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Current research projects

Current research projects

  • ESA DUE GlobBiomass (2015-2018). Global carbon stock monitoring. The main purpose of the ESA DUE GlobBiomass project is to better characterize and reduce uncertainties of AGB estimates. Results will include an innovative, synergistic mapping approach in five regional sites for the epochs 2005, 2010 and 2015, as well as one global map for the year 2010. Funded by the European Space Agency (ESA).
  • PolInSAR4AGB (2015-2018). Modelling of forest height and aboveground biomass in tropical forests in Indonesia using polarimetric SAR interferometry. This research project aims to model forest height and aboveground biomass (AGB) in tropical forests in Indonesia, using polarimetric SAR interferometry (PolInSAR). X- and C-band data will be investigated in combination with TerraSAR-X, RADARSAT-2 and Sentinel-1 data. Funded by the German Space Agency (DLR).
  • ESA FireCCI (2015-2018). The European Space Agency (ESA) Climate Change Initiative (CCI) is part of the European contribution to the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) program. Fire disturbance is one of the Essential Climate Variables(ECV) included in the ESA CCI program. It focus on mapping burned area using European sensors (ATSR, VEGETATION and MERIS data), and in comparing the performance of the results with other existing datasets. The project aims at developing and validating algorithms to produce consistent, stable, error-characterized global burned area information. Funded by the European Space Agency (ESA).
  • Sentinel4marine (2015-2017). Monitoring plastic pollution in marine ecosystems. This project investigates the relationship between in-situ plastic debris samples (ranging from microplastics to ghost nets) and remotely sensed water parameters (e.g. chlorophyll-a, turbidity). The results will create extensive plastic debris source-sink maps for rivers and oceans. Collaborators: University of Bayreuth, Helmholtz Centre Potsdam GFZ. Funded by the German Space Agency (DLR) and BMWi.
  • High Carbon Stock (HCS) Study of the Sustainable Palm Oil Manifesto (2015-2017). The study aims to clearly define what constitutes High Carbon Stock (HCS) forest, and establish HCS thresholds that takes into account not only environmental concerns but also socio-economic and political factors in developing and emerging economies. Appropriate methods to estimate carbon stock on the ground will be identified, in areas where cultivation of oil palm is likely, and the impact of varying HCS thresholds, on the developmental needs of local communities and governments in these regions will be assessed.
  • DFG (2013 – 2016). Developing an integrated forest carbon monitoring system with field sampling and remote sensing. The proposed research will contribute to the improvement of forest carbon monitoring under the challenging conditions of humid tropical forests. Sample based field observations and model based biomass predictions will be linked to area-wide satellite remote sensing imagery (RapidEye) and to strip samples of LiDAR imagery. The research project is a joint proposal (Gemeinschaftsantrag) of Prof. Christoph Kleinn, Chair of Forest Inventory and Remote Sensing at Georg-August Universität Göttingen (GAUG) as main applicant and apl Prof. Florian Siegert within Department II of the Biology Faculty at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU) and member of the interdisciplinary GeoBio-Center of the the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) München.

REDD-FLAME (2011 - 2013)

The REDD Fast Logging Assessment & Monitoring Environment (REDD-FLAME) project will design, prototype and demonstrate a system capable of monitoring tropical and sub-tropical forests using high-resolution radar (and optical) imagery acquired by Earth Observation satellites. By focusing on early detection of logging activities, the system will provide the means to quickly identify the first signs of deforestation and thus act as a tool to control resource use and sustainable development within these fragile and valuable environments. International research project funded by the European Commission, FP7.

MALAREO (2011 - 2013)

The primary objective of MALAREO is to develop technology and implement earth observation capacities for malaria vector control and management programs in southern Africa. International research project funded by the European Commission, FP7.

CEUBIOM (2009 - 2011)

Classification of European Biomass Potential for Bioenergy Using Terrestrial and Earth Observation. Objective of the project is the dissemination of best practices, technology transfer, development of international co-operation and the distribution of the results and findings to the international scientific community and the respective administrative bodies. International research project funded by the European Commission, FP7.

For-RE (2009 - 2011)

Analysis of the potential of the Rapideye satellite system to monitor forest degradation by looging and fire in the framework of REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation). Research project funded by the RapidEye Science Archive (RESA).

ASIALINK (2006 – 2008)

Human capacity enhancement of Asian and European young academics for teaching and research on restoration and rehabilitation of degraded forests and wetlands in Southeast Asia, specifically Indonesia and Thailand, funded by the European Commission [more info]

Last Mile (2007 – 2009)

Numerical Last-mile Tsunami Early Warning and Evacuation Information System (Last-mile – Evacuation). In cooperation with the German Space Agency (DLR). 3D topographic mapping of densely populated coasts using very high resolution digital stereo aerial imagery, funded by BMBF

TerraSAR-X (2007 – 2009)

Development of SAR based methods for the improved assessment of biomass in undisturbed and disturbed forests in the framework for greenhous gas accounting (GHC). Comparison and synergistic use of TerraSAR-X, ALOS PALSAR and the ENVISAT ASAR imagery. Assessment of fire occurrence and fire impact and estimation of carbon emissions; funded by German Space Agency (DLR)

RESTORPEAT (2005 – 2008)

Restoration of Tropical Peatland to Promote Sustainable Use of Renewable Natural Resources. The project aims to provide access to existing knowledge and expertise, and to conduct targeted research on restoration of tropical peat swamp forest. It focuses on the restoration of tropical peatland by recreating environmental conditions for reinstatement of ecological and natural resource functions and promote integrated, multiple land use to minimise damage to the peat carbon store and maximise potential for carbon sequestration. (STREP project European Commission, Framework Program). [more info]

GMES GSE Forest Monitoring (2006 – 2008)

Establishment of methods for Forest Monitoring in the framework of National Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Reporting in Indonesia. The service delivers statistics on forest area, forest area changes and on volume, biomass and carbon stock, as well as their respective changes for 5 sites in Indonesia with special focus on tropical peat (three of the sites include peat), funded by European Space Agency (ESA).