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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.
We wish you contemplative holidays
with your family and plenty of time for nice things that have been neglected in the last few months.
Let's start the New Year 2021 confidently despite all the limitations.
Success story: Handover of ZKI-DE service to BKG
21 December 2020
The Center for Satellite Based Crisis Information (ZKI) at the German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD) has developed "ZKI-DE", a service specifically for federal institutions. It has been successfully operated for eight years. At the end of 2020, this ZKI-DE service will be handed over to the Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy (BKG). For German authorities, the federal continuation is an important step.
Huge iceberg A68a grounded near South Georgia
17 December 2020
Recent data recorded by TerraSAR-X show that the northern end of iceberg A68a obviously ran aground near South Georgia, causing a large piece of the iceberg to break off. With its immense size of 145 km in length and 45 km in width it is almost as large as the island itself. According to the latest assessments it has rotated back toward the south and abandoned its direct course of collision with the island. However, it is still very near the critical ocean depth of 200 metres, so it could still become entirely grounded on the ocean floor and remain at South Georgia for some time. This scenario would represent a serious threat for the hundreds of thousands of penguins and seals living on South Georgia. Because of its length, A68a could block off access to feeding grounds, which would have grave effects on the fauna of this South Atlantic island.
Atlas of the Paraguayan Chaco
17 December 2020
The Chaco is a South American landscape characterized by dry forests and thorn-bush savannas. It takes up over 60% of Paraguay’s total area and provides a habitat for species such as the lowland tapir and the jaguar. However, extensive disruption to the natural ecosystem seriously endangers its biodiversity. In a project financed by the Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety, collaboration between EOC and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has produced an Atlas of the Paraguayan Chaco.
Ozone Hole 2020 - especially stable and distinct
10 December 2020
The ozone hole over the southern hemisphere is the largest ever recorded and it is still there, although it is meanwhile December. Chemical processes and the strength of the polar vortex determine the prominence of the ozone hole. This vortex can be imagined as a large low-pressure zone above the pole, extending from the troposphere up into the stratosphere (from the ground up to an altitude of 50 km). The cold polar night of winter in the southern hemisphere gives rise to a strong west wind, prompted by large pressure differences between the polar region and its surroundings, as well as by the Coriolis force. This wind forms the outer edge of the polar vortex and hinders to a large extent the exchange of air masses between the equator and the pole.
New climate guardian in space – Sentinel-6 will monitor global rise in sea levels
22. November 2020
With the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite, a new 'climate guardian' will observe Earth from space. On 21 November 2020 at 18:17 CET (09:17 local time), the eighth satellite of the European Copernicus programme is scheduled to lift off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California (US) on board a Falcon 9 launcher. "Climate change is one of the great challenges of our time," explains Walther Pelzer, a member of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) Executive Board and Head of the DLR Space Administration.
BLOG: 40 Years DFD – 40 years of international cooperation
11 November 2020
by Gunter Schreier, at DFD since 1985
For more than eight months the whole world has been in the state of emergency that goes by the name of COVID-19. Like most of my DLR colleagues I too am working from home.
90 Kilometres above the Antarctic – lowest temperatures since measurements began
05 November 2020
Since 2013 the Earth Observation Center and the Alfred-Wegener Institute have jointly operated a monitoring station in the Antarctic to record the temperature of the atmosphere at 90 kilometres altitude. Record-high temperatures are being recorded worldwide for Earth’s surface, but the temperatures high above the Antarctic in 2020 have never been so low since the measurements began. EOC scientists suspect that these extreme values correlate with global warming.
BLOG: 40 Years DFD – Beginning the Analysis of Remote Sensing Data
04 November 2020
by Hon.-Prof. Dr Rudolf Winter, DFD Remote Sensing Applications department head from 1980 until 1996
Looking back to 1978, I see a particularly competent team in Oberpfaffenhofen successfully taking in hand the brand-new topic of the digital image processing of remote sensing data. It was almost a Silicon Valley atmosphere. The point of departure was image data from the successful earth observation satellites Landsat (from 1972 on) and Spot (from 1986).
BLOG: 40 years DFD – Origin and Development of the German Processing and Archiving Facility for ERS-1
30 October 2020
by Dipl.-Ing. Jörg Gredel, DFD Information Systems department head until 1998, and then head of Strategic Planning and Resources at DFD and EOC until December 2002
Winfried Markwitz has already incisively summarized the most significant events leading up to the establishment of DFD. Reading his retrospect brought back many memories, since Winfried Markwitz was my direct superior from 1967 until his retirement in September 1996.
HumTechDays – the humanitarian world visits DLR
28 October 2020
Aerospace technologies often enable applications that lie outside their intended field of use. Of particular interest here are activities in humanitarian aid.
For this reason, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) has launched an initiative for "Humanitarian Technologies" in 2019. This year's DLR-HumTechDays will take place on 28 and 29 October.
BLOG: 40 years DFD – The Genesis of DIMS
28 October 2020
by Kurt Schmidt, former head of the Information Technology Department (DFD-IT)
With the text that follows I am responding to the friendly request to supply a few remarks on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of DFD – making it by all means personal, if possible with a touch of humour, and perhaps focusing on the genesis of DIMS, in whatever way I see fit. DLR has been in my thoughts anyway, ever since I ceased working there; I drive past it almost daily. My memories are quite alive. For me, DLR is one of the felicitous institutions.
ZKI participates in development of remote controlled truck mission for WFP
27 October 2020
As part of a new collaborative project, researchers from the Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) and a consortium of additional DLR institutes and technology partners are investigating how aid supplies can be safely brought to their destinations using remote-controlled trucks.
PART 4/4 – From Cluster AF to Earth Observation Center (EOC)
26 October 2020
A milestone of functional effectiveness and inner cohesion of Clusters AF in Oberpfaffenhofen was situating most of the departments in two neighbouring buildings, 121 (the traditional DFD premises since 1989) and 122, an existing building that had its best years behind it and needed renovation.
PART 3 – A larger context: establishing the applied remote sensing cluster
21 October 2020
We were hardly used to our new roles when new structural adversities threatened. The Executive Board established a structure commission spanning individual institutes and physical locations to evaluate the two fields “earth observation” and “communication/navigation”.
40 years German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD)
The German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD) turns 40 years old. DFD has been receiving and analyzing images from earth observation satellites since 1980. More than 21 terabytes of data are processed and processed there daily. Today, the German Satellite Data Archive (D-SDA) established by DFD provides access to 29 petabytes of remote sensing data from four decades. The data volume corresponds to video material with a lifetime of more than 800 years.
From space for the earth
19 October 2020
40 years German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD), 20 years Remote Sensing Technology Institute (IMF), 20 years Earth Observation Center (EOC)
20 Years Remote Sensing Technology Institute
19 October 2020
Personal reflections on the 20th anniversary of the Remote Sensing Technology Institute (IMF) by Richard Bamler
In the last two years, all research in the Helmholtz Association has been subjected to extensive scientific and strategic evaluation. Our program topic Earth Observation received the highest marks in all evaluation points. I am happy to quote the statement of the evaluation spokesperson: "Earth Observation is actually a diamond in the crown [of DLR's Space Program]". An important criterion for success is our system capability, i.e. the scientific and technological mastery of the entire chain from sensor and mission development and operation to geoscientific research.
BLOG: For Remote Sensing, PART 2/4 – Cornerstones of the first two decades
16 October 2020
Any look back can easily be influenced by the vantage point of one’s own activities and perceptions. For that reason I want to first mention in Part 2 some additional fundamental decisions about the future course of DFD that continue to have an effect up to the present.
BLOG: For Remote Sensing, Part 1/4 - My first years in the DFVLR
14 October 2020
by Prof. Stefan Dech, DFD Director since 1998.
Ozone hole exceeds 20 million square kilometres
07 October 2020
Measurements from Europe‘s Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite show that this year the ozone hole for the period since mid-September is larger in area than the average value for all years since 1979.
Forest fires in the USA
21 September 2020
The forest fires of the last days in the USA are considered to be the most severe since recording. The smoke fields in the MODIS images of the Terra and Aqua satellites extend over several thousand kilometers. The smoke particles could also be measured in Germany. Here, they led to spectacular sunrises and sunsets because the smoke particles filter blue light more strongly and allow more red light to pass through.
AI counts participants at major events
18 September 2020
Whether concert, rally, demonstration or fair: In order to ensure the safety - and in times of a pandemic also the health - of large crowds of people, it is important to know the exact number of visitors. This year, a new aspect was added: infection prevention. In order to ensure safety in this broader sense, accurate visitor numbers have become even more important today than before.
Anniversary in the Arctic Circle - A decade of satellite data reception in Inuvik
When the Sun is shining and there is no wind, Inuvik’s annual average temperature of minus 10 degrees Celsius does not seem so bad. But when the weather turns, the Arctic reveals its true nature. Storm clouds gather in the infinite blue sky, gusts of wind blow a gale, and buildings and vegetation vanish into the white vastness within minutes. In winter, the temperature can drop to as low as minus 45 degrees Celsius. During the short summer, clouds of mosquitoes billow from the countless puddles, ponds and lakes. With temperatures rising up to 30 degrees Celsius, the permafrost is transformed into a slushy morass. Why on Earth would anyone want to set up a ground station here?
BLOG: World Settlement Footprint - Where do humans live?
by Mattia Marconcini; 09 September 2020
After three years of meticulous data processing and comprehensive quality control, the World Settlement Footprint 2015 is now available. With a resolution of 10 metres, the new world map reveals settlement structures on Earth in 2015.
Happy Birthday, DFD!
01. September 2020
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.
Explosion in Beirut, Lebanon
07 August 2020
On August 4, 2020, a heavy explosion in Beirut, the capital city of Lebanon, killed over a hundred people and left many hundred thousand homeless.
The explosion took place in the harbor area at 18:08 local time. It was probably caused by a large quantity of ammonium nitrate stored at a warehouse in the port.
Members of the Bundestag Karsten Klein and Lukas Köhler visit EOC
30 July 2020
A fact-finding visit led Bundestag members Karsten Klein (FDP) and Dr. Lukas Köhler (FDP) to the EOC in Oberpfaffenhofen on 29 July 2020. The FDP politicians were particularly interested in applications in the field of environment and climate. In the Earth Observation Center, the delegates then discussed the possible applications of earth observation. The focus was on the Center for Satellite Based Crisis Information (ZKI).
Federal Minister Altmaier and Member of Parliament Dobrindt visit UFS Schneefernerhaus
27 July 2020
On 24 July 2020, Federal Minister of Economics and Energy, Peter Altmaier and Member of the Bundestag and Chairman of the CSU Regional Group in the German Bundestag, Alexander Dobrindt visited Germany's highest research station: the Schneefernerhaus (UFS) on the Zugspitze. Thanks to its high alpine location, the environmental research station offers unique opportunities for environmental, climate and altitude research. The German Aerospace Center (DLR), as one of a total of ten consortium partners, conducts research there, among other things, on atmospheric temperature at high altitude and analyses changes that contribute to the improvement of climate models and the early detection of natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes or tsunamis.
ZKI-Support for India and 6 other disaster regions
17 July 2020
Within the framework of the International Charter 'Space and Major Disasters', DLR-ZKI has been activated seven times in the past two weeks, six of the activations being due to heavy rainfall with subsequent flooding and landslides in Asia (Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Japan, and Myanmar).
Noctilucent clouds over Bavaria
07 July 2020
After sunset these past few days we were offered a spectacle quite unusual at our latitudes. Although the sun had already retreated below the horizon, silvery cloud structures became visible, so-called “noctilucent clouds”. Noctilucent clouds are not conventional clouds and thus of considerable interest to scientists. They are visible ambassadors of the climate change that is under way. .
International Astronautical Federation (IAF): Award for EOC employee
06 July 2020
Gunter Schreier, deputy director of DLR’s German Remote Sensing Data Center, was honoured by the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) with its “Distinguished Service Award 2020” in recognition of his outstanding services to the Federation as Chairmen of the Earth Observation Committee. Gunter Schreier has been a member of this committee since 2010 and its chairman from 2015 to 2018.
Six new missions for the European Copernicus Earth observation programme
01 July 2020
Sentinel satellites are at the heart of Copernicus, Europe's largest Earth observation programme. Sentinels are already reliably and continuously providing large amounts of data on the state of the climate, vegetation and oceans. Now, six more 'Earth Guardians', the High Priority Candidate Missions (HPCM), are being added.
Congratulations, TanDEM-X – 10 years of 3D mapping from space
25 June 2020
A new era in radar remote sensing began 10 years ago, on 21 June 2010, when the radar satellite TanDEM-X was launched. Since then, it has been orbiting Earth in close formation flight with TerraSAR-X, its three-year-older 'twin'. The distance between the satellites varies between several kilometres and sometimes only 120 metres. This enables the radar sensors to obtain a 3D view of Earth.
Project EisKlass2 improves sea ice services using satellite data
24 June 2020
With advancing global warming, waters in Arctic regions are becoming increasingly interesting for shipping. Sea ice can become a risk there. With EisKlass2, DLR is developing a prototype application to enable ships to pass safely through ice fields.
Cyclon Amphan - DLR supports with satellite images
29 May 2020
On May 20, 2020, tropical cyclone Amphan made landfall on the northeast coast of India and the south coast of Bangladesh. According to the Indian Meteorological Service, it is one of the worst storms in the region in the last 20 years. More than three million people were taken to emergency shelters. This is a particular challenge due to the corona pandemic.
DESIS supports Hyperspectral Copernicus Mission CHIME
27 May 2020
Starting in May 2020, the imaging spectrometer DESIS on the ISS (International Space Station) will additionally record data in preparation for the hyperspectral Copernicus mission CHIME.
MetOp-C takes over: Ozone Monitoring based on GOME-type satellite data at DLR for a quarter of a century
26 May 2020
Watching the animation of the annual reopening of the Ozone hole in the austral spring reminds us to the damage mankind has caused to our planet’s atmosphere through the industrial release of chlorofluorocarbons in the past. This visualization has been created at DLR from a 25 years long European satellite data series from Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment (GOME) type instruments which are hosted in the archives of EOC. The quarter-of-a-century long data-time-series is now continued by a new satellite starting to deliver data.
20 years DEMMIN – A research platform in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania
25 May 2020
The COPERNICUS initiative of the European Union (EU) and the European Space Agency (ESA) is aimed at developing remote-sensing based information products and services. This requires establishing validation sites that provide ground truth data. For 20 years DLR has operated the DEMMIN remote sensing validation site.
Artificial intelligence in earth observation
06 May 2020
In May 2020 three “International Future Labs for Artificial Intelligence”, the outcome of a competition launched by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), will begin work. One of them is the Future Lab ‘Artificial Intelligence for Earth Observation: Reasoning, Uncertainties, Ethics and Beyond’ (AI4EO), led by Munich Technical University (TUM) in collaboration with the DLR Earth Observation Center. It will be concerned with the development of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies in earth observation.
Despite weather influence -- corona effect now indisputable
27 April 2020
Some 4 billion people are currently affected by lockdown measures connected with the coronavirus pandemic. It is therefore not surprising that monitoring by Europe's Sentinel 5P satellite reveals a strong decrease in air pollution globally. Especially nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels are a good indicator of air contamination caused by industrial production and road traffic.
50 Years "Earth Day" - Satellites observe dramatic changes of our earth
22 April 2020
Millions of people took to the streets in the USA on April 22, 1970 - 50 years ago today - to demonstrate against oil spills, environmental pollution, whaling and toxic waste - and in doing so, they launched an initiative that would soon cover the entire globe: The environmental movement that today's "Earth Day" commemorates has left its mark on our civilization - in many cases with essential insights from outer space.
DLR technologies for humanitarian aid
14 April 2020
Technologies that are developed for space travel have to meet extreme requirements for their task in space: The systems and devices must not only be robust, safe, compact, light and easy to handle, but also function reliably and autonomously.
Copernicus Masters 2020 launched
07 April 2020
This year's DLR Copernicus Masters Challenge Environment, Energy and Health has started! Ideas and solutions leading to more sustainable management of our earth can be submitted from the beginning of April until the end of June. Especially at times of global change, pandemics and climate change this is more important than ever before. The specific focus of DLR is on managing the environment, natural resources, and the energy economy. In addition, human welfare, the connection between health and environmental factors, and the effects of epidemics are an important topic.
Innovative analyses as possible triggers for a satellite-based recording
03 April 2020
Experimental map products based on heterogeneous data streams like Twitter and media analysis tools:
In order to ensure a continuous improvement of satellite-based crisis information, ZKI is involved, i. a. together with the DLR project UKIS, in the research of new applied methods and the development of relevant products for the users in disaster management, humanitarian aid and civil security.
Relaunch for CODE-DE: The national earth observation portal is launched
01 April 2020
The earth observation portal CODE-DE (Copernicus Data and Exploitation Platform - Germany) has a new face: new interactive applications and data products as well as improved individual user support have been available to users since 1 April 2020.
Digitisation in agriculture — Field testing DLR technologies
30 March 2020
Remote sensing data can be useful in agriculture for increasing productivity while protecting the environment and biodiversity. In the "AgriSens DEMMIN 4.0 – Remote sensing technologies for digitisation in plant cultivation" project, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) is assessing remote sensing technologies suitable for digitisation applications in the agriculture sector through regional field testing at an experimental site in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
Unusual ozone hole over the Artic
25 March 2020
We got used to the fact that an ozone hole appears every year in the Antarctic spring. Due to special meteorological conditions this spring a similar effect is observed over the northern polar region. The ozone hole is caused by the combination of temperatures below -80°C, sunlight, and ozone depleting substances (ODS). In contrast to the Antarctic, the Artic polar vortex in the spring is less stable and the temperatures inside the vortex are relative warm.
5. 5th Symposium of the Virtual Alpine Observatory in Bern
4 - 6 February 2020
On February 4, the fifth symposium of the Virtual Alpine Observatory (VAO) was opened at the University of Bern, Switzerland. Over the following three days, scientists from France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Finland and ESA discussed the impact of climate change on the Alpine region and comparable mountain regions in Europe.
Congratulations, TerraSAR-X, on the 70,000st!
30 January 2020
At Gars O’Higgins in the Antarctic there was good reason to celebrate. The German radar satellite TerraSAR-X orbited the earth for the 70,000th time. Among other places, its data are acquired at the German Gars O’Higgins receiving station that is operated by DLR and the Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy and supported year-round by EOC staff.
BLOG: With Agulhas II into "perennial ice"
Progress report part 1 - 6
It began toward the end of September 2019 in a discussion with Dr. Christine Wesche of the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI). The idea of using a supply trip by the icebreaker S.A. Agulhas II to the AWI Antarctic station to conduct some research at the same time evolved in a few weeks with the support of DLR, AWI, and not least also my family, into a concrete plan. After the obligatory medical check-up and instruction about environmental protection in the Antarctic we were to head toward South Africa already in mid-January.
MdB Schrodi visits EOC
23 January 2020
Michael Schrodi (SPD), a member of the German parliament, visited DLR in Oberpfaffenhofen on 22 January 2020. His interest in climate protection and climate change also brought him to EOC.
Sentinel-PAC Contract at EOC extended to end of 2020
22 January 2020
For five years EOC has been processing the raw data from the four Sentinel satellites (Sentinel-1A and -1B as well as Sentinel-3A and -3B) on behalf of ESA. This contract has now been renewed for another year.
Smart data for sustainable cities
20 January 2020
Earth observation and artificial intelligence can be used to assist with sustainable development decisions. Some years ago, Earth underwent an epochal change, albeit one that was consciously perceived by only a few of us. For the first time in human history, more people are living in cities than in rural areas. Although this might not seem particularly remarkable at first glance, this change will ultimately affect each and every one of us, whether directly or indirectly – because the future is urban.
Bremen finance senator visits DLR in Bremen
20 January 2020
Bremen's finance senator, Dietmar Strehl, paid a visit to DLR in Bremen. Scientists at the EOC Maritime Safety and Security Lab informed the senator about the numerous capabilities of radar remote sensing of the oceans.
New earth observation sensors
15 January 2020
Aerial remote sensing supplements earth observation from space and contributes to the development of new satellite instruments and analytic methodologies. The cameras in use so far at EOC are now being replaced by new, improved instruments. They are available to all DLR scientists and their cooperating partners via the EOC user-service Optical Airborne Remote Sensing (OpAiRS).
Ice pilot: EOC sea ice analyses for maritime navigation in Arctic waters
14 January 2020
Sea ice can be dangerous for ships. If it is shoved together by storms, pressure ridges several metres thick can form, invincible even for icebreakers. EOC is working on methodologies for distinguishing types of sea ice and monitoring their drift to identify where potential pressure ridges could form. For this purpose EOC scientists rely on radar images that provide a picture of the ice situation regardless of cloud cover or polar night. For the analysis near Price Patrick Island in Canada shown here a time series recorded by the German radar satellite TerraSAR-X was used.
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