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 geology experts to prepare for an upcoming project in Saudi Arabia

Mid of June 2019 our Team of Lead Geologists was invited by the Saudi Geological Survey (SGS) in Jeddah to discuss the outline and details of an upcoming geological mapping project covering the entire outcrop of the Arabian-Nubian Shield in Saudi Arabia.

The delegation of Dr. Tobias Wever and Dr. Bernd Schulte was explaining GAF’s up-to-date approach to utilise modern geo-technologies and the latest scientific knowledge on proterozoic mineral potential alongside with an industry-type management of this challenging and huge project. SGS officials received these messages with highest interest and were open for a participation of GAF and partners in the forthcoming tendering process. Our team could further intensify possible cooperation talks with a leading exploration company on this and other opportunities, as they were also present in KSA for a similar mission.

REDDCopernicus Stakeholder Workshop, 24-25 June 2019, JRC Ispra, Italy

The H2020 Project Capacity for Copernicus REDD+ and Forest Monitoring Services (REDDCopernicus) hosted 2-day workshop from 24-25 June 2019 at the EC’s Joint Research Centre in Ispra, Italy. The aim of the workshop was to bring together the main stakeholders for a consultative examination of the status of Earth Observation based Forest Monitoring both internationally and in Europe.

More than 30 participants from all over the world attended the workshop, including representatives from a variety of REDD+ countries (such as Mozambique, Indonesia, Brazil, Ethiopia), transnational organizations (East African Science and Technology Commission EASTECO), International Financing Institutions (World Bank), Intergovernmental and Non-Governmental Organizations (FAO, WRI) as well as members from the Earth Observation Industry and Scientific Communities.

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.

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