Satellite data and aerial photographs provide an image of the earth's surface with unprecedented precision and timeliness. At Thünen Institute, we use the information from various earth observation sensors to support and further develop monitoring tasks on the state and change of fields, forests and oceans. The area-wide coverage of land and sea surface indicators provides an objective data basis for policy advice and policy impact assessment.
With the start of the Copernicus program of the European Union, a new era for remote sensing began in 2014. Since then, large areas (regions, states, continents) can be covered with a high spatial resolution and at intervals of a few days, and the data are promptly and freely available.
At the same time, rapid technical developments in aerial photography (e.g., LiDAR, drones) have greatly improved the collection of features down to the individual level. This progress has been accompanied by the establishment of AI techniques for digital processing and analysis of the enormous amounts of data generated by these data.
The Thünen Earth Observation (ThEO) working group is coordinated by Dr. Stefan Erasmi. Its goal is to systematically utilise data from current and planned satellite missions for monitoring tasks and other research activities at the Thünen Institute.
In accordance with the breadth of the subject areas at the Thünen Institute, the activities of ThEO are divided into the following application areas: