Geoscience & earth observation.
Diverse and interdisciplinary.

FERN.lab has extensive knowledge of different applications
in the fields of geoscience and earth observation.

Geologic sites

Mineral deposits assessment

Accurate knowledge of the type, amount and location of mineral deposits facilitates targeted mining activities reducing environmental impact and cost.

FERN.Lab supports efficient and accurate estimates of surface mineral occurrence using remote sensing exploration of geological deposits. This can be done using multi-sacle hyperspectral data (ground-based, aerial and satellite).

Forest management

Ensuring sustainable forestry

Biotic and abiotic factors such as pests or illegal logging can lead to severe losses to forest ecosystems.
FERN.Lab's satellite-based methods enable multi-temporal comparative analysis, which serves as a basis for conservation and forest management strategies.

Storm damage detection

Near real-time damage assessment

Storm damage effects the vitality of forests. Early removal of damaged trees can prevent pest and fungal infestations, protecting against environemntal and economic losses.
FERN.Lab creates near real-time radar-based maps (Sentinel-1) to identify affected areas and the extent of storm damage.

Water management

Sustainable water resource management

Earth observation data can support sustainable water management through detailed monitoring of waterbody extent, water quality and groundwater resources.
FERN.Lab supports sustainable water management using a variety of data sources. This includes the use of optical and radar data for the derivation of water quality and quantity (extent, algea, sediment load) as well as gravitation data to monitor groundwater resources.

Agricultural management

Analysis of soil and vegetation parameters

Earth observation data delivers useful information to support the transition to sustainable agricultural practices.
FERN.Lab provides high-level data products for precision and sustainable agriculture. With extensive experience in soil and vegetation monitoring, FERN.Lab develops and validates new, practice-oriented methods directly with farmers (AgriSens DEMMIN experimental field).

Soil parameters

Assessment of soil condition

Earth observation can identify and assess soil degradation caused by climate change and inappropriate land use.
FERN.Lab develops novel methods for the assessment of soil condition and specific soil parameters from the laboratory to the landscape scale.

Habitat monitoring

Monitoring and preserving biodiversity

Earth observation effectively captures biodiversity and supports nature conservation.
FERN.Lab provides a habitat and cultural landscape classification tool (MiSa.C). This tool supports decision-making for conservationists to maintain and manage diverse habitats and landscapes.

Greenhouse gas modeling

Measurement and modeling of greenhouse gas emissions

A combination of earth observation and in situ flux towers provides large scale information of important GHG sources.
FERN.Lab supports the measurement and modelling of greenhouse gas emissions and distribution in urban and rural areas.

Infrastructure monitoring

Detection of surface deformation

Earth observation facilitates the early detection of surface uplift and subsidence allowing for timely detection of infrastructure hazards.
FERN.Lab uses SAR interferometry methods to detect movements of buildings, bridges, railways and streets on a milimeter level.

Mining monitoring

Deformation events in post-mining landscapes

Vertical surface movement of mine waste sites, caused by groundwater changes, can lead to severe damage and are a potential hazards to workers and residents.
FERN.Lab monitors active mines and post-mining landscapes on a large scale to detect deformation events.

Microplastic detection

Detection of microplastics in compost

Contaminated compost has a negative impact on the vitality of plants.
FERN.Lab evaluates the possibility of plastic detection using near infrared spectroscopy. This method is developed and tested in a laboratory based on samples and validated in the field using an NIR spectrometer ( HySpex).

Nightlight emissions

Detection and measurement of nocturnal light sources

The artificial brightening of the night by avoidable light emissions has a negative effect on the biorythm of humans as well as many animal and insect species.
FERN.Lab supports the development of environmentally compatible and effective lighting concepts for cities. Spatial analyses can be used to detect light sources and measure and reduce their impact on the environment.
Algorithm development & validation