Remote Sensing for a Sustainable Use of Resources - FERN.Lab

Funding by: Initiative and Networking Fund of the Helmholtz Association
Funding ID: HIL-A15 FERN.Lab
Project executing or management agency:  Helmholtz Association
Funding period: 01.01.2020 - 31.12.2024 with a mid-term evaluation after 2.5 years
Project partners: Industry Partners, Authorities, NGOs

The Helmholtz Association has been funding Helmholtz Innovation Labs at its centres since 2016. These are application-oriented labs where scientific expertise and the needs of industry and its customers are iteratively brought together. The aim is to create "enabling spaces" based on specialized technology platforms, infrastructures or competence centres. The aim of the Innovation Lab approach is to integrate corporate partners in joint research and development projects on a long-term basis and thus to act as an interface between industrial research and non-university research. The close and iterative interaction between science, industry, SMEs, start-ups and users or customers is intended to contribute not only to improving technologies, but also to introducing other perspectives of individual market participants at an early stage, which is essential to succeed in the development from invention to innovation. In 2019, a second call for proposals was conducted, in which again a proportionate funding of nine Innovation Labs over a period of five years was financed. Early participation of companies enables them to benefit from the funded phase and to anchor their topics as focal points in the lab at an early stage. 

The 5-year funding (incl. project evaluation after 2.5 years) enables the build-up of a physical lab, which is to establish itself as a technology platform for application-oriented, transdisciplinary method developments for the analysis of remote sensing data in the long term beyond the funding period. FERN.Lab supports the operationalisation of methods based on:

  • imaging, high-resolution optical, thermal and radar data,
  • the parameter derivation from imaging spectroscopy,
  • time-variable evaluations of earth gravity field measurements,
  • the development of low-cost receivers for GNSS data for high-precision positioning
  • Monitoring of greenhouse gas emissions,
  • as well as on the application of sensor simulations and big-data analyses.

With the help of the lab, the innovative geoinformation products and services from these priority topics are to be made available to companies, authorities and non-governmental organisations in order to support, for example, application areas such as environmental monitoring, smart farming, raw material exploration, groundwater monitoring or infrastructure monitoring. FERN.Lab serves as an interface between the scientific expertise of the entire Department of Geodesy and the intended transfer activities as well asthe cooperation partners and customers.

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