EUSI Delivers SAR Imagery to DLR for Rapid Mapping of Southern Germany Floods

Munich, Germany - During the devastating floods in Southern Germany, where multiple people have been declared dead and several missing, European Space Imaging (EUSI) worked closely with the DLR-ZKI (Centre for Satellite Based Crisis Information) to rapidly collect and deliver both VHR optical and Umbra Synthetic Aperture Radar satellite imagery over the affected areas,.

Analysts from the Indicator Monitoring for Early Acquisition of Innovative Satellite Sensors in Natural Disasters (IFAS) project received the high resolution SAR imagery from the Umbra Constellation and were able to create maps detailing flooded areas. The results are made available to authorities and relief organizations such as the Bavarian Red Cross (BRK) and the German Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW).

“Rapid access to satellite data during and immediately after flooding events is crucial to our work at IFAS as well as all emergency response organizations,” said Anne Schneibel, Researcher, Civil Crisis Information and Geo Risks at the German Aerospace Center (DLR). “Having the ability to task both optical and SAR satellite data from EUSI with rush delivery proved instrumental in this case of flooding in southern Germany following heavy rainfall while the skies remained covered by cloudy conditions.”

Due to persistent cloud cover following the floods, no usable optical satellite imagery had been collected before the delivery of the high resolution Umbra SAR data. EUSI DoubleShot Tasking is the result of a partnership between EUSI and Umbra aimed at tasking SAR imagery as high as 25 cm resolution and optical imagery as high as 30 cm resolution in close temporal proximity in order to provide users with guaranteed actionable data regardless of weather or daylight conditions. The combined tasking has already proven crucial in several emergency response and persistent monitoring applications.

"Umbra is deeply saddened by the recent flooding in Bavaria. We are, however, proud to support the emergency response efforts during this critical time. Our advanced imaging capabilities were designed to assist in life-saving situations like this. By making our data services accessible, affordable, and automated, we enable our partners worldwide to integrate us into their rapid response workflows effectively. We extend our gratitude to EUSI and the DLR for the opportunity to contribute to this vital mission,” said Joe Morrison, VP of Remote Sensing at Umbra.

Analysts at the DLR-ZKI have stated that the high resolution of the radar imagery allowed for flooded areas to be easily distinguished as the water has distinct reflections compared to surrounding dry land.

EUSI continues to monitor the situation in southern Germany, tasking both VHR optical imagery and Umbra SAR imagery to support relief efforts.

“We are intently focused on the benefits of satellite imagery for the safety and security of Europe,” said Adrian Zevenbergen, CEO of European Space Imaging (EUSI). “Our team continues to develop new products, workflows and partnerships to deliver life-saving insights as fast as possible.”

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