Our competencies

FERN.Lab matrix of competencies

FERN.Lab collaborates with the scientists of the Department of Geodesy at GFZ Potsdam. This enables us to rely on a wide range of different competencies that help us to develop software and hardware solutions according to your individual needs.

Development of future sensor technology and algorithms for the extraction of information from big data

Sensor simulations

Development of future earth observation sensors

The development of future earth monitoring sensors requires detailed knowledge about the sensor performance and its scope of application.
Our experts support you with the sensor end-to-endsimulation developed at GFZ, which allows for testing future data depending on sensor parameters very realistically before the operational assignment.

Data homogenization

Adaptation of multisensory data

The acquisition and monitoring of processes can be best accomplished by combining data from different remote sensing satellites. For a synergetic analysis, spatial, spectral and radiometric homogenization is required to make the data comparable.
Our experts develop processors to create uniform data stacks of optical satellite data (e.g. Sentinel-2, Landsat, Aster, PlanetScope, EnMap), implementing spectral band alignment and sub-pixel co-registration. Benefit from our extensive knowledge in data homogenization and participate in our software developments.


Time series analyses

Change and anomaly detection in time series

The high temporal resolution of the data series of the Copernicus and commercial satellite missions allow detailed change analyses of our environment.
Our experts help you to extract the desired information from the huge amounts of data, for example for controlling measures in the agricultural sector or for early hazard detection (landslides, ground movements, etc.).

Big Data analysis

Technology development

Especially in the field of geodata utilization, we face the challenge of using time-series of big and diverse data synergetically.
Our experts support you in developing new, effective technologies for remote sensing analysis of large, multi-sensor data sets and demonstrate their suitability in selected application scenarios. FERN.Lab develops integrated processing chains that can handle petabyte-scale data volumes.

GNSS hardware / tinyBlack

Highly accurate location and water vapor determination

The tinyBlack allows for inexpensive and highly accurate location and water vapor determination by using the civil signals from GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and BeiDou with rates up to 20 Hz.
FERN.Lab experts develop a small, inexpensive GNSS receiver, suitablefor long-term measurements also at extreme weather conditions. An integrated ARM-based processor as well as an internal data storage and interfaces for external sensors (e.g. weather station) allow for a wide range of applications. Remote access and the transfer of observation in real-time are just as feasible as a detailed file-based saving over long time periods. The device can be usedwith 9 to 30V and between -40 to 85°C.
Acquisition of information with regards to short- and medium-term
changes in the availability of natural resources

Geologic sites

Mineral reserves assessment

An accurate knowledge with regards to the type, amount and location of mineral deposits at geologic sites allows for targeted mining activities and therefore leads to significant cost savings.
FERN.Lab is in direct contact with experts who can provide a low-cost, timely estimate of the mineral occurrence at thesurface by means of remote sensing exploration of geological deposits. This canbe done in high resolution by means of suitable camera images on site, as wellas on a larger scale by means of aerial photography.

Water management

Extraction of waterbody outlines

The change of water areas as well as water quality at the surface of waterbodies and extensive changes of water resources in the ground deliver valuable information for a sustainable water management.
FERN.Lab supports you in the extraction of water body outlines and a derivation of algae conditions from optical and radar data, and deliver valuable information with regards to extensive changes in water resources down a few hundred meters in the ground through the analysis of changes of the gravitation field.

Agricultural management

Analysis of soil and vegetation parameters

The agricultural sector faces considerable changes due to climate change and social restraints. Remote sensing data may deliver useful spatial information to support such process of transformation towards a more sustainable agriculture.
FERN.Lab supports you in the development of geodata-based information products for agriculture. Our expertise encompasses the analysis of soil and vegetation parameters. The experimental field AgriSens DEMMIN 4.0 offers a great precondition to test and validate new practice-oriented issues directly with farmers.

Forest management

Securing sustainable forestry

Biotic and abiotic environmental factors like pest infestation or illegal clearings can lead to severe consequences for a regulated, sustainable forestry. In order to keep negative effects at a minimum, near-termand gentle methods for data collection are needed.
Our resource-efficient satellite-based method enable multitemporal comparative analysis, which serves as a basis for a regenerative measures and forest recovery concept.

Detection of storm damage

Short-term available map based on Sentinel-1 radar data

Storm damages in the woods have effects on the vitality of the forest stand. An early removal of the concerned materials serves as a prevention for pest and fungal infestation, thereby protecting against financial losses in wood production.
FERN.Lab supports you in creating a in short-time available overview map based on Sentinel-1 radar data in order to estimate the approximate location and size of storm-damaged areas.
Acquisition of information with regards to the conditions and changes of (near-)natural and urban environments

Biotope mapping

Monitoring and preserving biodiversity

Remote-sensing based monitoring serves as an effective way to capture and retain biodiversity.
Our experts support you in recording habitats and cultural landscapes and detecting their changes. Use our informationproducts as a decision-making basis for measures for biotope maintenance, biotope conservation and biotope development.

Soil parameters

Acquisition of soil condition

Soil is the basis of human existence as basis of our food chain and biodiversity. Climate change and inappropriate use lead to degradation.
Our experts support you with the latest methods for the assessment of soil condition and specific soil parameters such as the areal distribution of topsoil organic matter. Our team works from the laboratory to the landscape scale.

Infrastructure monitoring

Detection of movements in the cm-range

Ground movements, such as uplift, subsidence or landslides, can cause infrastructure damages. An early detection of such deformations allows for timely redevelopment measures in order to prevent a potential infrastructure collapse.
Our experts are experienced in using SAR interferometry on radar images in order to detect movements of buildings, bridges, railways and streets on a centimeter level. This method delivers consistent outcomes regardless of a clouded sky.

Greenhouse gas modeling

Measurement and modeling of greenhouse gasemissions

The measurement of greenhouse gas emissions and their effects on the environment and society have become widely discussed throughout the last decades.
Our experts support you in the measurement and modelling of greenhouse gas emissions and distribution in urban and rural areas.

Waste detection

Detection of microplastics in compost

The contamination of compost with microplastics poses a problem for composting plants.
Our experts evaluate the possibility of plastic detection by means of near infrared spectroscopy. This method can be developed and tested on the lab on the basis of sample takings, and afterwards be validated on site with the NIR spectrometer HySpex.

Mining monitoring

Deformation events in post-mining landscapes

Movements of mine dumps or the uplift or subsidence caused by changes in the ground-water level as a consequence of mining can have a lasting impact on habitat of people.
Our experts make use of Sentinel-1 radar data to survey large-scale mining and post-mining landscapes for deformation events.

Nightlight emission

Detection and measurement of nocturnal light sources

Artificial brightening of the night through ineffective lighting
lighting systems and avoidable light emissions have a negative effect on the consumption, it has a negative impact on the day-night cycle of humans and many animal and insect species.
Our experts support you as a city planner or manufacturer and
and operators of lighting systems, our experts can help you design lighting concepts that are environmentally compatible lighting concepts. This includes the detection and measurement of nocturnal light sources, spatial analyses, savings and environmental impact assessments, as well as consulting in the development and planning of lighting systems.
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