Our latest headlines

March 2012 | Assessment of grassland use intensity by remote sensing to support conservation schemes
Grassland is a land cover in the area of conflict between agriculture and conservation, where intensification of land use is a major threat to grassland biodiversity. Grassland use intensity is a key factor for the conservation value of grassland, and detailed spatial data on grassland use intensity is needed to improve strategies for biodiversity conservation. A new remote sensing-based approach using multi-temporal high resolution RapidEye satellite data was developed in the present study that makes a large-scale assessment of grassland use intensity possible. RapidEye is a constellation of five satellites with 6.5 m spatial resolution, which allows frequent and timely image acquisition targeted at specific growing seasons. Semi-natural grassland, extensively used grassland, intensively used grassland and tilled grassland could be reliably differentiated at the management plot level in a study area in southern Germany. Various combinations of images from different observation dates have been tested as classification input and their overall classification accuracies were validated by field data. Best results were achieved using a combination of five multi-temporal scenes with an overall accuracy of 85.7%. A three-scene combination resulted in an overall accuracy of 82.2%. The analysis showed that seasonal aspects are very important when selecting adequate observation dates. Grassland use intensity was also assessed on peatlands using a peat soil map, since land use intensity significantly affects greenhouse gas emissions from peatlands. The results demonstrate the potential of targeted multi-spectral, high spatial resolution remote sensing for the large-scale monitoring of dynamic habitats, which is of vital importance to support various environmental conservation schemes through improved monitoring and reporting capabilities.
Get access to complete paper as pdf here
March 2012 | African Malaria Control Project
RapidEye, the leader in high-resolution, wide area repetitive coverage of earth through its constellation of satellites announced that its imagery is being used by the MALAREO project to assist with malaria control programs in countries in southern Africa. RSS - Remote Sensing Solutions GmbH, partner in the project consortium, is responsible for data processing and the development of Earth Observation (EO) products.
Read the press release for more information.
February 2012 | Above ground biomass estimation across forest types at different degradation levels in Central Kalimantan using LiDAR data
Highlights of this paper
► Field measured above ground biomass (AGB) estimates of Central Kalimantan's forest ranges from 15 to 547 Mg ha−1 depending on forest type and degradation level.
► The angle count sampling method was tested to be adequate for fast sampling in tropical forest.
► AGB-predicting regression models for peat swamp forest and lowland dipterocarp forest could be developed by linking field inventory and LiDAR data within 1-ha-plots.
► Models explain 83% of the variation in lowland dipterocarp forest plots (RMSE = 21.37%), 32% in peat swamp forest plots (RMSE = 41.02%) and 71% taking both types together (RMSE = 33.85%).
► Quantifying above ground biomass of whole LiDAR tracks showed the ability of our approach to extract spatial biomass variability from LiDAR data. The detection of forest degradation, i.e. logging could be improved compared to the analysis of Landsat imagery.

Get access to complete paper as pdf here.
November 2012 | RSS supports Krombacher climate care - project
The project, which the WWF Germany runs with the Krombacher Brewery has set itself the goal to renature 176,000 acres of Sebangau National Park in Borneo, one of the largest remaining peat swamp forests around the world. Thus, a large amount of greenhouse gas emissions can be saved.The RSS GmbH was commissioned by WWF Germany to support the renaturation and afforestation in Indonesia's peat forests using satellite information and lidar measurements.The area of ​​the Sebangau has been damaged by intensive loggingin the past: The swamp area is crossed by a network of small canals that were dug by loggers to transport the logs to the peat. This leads to a severe drying of the peat. By the microbiological decay of peat, considerable amounts of greenhouse gases are released. In addition, by clearcutting and fire large areas of natural forest have been destroyed, which is an important habitat for many endangered species like the orangutan and in which also huge amounts of carbon are stored.The tasks of RSS GmbH include the planning of dam construction and the evaluation of potential reforestation areas through advanced remote sensing techniques to ensure optimum rewetting and restoration of the peatland in Sebangau.Highly accurate terrain models using LiDAR data (Light Detection And Ranging) are created, which are recorded as part of an aerial survey of the area. This elevation data with accuracy in the centimeter range can be used to accurately determine the optimum location of dams. In addition the latest satellite data of the RapidEye satellites are used to identify areas suitable for afforestation. As part of a field campaign, reference data is collected, as well as local project managers are trained in the mapping with GPS and how to make use of the results.
Further links:
December 2012 | DeCOVER 2 user workshop 08-09.06.2011
At the workshop, we want to inform you about the progression of the DeCOVER 2 project. Essential content and review the idea first test results of the update / continuation of land cover data using the example ATKIS BasisDLM and Corine Land Cover will be. Another focus is placed on the methodological approaches and the first implementation of Agra and environmental monitoring in the areas of cross-compliance and habitats monitoring.
More information, agenda and registration forms can be found at:
March 2011 | Aboveground biomass estimation in the context of REDD
An article on estimating aboveground biomass in Indonesia's tropical forests on the basis of SAR data was recently published in the journal Remote Sensing of Environment. REDD (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) is a climate change mitigation mechanism which aims at avoided deforestation. It was accepted at the climate change conference in Cancun last December and requires a reliable assessment of aboveground biomass. Especially tropical forests store huge amounts of carbon and are therefore in the focus of REDD. The results of this study demonstrate that the combined use of multi-temporal TerraSAR-X and ALOS PALSAR data can provide large-scale aboveground biomass estimations for tropical forests also showing the spatial distribution over the whole biomass up to 600 t/ha.
Click here to read full article.
November 2012 | Radio-Interview
It is well known, that there are far more advertisements for ecologically correct production, then what is really organic. Yet these products have usually an untarnished popularity. Finally, they suggest that one helps a little bit to save the world and thus provides for a miniscule cost of a good conscience. Since it is particularly surprising that the new eco-hero of the fuel industry provides much dynamite and little drive.While the station operators fear to sit on the new Eco fuel, Peter Navratil explains why the new fuel is not sustainable, as suggested by the name of "biofuels". The graduated geographer is engaged with biofuel as a research associate of the Remote Sensing Solutions GmbH. He keeps the corn-derived biofuels for a bluff. Although biofuel would actually ensure the combustion of a lower CO 2 emissions, the long-term increase in demand for corn will result in monocultures and might lead to increased deforestation of the rain forest.
Listen to the interview (in German) here.
December 2012 | NABU Press release
After the devastating fires in Russia, NABU draws attention to the alarming consequences for the global climate. According to estimates by Professor Florian Siegert from the GeoBio Center of the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich solely by peat fires in Russia could have occurred 30 to 100 million tons of climate-damaging carbon dioxide. This amounts to about four to twelve percent of the annual CO2 emissions of Germany. This first evaluation is based on initially low-resolution satellite data. To capture the full scale of the disaster in detail further research is urgently needed. Thomas Tennhardt, NABU vice president and head of the Department of International Affairs: "The peat fires not only had dire consequences for the people and animals in the region. The danger for the environment is enhanced by the soot particles yet released. They keep very long in the atmosphere and can be worn to the Arctic, where they accelerate the melting of ice. " For weeks on the outskirts of Moscow, burned not only forests but also peatlands. The resulting extreme particulate pollution probably cost thousands of people their lives. The thick smoke from burning peat bogs contain large amounts of carbon monoxide and extremely dangerous climate-damaging carbon dioxide. The resulting pollution is higher by far than those from burning forests. The Russian peatlands were drained from the thirties coverage for commercial use. To prevent the formation of peat fires in the future and to ensure the functioning of these ecosystems, the former peatlands are again becoming waterlogged. From NABU view it is therefore necessary to start in the affected regions in Russia a plan for restoration of Moore. This does not necessarily have any use.
Felix Grützmacher, NABU officer for mire protection: "In Germany, such projects are already showing promising results. In the economic exploitation of such reeds as fuel or building materials, the soil remains wet and the danger of fires is banned. This would not only help to protect the climate, but would have positive effects for many animal and plant species."
Click here to listen to a radio broadcast of Deutschlandradio concerning the subject.
December 2012 | Interview in major German newspapers
The fires in Russia could have measurable effects on the global climate. The more peat burns, the more greenhouse gases arise. Professor Florian Siegert of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich describes the effects in an interview with the news agency dpa.
March 2010 | RSS GmbH assumes specialist role for REDD projects in Indonesia
ClimateCare/JP Morgan, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Fauna Flora International (FFI) and AusAID are contracting RSS GmbH to provide expert assistance for their proposed avoided emissions projects in Indonesia including Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest degradation in Developing countries (REDD). RSS has been selected based on the proven expertise at mapping and monitoring deforestation and land cover change using advanced remote sensing and GIS techniques and in developing methods for REDD demonstration activity implementation and peat carbon projects.

REDD related services:
  • Technical assistance for terrestrial and aerial based (above and below ground biomass) carbon stock inventories at regional to project level
  • Remote sensing based on satellites, LIDAR and stereo cameras for improved carbon stock estimation
  • Historical trend analysis and baseline assessment based on satellite imagery, scenario development, modelling
  • Spatially explicit emission estimates
  • Monitoring of project implementation for avoided deforestation and reforestation projects, including quality assurance
  • Technical training and capacity building