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Applications and Projects: Land Surface
The surface of our planet undergoes constant change. From exogenic and endogenic geological processes to global climate fluctuations to regional and local human interventions, processes are continually occurring on the surface of the earth which lead to significant changes in the character and usefulness of particular land segments. Examples are erosion, bushfires, desertification, large-scale ground clearance and urban sprawl. These changes can be identified and analyzed with the help of remote sensing methodologies. The results are used to develop information products, automated data processing chains, and resource management systems.
Which building characteristics can now be derived from remote sensing data? Taking the example of federal buildings used by the public, the FerBund research project is pursuing an answer to this question and is exploring the possibilities and limitations of using such data to determine their potential in relation to renewable energies and contributions to biodiversity and climate protection. For this purpose, property listings from the Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR) and georeferenced points of interest (POI) from the Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy (BKG) will be consulted to draw up as a first step a georeferenced selection of federal buildings to be examined in the project.
(03/2023 – 02/2026)
Das Projekt ForstEO (Einsatz der Erdbeobachtung zur Erfassung von klimabedingten Schädigungen des Waldes in Deutschland) wird vom Bundesministerium für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft (BMEL) und vom Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz, nukleare Sicherheit und Verbraucherschutz (BMUV) durch den Waldklimafonds gefördert.
(01/2023 – 12/2023)
Against the background of an uncertain and unprofitable food situation the expansion of efficient and sustainable agriculture in Ethiopia is especially important. In the RS4AIM-2 project (Remote Sensing for large-scale Agricultural Investment Monitoring in Ethiopia 2) DFD continues the cooperation with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), a service provider assisting the German government in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development, on the monitoring of land use in Ethiopia.
(10/2022 – 09/2026)
The COINS project (Co-developing innovations for sustainable land management in West African small holder farming systems) is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The aim of the project is the sustainable intensification of agriculture (SI), i.e. increasing productivity without taking up new land. In COINS, the relevant SI options will be catalogued, evaluated in terms of their suitability in local contexts in study areas in Ghana and Senegal, and finally the appropriate measures will be implemented on the ground.
(04/2022 – 04/2026)
Das DFG Projekt “Enhancing the structural diversity between patches for improving multidiversity and multifunctionality in production forests” befasst sich mit dem Zusammenhang von Biodiversität, Ökosystemdienstleistungen und deren Stabilität. In deutschen Wäldern wird seit Jahren ein durch Nadelwald-Monokulturen getriebener Rückgang der β-Diversität beobachtet, was laut Hypothese zu einer abnehmenden Multifunktionalität im Wald führt. Ein ökologisch orientiertes, nachhaltiges Waldmanagement, welches Störungen und Veränderungen im Wald auf verschiedenen Skalen zu-/belässt, kann zu einer Erhöhung der Heterogenität und Multifunktionalität beitragen.
(2020 – ongoing)
HydroSHEDS-X is an international collaborative project between the German Aerospace Center (DLR), McGill University in Montreal, Confluvio Consulting, and World Wildlife Fund (WWF). It is also the name of a new version of the HydroSHEDS database. It provides digital hydrographic information that can be applied in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or hydrological models at multiple scales, from local to global. Its various data layers form the basis for applications in a wide range of disciplines including environmental, conservation, socioeconomic, human health, and sustainability studies.
(10/2021 – 11/2023)
The Urban Thematic Exploitation Platform (UrbanTEP; urban-tep.eu) is a collaborative system, which focuses on the processing of earth observation (EO) data and delivering multi-source information on trans-sectoral urban challenges. The platform is developed to provide end-to-end and ready-to-use solutions for a broad spectrum of users (service providers, expert and non-expert users and researchers) to extract unique information/ indicators required for urban planning, urban management and sustainable development.
(05/2021 – 05/2024)
The aim of the CONCERT project is to identify options for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions for West Africa – in parallel with improving food security. In collaboration with German and West African partners (including the University of Augsburg, Forschungszentrum Jülich, West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use - WASCAL), the current flux observation network of WASCAL will be extended, the greenhouse gas emission budget will be estimated and predicted with a fully-coupled regional climate-hydrology-vegetation model, and land use options will be identified that are suitable to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, to increase soil carbon stocks, and to improve food security in the West African Sudan savanna. The CONCERT project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
(11/2021 – 10/2024)
Die zunehmende Klimaerwärmung führt zu dramatischen Veränderungen der Kryosphäre, wobei insbesondere der grönländische Eisschild in den vergangenen Jahr-zehnten erheblich an Masse verloren hat. Prognosen deuten auf eine weitere Verstärkung dieses Trends hin, wobei der infolgedessen ansteigende Meeresspiegel weitreichende globale Konsequenzen für Mensch und Umwelt hat. Zur Verbesserung der Prognosefähigkeit und zur Entwicklung von Abschwächungs- und Bewältigungsstrategien werden dringend verlässliche Informationen benötigt.
(07/2021 – 12/2023)
The drying of the Aral Sea is one of the most well-known environmental disasters with dramatic health, ecological and economic consequences. The GIZ project "Ecologically oriented regional development in the Aral Sea region" addresses competence-strengthening measures to enable investment decisions under consideration of environmental sustainability and climate adaptation.
Global WaterPack (GWP)
Water is essential to all forms of life. The rhythm of water determines economy and forms ecosystems. Natural lakes, wetlands, floodplains and artificial water reservoirs often undergo pronounced seasonal dynamics in their areal extent. The extent of open water surface is essentially depending on climate, relief, land cover and human intervention. These factors can cause regular fluctuations or clear trends over a long period of time or, in extreme weather conditions, cause sudden, large-scale changes. A comprehensive knowledge of global spatial-temporal patterns of water surfaces is of great importance to understand different natural and man-made processes and their effects.
Global CDA 2
(07/2021 – 07/2024)
Contemporary global hydrological (or land surface) models provide conflicting estimates of e.g. mean annual evapotranspiration or low, mean, and high flows in river basins, resulting in strongly differing estimates of current water availability or climate change impact on freshwater resources. The central objective of GlobalCDA and its continuation project GlobalCDA 2 is to improve our understanding of global freshwater resources and obtain better estimates of continental water fluxes and storages.
(04/2021 – 03/2025)
Central Vietnam is characterised by rapid urbanisation. At the same time, the region is facing a climate change-induced increase in precipitation and heavy rainfall events, as well as more frequent and intense flooding as a result. Against this background, the FloodAdaptVN research project assesses flood risk reduction and climate change adaptation measures in terms of mitigation and cost-effectiveness, as well as sustainability. The dynamics of current and future flood risks (2030, 2050, 2100) are modelled. A decision support system for risk-informed planning and prioritisation between different DRR, risk transfer and adaptation solutions (with a focus on ecosystem-based approaches) will be developed.
(06/2021 – 05/2024)
Das zentrale Hochland ist einer der wichtigsten Agrarregionen Vietnams, in der Kaffee, Kautschuk, Pfeffer, Gemüse und Obst u.a. zum Export angebaut werden. Gleichzeitig gehört Vietnam zu den vom Klimawandel am stärksten betroffenen Ländern, wobei die Projektregion besonders sensibel auf Extremwetterereignisse, wie z.B. hervorgerufen durch El Niño, reagiert. Drought-ADAPT hat zum Ziel, innovative Lösungsansätze zu entwickeln, um kurz-, mittel- und langfristige Planungen und Anpassungsmaßnahmen an Dürressituationen und deren Auswirkungen im Kontext des Klimawandels zu unterstützen.
(09/2020 – 12/2022)
The high Arctic has experienced a large warming in the last two decades. The Greenland ice sheet is currently undergoing rapid changes in response to the increased temperatures, which have led to a steady increase in melting processes. Despite the key role that hydrology plays on the ice sheet environment there is still no global hydrological budget for Greenland. The ESA project 4DGreenland aims to advance the understanding of the Greenland ice sheet’s surface, supra and sub-glacial hydrology and its evolution and interactions.
(05/2020 – 08/2022)
Over the past 40 years, Paraguay has lost the majority of its natural forest cover, thus becoming one of the countries with the highest deforestation rates in the world. Uninterrupted deforestation practices in the Paraguayan Chaco between 1987 and 2012 resulted in the loss of 27% of its original cover, accounting for almost 44,000 km2 of forested areas depleted. The rapid expansion of the agricultural frontier, cattle ranching, and illegal logging has converted the last forest remnants into isolated patches, thus endangering their continuity and biodiversity within them.
(09/2021 – 08/2023)
Das Projekt FP-CUP (Framework Partnership Agreement on Copernicus User Uptake) wird von der Europäischen Kommission gefördert. Ziel von FPCUP ist es, die breite Nutzung von Copernicus-Daten zu verbessern. In der nun bewilligten FPCUP-Action „Downstream service / application development for monitoring of environmental indicators “ werden in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Bayerischen Landesamt für Umwelt fernerkundungsbasierte Umweltindikatoren entwickelt, die unter anderem aus Sentinel-2-Zeitreihen und höchstaufgelösten optischen Satellitendaten abgeleitet werden.
(01/2020 – 12/2022)
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.
(2017 – ongoing)
The TanDEM-X PolarDEM is a framework for the provision of derivatives of the global Digital Elevation Model (DEM) of the TanDEM-X (TerraSAR-X add-on for Digital Elevation Measurements) mission. The global TanDEM-X DEM is a consistent data set with unprecedented accuracy. It was compiled from interferometric SAR data sets acquired between 2010 and 2014. The resulting global TanDEM-X DEM still faces some limitations that shall be tuned in the turn of this project, specifically for Polar Regions. The derivatives produced in TanDEM-X PolarDEM include edited DEM products, single year coverages and penetration bias corrected DEMs of Polar Regions.
(11/2019 - 10/2022)
In “Artificial Intelligence for Cold Regions” (AI-CORE) we will develop a collaborative approach for applying Artificial Intelligence (AI) methods in earth observation and thereby breaking new ground for researching the cryosphere. Rapidly changing ice sheets and thawing permafrost are big societal challenges, hence quantifying these changes and understanding the mechanisms are of major importance.
(10/2019 – 09/2026)
As one of the European Copernicus Processing and Archiving Centres (PACs) for the Sentinel-missions, involved in several Copernicus core services and being the key German institution to build and operate the Copernicus collaborative ground segment, the EOC has extensive knowledge and links to data, science and infrastructure in Copernicus.
(07/2018 – 2023)
The EU-funded project aims at increasing the number of Copernicus users and applications derived from Copernicus data or products by different actions. The project is lead by the German Aerospace Center (DLR Space Administration). 48 partners from 23 European countries are part of the consortium comprising a broad expertise on national and international Copernicus user uptake.
AgriSens DEMMIN 4.0
(03/2020 – 03/2025)
In the project "AgriSens DEMMIN - 4.0 Remote Sensing Technologies for Digitization in Crop Production" digital technologies in the field of remote sensing data use for digitization in agriculture are tested. The objectives are practical applications for the use of remote sensing data, i.e. satellite and UAV-supported systems, for concrete questions of crop cultivation, to further and newly develop methods against the background of previous experience and to make this knowledge available to the farmer in particular, but also to any interested party in general in an uncomplicated way.
(2019 – 12/2022)
Ice sheets are a key component of the Earth system, impacting on global sea level, ocean circulation and bio-geochemical processes. In Antarctica, significant quantities of liquid water are being produced and transported at the ice sheet surface, base, and beneath its floating sections, and this water is in turn interacting with the ice sheet itself. Despite the key role that hydrology plays on the ice sheet environment there is still no global hydrological budget for Antarctica. The ESA project 4DAntarctica aims to advance the understanding of the Antarctic Ice Sheet’s supra and sub-glacial hydrology, its evolution, and its role within the broader ice sheet and ocean systems.
(09/2019 – 05/2023)
Climate change is one of the greatest challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa. Projections suggest increasingly variable occurrence of precipitation and rising temperatures will lead to considerable harvest losses up to 50%. This is affecting the African agricultural sector, including Burkina Faso, a country where the agricultural sector plays an essential role in the national economy. New strategies and technologies are therefore urgently needed to adapt the agricultural sector to the negative consequences of climate change.
(02/2022 – 02/2025)
Entwicklung innovativer Methoden zur Bestimmung des Bewirtschaftungsmanagement in Grünland
Grünlandökosysteme sind in den süddeutschen Alpen und im Alpenvorland mit einer Gesamtfläche von mehr als einer Million Hektar weit verbreitet. Da Grünland das Futter für die Milch- und Fleischproduktion bereitstellt, ist es in ökonomischer Hinsicht besonders wertvoll. Weiterhin erfüllen Flächen, die als Grünland genutzt werden, eine Reihe zentraler Ökosystemfunktionen wie die Speicherung von Kohlenstoff und Stickstoff, Wasserretention, Erosionsschutz und Biodiversität.
(05/2018 - 07/2023)
Locust plagues are a serious threat to agricultural production, food security and the environment in many parts of the world, including Kazakhstan, the world's 9th largest state. Persistent periods of drought, climate change and changes in land use in Kazakhstan are further increasing the likelihood and intensity of locust pest outbreaks.
(DLR, 2/2023 – 12/2023)
Settlements and urban areas represent the cores of human activity and development. Besides climate change, urbanization represents one of the most relevant developments related to the human presence on the planet. Both global trends challenge our environmental, societal and economic development. In this context, the availability of and access to accurate, detailed and up-to-date information will impact decision making processes all over the world. The suite of Sentinel Earth Observation (EO) satellites in combination with their free and open access data policy contributes to a spatially and temporally detailed monitoring of the Earth’s surface.
Global Urban Footprint Global (GUF)
„Currently, more than half of the world’s population are urban dwellers and this number is still increasing rapidly. Global mapping and monitoring of urban areas is very important to support the development of strategies for sustainable future development of urban and rural settlements. Thus, the objective of the Global Urban Footprint (GUF) project is the provision of a worldwide data set, showing urban areas at unique spatial detail. The resulting map shows the Earth in three colors: black for “urban areas”, white for “land surface” and grey for “water”. This reduction emphasizes the settlement patterns and eases their characterization. The “Global Urban Footprint” will also be used as a basis for further developments to monitor global settlement dynamics over time and their comparison among different regions of the world.
Department: Land Surface Dynamics
Project EO Miners
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