New CEO at GAF AG: Dr. Sebastian Carl takes over from Dr. Peter Volk on 1 July 2018

After 32 years of working for GAF and more than 11 years in the position of CEO, Peter Volk stepped down from the latter position as planned on 30 June 2018. On 1 July, Sebastian Carl took over as CEO of GAF.

Sebastian Carl has been with the company for more than 25 years and previously already managed large parts of the companies’ activities. With an educational background as an agricultural engineer, he gained a doctorate in SAR imagery analysis using artificial analysis. Among other things, he has worked with the analysis of large volumes of EO data at GAF.

Peter Volk will remain available to the company in order to ensure a smooth transition and assistance with strategic and operative functions. GAF is very pleased that it can provide management continuity and therefore ongoing excellent service to its existing and future clients.

GAF is service provider to ESA Earth Observation Clinic

The European Space Agency (ESA) has launched the EO Clinic (Earth Observation Clinic), a rapid-response mechanism for small-scale and exploratory uses of satellite EO information in support of a wide range of projects and activities specific to International Development. The EO Clinic consists of “on-call” technically pre-qualified teams of EO service suppliers ready to help development projects with a comprehensive range of skills and experience in terms of geospatial product generation and analyis, based on a large variety of satellite data.

The EO Clinic is now open to support requests by key development banks and agencies. GAF in a team led by e-geos is one of the selected service providers. More information can be found here: https://eo4society.esa.int/eo_clinic/

Copernicus Land Monitoring: High-Resolution Layers 2018 kick off!

The European Environment Agency (EEA) has entrusted GAF AG with the latest update of the Copernicus Land Monitoring Service’s High-Resolution Layers FOREST and GRASSLAND.

In the presence of representatives from the European Environment Agency (EEA), the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Topic Centre on Urban, Land and Soil Systems (ETC-ULS), the High-Resolution Layer (HRL) update 2018 kicked off on 21/22 Jan. 2019 in Copenhagen. Based on full time series of Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 observations, the GAF-led team will perform a pan-European consistent update of HRL Forest and Grassland characteristics for all EEA-39 countries (approx. 6 million km²) at an unprecedented spatial resolution of 10m.

The important role of remotely sensed data for the protection of forests

Copernicus Sentinel data have successfully been used to demonstrate a Near-Real-Time Forest Monitoring System in two provinces of Ecuador. At an early stage the system is recording tree cover loss caused by illegal logging activities over large areas. The verification and documentation of the deforestation alerts is supported by aerial imagery taken with remotely piloted drones (see image) at the hot spots. Read more about the role of remotely sensed data for the protection of forests in the HORIZON online magazine.

https://horizon-magazine.eu/article/drones-and-satellite-imaging-make-forest-protection-pay.html

GAF participates at 1st workshop on the future of German space activities

Dr. Peter Volk, in his capacity as Vice-Chairman of the GAF Supervisory Board, participated in the first workshop on the future of German space activities. The event took place at the DLR headquarters on 12th November 2018 and was initiated by Thomas Jarzombek, a member of Parliament and Federal Government Coordinator of German Aerospace Policy. The high-profile workshop discussed the opportunities and challenges for Germany’s space investments during the upcoming years. At the workshop, Peter Volk emphasised the importance of utilising new developments in the Earth observation downstream sector and the prominent role of industry stakeholders.

New concepts for EO services and products for the mining life cycle

Dr. Bernd Schulte, Head of Geological and Mineral Resources Mapping at GAF, presented his paper “EO services and products for the mine life cycle” at the thematic conference Copernicus for Raw Materials: making the potential fully operational, which was held in Brussels on 12 November 2018. He also participated in a lively panel discussion emphasising the achievements already made using Copernicus data for the various steps of a mining project. Moreover, the full potential of Earth Observation has not yet been realised and various ideas for customisable products and services were therefore also presented.

GAF supports geospatial technology – pixel to people

GAF participated in the ISPRS Technical Commission 5 Education and Outreach Symposium, focusing on the motto “geospatial technology – pixel to people”, in the IPAC session on international cooperation focusing on EO for support of sustainable development and technical assistance, taking place in Dehradun/India from 20-23 November 2018, here ISRO Director Prakash Chauhan is thanking the panelists.

GAF awarded contract by the Bavarian State Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Forestry for the Automated Evaluation of Satellite Data project- CAP2020

GAF has won the tender and been awarded the contract for a pilot project for the highly automated evaluation of satellite data for the monitoring of agricultural parcels. As part of the modernisation and simplification of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in the funding period after 2020, new procedures and the use of innovative technologies are planned. Within this framework, machine learning procedures and neural networks will be used, together with a large volume of Sentinel-1, Sentinel-2 and other suitable raster data (big data). This approach will be used for the evaluation and checking of crop types and agri-environmental and climate measures, and is intended to replace on-the-spot-checks (OTSC) in their present form in the long term.

GAF continues to assist with the modernisation of the Nigerian Mining Cadastre Office

GAF has been awarded a contract to upgrade and automate the Nigerian Mining Cadastre Office. The aim is to enable online applications, e-recording, archiving and the establishment of local offices in the six geographical zones of the country. This is the first sub-project launched within the Mineral Sector Support for Economic Diversification Project (MinDiver), which is financed by a World Bank credit from the International Development Association (IDA). The contract signing ceremony took place in Abuja, Nigeria in the presence of Abubakar Bawa Bwari, the Hon. Minister of Mines and Steels Development (MMSD), several directors of various ministerial departments and a number of officials from the World Bank. GAF was represented by Dr. Tobias Wever, Head of the Geology and Mines Section.

ECoLaSS team presents recent achievements in Copernicus Land Monitoring

Brussels, 5th September 2018
The ECoLaSS international project team, which is under the leadership of GAF AG, gathered last week to present the progress made during the first 18-month project period to the European Commission’s Research Executive Agency (REA). Coordinated by Linda Moser (GAF, middle), ECoLaSS is developing, testing and prototypically demonstrating new technologies and products as candidates for a next-generation Copernicus Land Monitoring Service (CLMS) from 2020 onwards. ECoLaSS brings together a group of renowned research and industry partners consisting of GAF (Germany), SIRS (France), UCL (Belgium), Joanneum Research (Austria) and DLR (Germany).

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