Earth observation (EO) data processing

Providing EO data products and services based on high quality satellite image processing has been a core element of GAF’s business since 1985. All the experts in the GAF data processing unit have dedicated image processing and geo-science backgrounds. In order to serve the geo-information demands of a large and heterogeneous user community, we use EO data from all key satellite systems and sensors, no matter if commercial, scientific or public.

Our dedicated, quality controlled and certified processing chains are used to produce accurate geometrically and radiometrically optimised EO products in the required formats and specifications. Processing is controlled by the requirements of fit-for-purpose, quality and efficiency and is finetuned according to the various input product types and levels.

Over the course of many projects, we have processed hundreds of millions square-kilometres of data covering all parts of the globe, derived from various optical, hyperspectral and radar sensors.

Automated processing chains

In recent years, GAF has built up dedicated and highly efficient workflows for the production of large quantities of very high resolution (VHR) satellite orthoimagery and large-area mosaics in order to cater for the growing customer demand. This valuable experience has already been transferred to a variety of processing chains, covering optical and radar data of all resolution classes and involving different processing steps, such as orthorectification, bundle block adjustment, radiometric adjustment and topographic normalisation.

Following the setup of the Copernicus space segment, we have placed a special focus on the automatic processing of Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 data streams right through to the extraction of ready-to-use geo-information products.

Our certified and quality-controlled automated processing chains are a key technology to offer reliable, fast and cost-efficient services to our customers.

Specialised hardware and software

Powerful and reliable hardware and software solutions are there to store, process and display large volumes of geo-data in quality-controlled, fast and efficient environments. In addition to using dedicated servers, workstations and stereo workplaces, as well as established third-party COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) software solutions for image processing and GIS, GAF develops and adapts its own tools and solutions, which are optimised for specific products, sensors and workflows.

Many of these tools, including a powerful 3D visualisation package, are implemented in the open-source based GAFmap software suite.

Off-the-shelf EO data products

Our processing capabilities form the basis not only for the highly specialised production of individual customer solutions but also for offering a great set of standard EO products and services. Starting with large-area satellite image mosaics for specific countries or even the entire globe, our shelves are full with easy-to-use products generated either by our partners or by ourselves. These products include but are not limited to maps of land cover, land use and indices for various geographic and other thematic parameters, as well as three-dimensional representations of our Earth’s surface using digital elevation models (DEM).

All our off-the-shelf data products can be accessed via our dataatgaf [dot] de (multisource customer service)