Our latest headlines

May 2018 | First Stakeholder Workshop for GlobeDrought
This month, RSS joined more than 30 experts in Bonn, Germany, to discuss international drought monitoring at an interdisciplinary level. GlobeDrought is an international project but will be carrying out more detailed analyses for five case studies (Zimbabwe, South Africa, the Missouri Basin (USA), Maharashtra (India) and Ceará (Brazil) until 2020. More information on the project and its consortium can be found on the official project website:

Photo by Jonas Franke
April 2018 | Mapping South Africa's Drought
After three consecutive years of low precipitation, South Africa's Western Cape is currently coping with unprecedented water shortages and one of the worst droughts on record. The social and economic impacts are already significant and predicted to weigh heavily on South Africa’s trade and development. RSS was in the field and has been investigating current and historical water levels of main dams via satellite products within the study "GlobeDrought". Read our full field report below.

Field Report (PDF 583 KB)

Figure: Maximum annual water levels in one of Cape Town's major dams over the past three years, as detected using ESA's Copernicus Sentinel-1 imagery.
March 2018 | MyFoods Midterm Review Complete
RSS and MYFoodS’ partner institution, HIPH, are currently investigating the technical viability of monitoring “Micro Yields for assessing Food Security and Malnutrition” (MYFoodS) in less developed countries (e.g. Burkina Faso) with European Space assets. The project’s midterm review was successfully completed this month.
February 2018 | Winners of the Peat Mapping Prize!
We are very pleased to announce that RSS, as lead of the International Peat Mapping Team, won the Indonesian Peat Prize this morning! The competition aimed to find a new, more accurate and efficient way of mapping tropical peatland extent and thickness, and the Scientific Advisory Board selected our methodology from a number of highly qualified and innovative competitors.
The Indonesian government will use our method to protect and manage peatland areas, accelerate peatland restoration and support Indonesia’s development goals. The Indonesian Geospatial Agency BIG will lead the process of using the winning method to improve the current standard for mapping peatland in a scale of 1:50,000, and will start the process by issuing a BIG regulation on peatland mapping.

Download Press Release

January 2018 | ESA’s Kick-Start Activities (Outdoor Tourism) completed!
This month marks the successful completion of our feasibility study CapeOutdoors 3D, which was funded by ESA’s Kick-Start Activities. The study was carried out in close cooperation with our sister company, 3D RealityMaps, and assessed the market potential of a 3D destination and conservation app for South Africa’s nature reserves and national parks. The web application itself is designed to fuse Earth Observation (e.g. Sentinel-2, 10m optical imagery) and satellite navigation technologies into a 3D planning tool for tourists and local conservation authorities. Test and explore our WebGL prototype here:
December 2017 | Happy holidays
Wishing everyone a memorabe holiday season and fantastic start to the new year, wherever you may be!
December 2017 | ESA’s Kick-Start Activities – Food Security
ESA’s Kick-Start Activities are looking for opportunities to develop ideas for new business applications using space technologies, and recently approved RSS GmbH’s submission under the category of “Food Security”. Within the proposed activity, RSS and our partner institution, Heidelberg Institute of Public Health (HIPH), will investigate the technical viability of monitoring “Micro Yields for assessing Food Security and Malnutrition” (MYFoodS). The study will be carried out in some of the world’s least developed countries (e.g. Burkina Faso), using European Space assets.
November 2017 | RSS @ UNFCCC COP23 2017 in Bonn
RSS co-organized the side event "Wetlands, Peatlands and Satellites" at UNFCCC COP23 2017 in Bonn, Germany, and presented the SWOS Satellite-based Wetlands Observation System in the EU pavillion.

For more information, visit the Official event website
October 2017 | Copernicus4Energy workshop
RSS contributes to Copernicus4Energy workshop at the European Commission (DG GROW) in Brussels with a presentation on "How Copernicus data and derivative information products can support the planning of the energy transition" representing the COP4EE project (read more (German):

Source: © de Ribaucourt Photography
August 2017 | New project to develop global drought monitoring system
Our newest project, GlobeDrought, will develop, test and implement a global drought information system by comprehensively characterizing drought events. A drought's impact on water resources, crop productivity, food trade and the need for international food aid will be among the many factors incorporated into the system. Drought risk in particular, will be mapped by considering the distribution of drought hazard, exposure and vulnerability.

An additional experimental early warning component will show the current drought situation, provide ongoing drought monitoring, and simulate plausible drought forecasts for the following year.

GlobeDrought is supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), as an integral part of their GROW („Global Ressource Water“) programme.