forest fires play a crucial role for ecosystems, threaten human lives and infrastructure, and contribute to climate change. Monitoring them is especially important. Now a new EOC dataset is available for the purpose. It shows those areas in Europe, that fell victim to flames: detected fully automatically, within just two hours after recording by the Sentinel-3 Copernicus satellite.
German satellite EnMAP launches successfully
April 01, 2022
At 18:24 CEST on 1 April (12:24 local time), the first German-developed hyperspectral satellite (EnMAP) successfully launched on board a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral in Florida.
Launch of the Hyperspectral Satellite EnMAP
March 31, 2022
The German hyperspectral satellite EnMAP is scheduled for launch on Friday April 1 at 18:24 Central European Summer Time from Cape Canaveral, Florida. SpaceX has now confirmed the launch. EOC is responsible for data reception and processing. Be there live for the launch.
Global SnowPack available from EOC Geoservice
March 29, 2022
Global snow cover is an important parameter of water availability on our planet. It not only influences flora and fauna, agriculture and tourism, but also the stability of glacier and permafrost regions worldwide, not to mention Earth’s radiant energy balance. Global SnowPack presents the evidence daily and globally, and is now available to the public in an expanded version.
AI Forecasts and Simulates Air Pollution with EOC Satellite Data
March 28, 2022
Air pollution is one of the world‘s largest threats to health. Air quality control measures not only protect people and the environment; they also have economic advantages. A system developed with EOC participation now provides decision makers involved in transport, urban and environmental planning in the pilot regions of Stuttgart and North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) with an information basis for the well-directed planning of counteracting measures.
Desert Sand Over Germany
March 15, 2022
People in Spain, France and southern Germany witnessed a striking weather phenomenon. Desert sand spread northward thanks to a prominent low pressure zone over the northwest African coast that gave the heavens a muddy orange tint. Such occurrences are not unusual, but measurements from satellites and ground-based instruments indicate that this phenomenon is becoming more frequent.
Shipwreck of the “Endurance” Found – Safe Navigation Thanks to Satellite Data
March 10, 2022
More than one hundred years ago the Endurance sank in the Antarctic, enclosed and crushed by pack ice. The crew survived and the superhuman rescue operation turned the expedition of the polar researcher Ernest Shackleton into a legend. Now the wreck has been located with support from the German Aerospace Center (DLR). DLR generated TerraSAR-X satellite images that supported safe navigation in the ice covered Weddell sea. The DLR researchers on board the search vessel also studied the characteristics of sea ice in order to improve navigation in polar regions.
Black Carbon – Blanket of Soot on the White Continent
March 09, 2022
For 200 years, the Antarctic has been a goal of explorers, researchers and, finally, even tourists. The Antarctic Peninsula is one of the first points of contact because of its relatively easy accessibility, and up to today it is one of the most frequented regions of the white continent.
That is not without consequences. Despite strict environmental obligations, human activity there has left its traces. A current study in which EOC is also participating was able to verify for large areas the presence of soot from local emissions in the snow of the Antarctic Peninsula. This barely visible grey blanket furthers summertime melting processes.
German environmental satellite EnMAP has arrived safely in the USA
March 02, 2022
The Environmental Mapping and Analysis Program (EnMAP) satellite, the first hyperspectral satellite developed and built in Germany, landed safely at NASA's spaceport in Florida on 27 February 2022 at 13:05 local time (19:05 CET). It is now being prepared for flight and integrated onto a Falcon 9 rocket inside the hangar of the US space company SpaceX. EnMAP is expected to set off for its target orbit at the beginning of April 2022. The hyperspectral satellite is expected to collect data on the state of our home planet for at least five years.
DFD Global WaterPack now in EOC geoservice
February 24, 2022
The existence of surface water and its accessibility play a prominent role for people and the environment. On the one hand flooding threatens people and infrastructure.
On the other hand water scarcity endangers life, food security and the economy, especially in the arid regions of our planet. With Global WaterPack (GWP) EOC provides important information about the spatial and temporal distribution of surface water, both for scientists and for economic and political decision makers.
EOC scientists support the icebreaker mission Endurance22
February 21, 2022
Endurance22 is in search of Sir Ernest Shackleton's ship, which was crushed by pack ice during an Antarctic expedition in 1915 and sank in the Weddell Sea.
Today, radar data helps navigate through the ice and so a radar expert from the EOC is also on board the icebreaker and reports on his work in a DLR blog.
Concern about German forests
February 18, 2022
Healthy trees have a dense crown. But a walk through the forest reveals that the green canopy is generally quite sparse. In recent years more and more deforested areas have become evident. Forests are our green lungs, create habitats for a diverse world of flora and fauna, provide timber, and protect against floods and slope collapse. How large is the loss caused by forest die-off and tree removal? Researchers at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) are addressing this question with the help of satellite earth observation data.
EnMAP will see our Earth in more than just colour
February 02, 2022
The Environmental Mapping and Analysis Program (EnMAP) satellite, the first hyperspectral satellite developed and built in Germany, is still in a clean room in Bremen. The final tasks are being carried out and the spacecraft is on the 'home straight'. If everything goes according to plan, the new satellite will be transported to NASA's spaceport in Florida by an Ilyushin Il-76 transport aircraft at the end of February 2022. From there, EnMAP is expected to set off for its destination orbit in early April 2022 on board a SpaceX Falcon 9 launcher. The hyperspectral satellite will collect data on the state of our home planet for at least five years.
Obituary Rudolf Winter
January 21, 2022
We are deeply grieved at the death of our former DFD colleague and long-term department head, Hon.-Prof. Dr Rudolf Winter.
After first working at the then Institute of Telecommunications Engineering, in 1980 Rudolf Winter became the first head of the Remote Sensing Applications department in the just established Scientific-Technical Division, “Applied Data Technology” (WT-DA).
Sulphur dioxide cloud from "Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha‘apai"
January 19, 2022
On Saturday, January 15, 2022 the volcano "Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha‘apai" on the island state of Tonga erupted in a powerful explosion at around 5:15 Central European Time. Enormous amounts of sulphur dioxide (SO2), almost 0.4 Mt, were ejected in the process and distributed over a large part of the atmosphere. Since that time the Sentinel-5P (S5P) measurements operationally processed at EOC continue recording the subsequent volcanic emissions.
Hunga Tonga Hunga: sound that reveals tsunami
January 18, 2022
On Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022 at 5:15 o’clock Central European Time an enormous explosion caused by the submarine volcano Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha‘apai profoundly shocked the South Pacific island state of Tonga. The detonation could even be heard in New Zealand, over 2,300 kilometres away. In Oberpfaffenhofen, Bavaria, EOC measuring instruments also recorded the volcano’s shock wave, which spread over the entire planet at a velocity of more than 1,000 kilometres per hour. Tidal waves followed, extending as far as the coasts of South America. Research underway at EOC has the goal to provide early warning of tsunami.
Wolf spews sulphur
January 12, 2022
Wolf volcano on the island of Isabela, which is one of the Galápagos islands, erupted last Friday (January 7, 2022). The data from Europe’s Copernicus satellite Sentinel-5P that were processed by EOC show significant sulphur dioxide emissions (up to 9,000 tons) at altitudes up to 4 km coming from the eruption. The SO2 cloud is currently spreading westward over the Pacific Ocean. The volcano is the highest summit on Isabela island and the highest mountain of the Galápagos islands. Among other animals, very rare, rose-coloured iguanas, of which only a few specimens exist, live on the slopes of this volcano.
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