Earth Observation Center
Prof. Stefan Dech
Director DFD, Oberpfaffenhofen
Prof. Richard Bamler
Director IMF, Oberpfaffenhofen
The Earth Observation Center (EOC) at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) consists of the German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD) and the Remote Sensing Technology Institute (IMF) and is the center of competence for earth observation in Germany.
The EOC has ISO 9001:2008 certification. IMF and DFD are the leading national earth observation research and development institutions with public funding. DFD’s expertise is in operational tasks (Center for Satellite-based Crisis Information ZKI, National Remote Sensing Data Library NRSDL, international data reception facilities) as well as in the application of remote sensing to obtain information about the land surface, the atmosphere and civil crisis situations. IMF focuses on scientific research related to algorithm development, image processing, and data product development.
The primary tasks of the Earth Observation Center are
Focus of the institutes comprising the Earth Observation Center
The IMF focus is mainly on developing sensor-specific algorithms and methodologies, whereas DFD concentrates on developing user-oriented products and services.
The Earth Observation Center contributes to a variety of geoscience and atmospheric research projects at internal DLR, national and international levels by processing and providing access to requested data and information. Performing such challenging interdisciplinary tasks requires considerable specialist knowledge as well as competence in the fields of physics, mathematics, information technology and engineering.
Locations and structure
The EOC is located at three DLR research centers:
Additional working groups (circa. 40) have been established at two endowed chairs at:
The Earth Observation Center is composed of 13 units, with "Controlling" (EOC-CO) as a central service unit for both institutes. Central services are also provided by the "Information Technology," "Science Communication and Visualization" and "Business Development" units. EOC is managed by a joint directorate, where Prof. Bamler has the functional responsibility for IMF and Prof. Dech for DFD.
The institutional funding of the Earth Observation Center is governed by the research program of the Helmholtz-Association. The EOC is allocated to the research domains “Space & Transportation,” with DFD being predominantly active in the “Space - Earth Observation” program, while IMF also receives funding from the “Transportation” and “Aeronautics” programs. Through its participation in national, European and ESA (European Space Agency) research and development projects and by providing operations support for ESA, DFD currently finances over 50% of its budget with third party contracts. The corresponding figure for IMF is about 40%. Both institutes team up with German and international industry and SMEs in order to apply for ESA bids relating to the development and operation of European earth observation missions. Besides ESA, the most important clients are the European Commission, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, and commercial enterprises.
EOC has ISO 9001:2015 certification.