As the German Aerospace Research Centre and the national space agency DLR is organised as a chartered non-profit organization and has approximately 9,100 employees at 27 locations in Germany. DLR’s work on the GFM product is conducted by the Georisks and Civil Security department of the Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD).
Its main focus is to support the entire disaster-management cycle with satellite-based geoinformation products in cases of environmental and natural threats, humanitarian crisis situations and civil security emergencies. The department has strong expertise and longstanding experience in satellite-based flood mapping and monitoring. Its scientific and technical work includes developing new analytical methodologies for working with remote sensing data, using and further developing geoinformation technologies, developing thematic remote sensing processors and monitoring systems, vulnerability and risk modelling, and designing and establishing crisis information and early warning systems.
The department also operates the Center for Satellite Based Crisis Information (ZKI), whose function is the rapid acquisition, processing and analysis of satellite data and the provision of timely satellite-based information products for rapid decision support in case of disasters and humanitarian crisis and civil security emergencies.
In terms of related expertise, the core expertise of DLR is on research and development as well as the establishment of operational services in the fields of satellite-based emergency mapping (e.g., ZKI, CEMS), flood mapping and monitoring (e.g., InsuResilience flood monitoring India) and early warning systems (e.g., German Indonesian Tsunami Early Warning System).
With its national and international receiving stations DLR offers direct access to data from Earth Observation missions, derives information products from the raw data, disseminates these products to users, and safeguards all data in the National Remote Sensing Data Library for long term use. This includes amongst others the Sentinel-1 and 3 (OLCI) Processing and Archiving Centres (PACs). In this context, DLR develops, operates and continuously improves fully automated processing chains for flood monitoring from SAR (Sentinel-1 and TerraSAR-X) and optical (Sentinel-2 and Landsat) satellite data.
Software tools and algorithms are based on sound scientific studies, published in peer-reviewed journal articles and are being extensively tested in numerous national and international projects and services with world-wide coverage.
Regarding related experience, DLR has longstanding experience in satellite-based emergency mapping with particular focus on flood mapping and monitoring services throughout numerous projects and services. The most relevant ones are listed below:
Other relevant projects include DAREnet (Danube river region resilience exchange network), InsuResilience (Flood monitoring for the insurance sector in India), ASAPTERRA (Advancin SAR and optical methods for rapid mapping), CODE-DE (Copernicus data and exploitation platform Deutschland), HEIMDALL (Multi-hazard cooperative management tool for data exchange, response planning and scenario building), DRIVER+ (Driving innovation in crisis management for European resilience), RIESGOS (Multi-risk analysis and information system components for the Andes region) and GITEWS
Together with LIST and TU Wien, DLR was part of the core Expert Group that was set up by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) to assess the feasibility of an automated, global, satellite-based flood monitoring product, in order to complement and enhance the capabilities of the CEMS for mapping and monitoring floods (Matgen et al., 2020).
More information is provided on the DLR official official web-site.