Food security is a major challenge in many parts of the world, for instance in low-income countries and semi-arid and water restricted climate zones. The knowledge of the yield condition is a major resource for the sustainable management of agricultural lands and food security. The challenge is to overcome existing yield gaps by using operational space-based monitoring services  as provided by the Copernicus Missions. Up-to-date spatial information and maps on the ecological status of managed ecosystems provide initial data for increasing cropping yields on existing agricultural systems. Despite of limited land resources, efficient farming practices and the wise use of water resources for irrigation is a major challenge for land managers at regional scales. Up-to-data data from single climate stations and local scale analyses provide insufficient evidence for highly dynamic land management decisions.

Satellite-based remote sensing enables an objective and repeated assessment of the agricultural landscape. It offers a perspective that is not influenced by property or administrative boundaries and thus helps to understand the processes in a coherent environmental system such as an agricultural landscape.

The Earth Observations of the Copernicus programme are free of charge and provide high-resolution, high-frequency and detailed information about the land surface for everyone. This information ranges from high-resolution C-band radar data (Sentinel-1) to multi-spectral high- and medium-resolution optical data (Sentinel-2; Sentinel-3). The richness of remote sensing data helps to obtain up-to-date information on farmland and agricultural processes.

The map shows a result of a light use efficiency model. This model is using high frequent remote sensing data to estimate the generation of biomass per pixel. Connecting the spectral information of a remotes sensing time series with the an real world biophysical information like biomass.

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The “Calibration and Validation Facility DEMMIN” team in DFD’s National Ground Segment department operates the calibration and validation test site DEMMIN (Durable Environmental Multidisciplinary Monitoring Information Network). This site makes available in-situ environmental data for such purposes as developing and validating remote sensing algorithms and methodologies, and to complement remote sensing data and derived information products.

Since 2000 DLR has cooperated with farmers in the Demmin region to set up and maintain a GIS database, to validate measurements from national and international measurement campaigns (such as AGRISAR-2006 and TET-2013) and to provide practical training opportunities for universities and technical schools (partners include universities in Würzburg, Greifswald and Rostock and the Neubrandenburg University of Applied Sciences).

Currently, environmental data are being collected with the help of an automated measurement network (agrometeorological, soil and plant-morphology parameters), lysimeter hexagons (hydrological parameters), specific measurement campaigns, and local farmers (agrotechnical parameters).

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Project goals

The aim of the DEMMIM_2.0 project is to collect in-situ data following international standards for agricultural landsacpes in Noerthern Germany.

The Durable Environmental Multidisciplinary Monitoring Information Network (DEMMIN) calibration and validation facility is the fruit of close cooperation since 1999/2000 between the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Neustrelitz and the Demmin Network (IG Demmin). Both partners are attempting to develop in DEMMIN the preconditions for using remote sensing for science applications in the environmental and agricultural sectors.

The test site is located some 220 km north of Berlin near the city of Demmin in Mecklenburg- Western Pomerania. This area is intensively used for agriculture and extends from 54°2′54.29″ north, 12°52′17.98″ east to 53°45′40.42″ north, 13°27′49.45″ east.

In cooperation with the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) environmetal data from more than 40 meteo-stations are recored on landscape level including:

  • climate data
  • phenology
  • soils & soil moisture 
  • biomass
  • crop yield

The site is part of the environmental observation network TERENO and the international validation network JECAM, which is part of  GEOGLAM, the GEO Global Agricultural Monitoring initiative.  Further, the in-situ data are supporting the implementation of the cal/val activities in the Copernicus in-situ component.

The goal of DEMMIN_2.0 is a further implementation of the measurement network in DEMMIN in the national and international scientific community, including universities, research organizations and the industry. Within 6 scheduled field campaigns in 2018 a sound data time sieries of envionmental parameters will be collected and made availabe for the science community. The data collection and mainanance will be realized on different levels:

  • DEMMIN_EDU: Develloping a standardized field course curriculum and involving universities in student education courses.
  • Data Management: Standardized data acquisition, quality check and publication via DOI attribution.
  • Innovation: Introduce new digital tools for data measurement and collection like mobile devieces and citizen science actions.

In 2018 the project team is establishing a field lab for preparing and post-processing of the data which is a key part of the education and data management concept. A series of field campaigns is organized by the DEMMIN_2.0 university Network:

Installation of the field plots

Field Campaign  organized by Neubrandenburg University of Applied Sciences

22-04-2018 – 27-04-2018
Field campaign organized by Friedrich-Schiller University-Jena

06-05 – 11-05-2018
Field Campaign organized by Julius-Maximilians-University Wuerzburg

27-05 – 02-06-2018
Field Campaign organized by Martin-Luther-University Halle

24-06 – 29-06-2018
Field Campaign organized by Julius-Maximilians-University Wuerzburg

Field Campaign organized by Martin-Luther-University Halle


The map view below locates the study area in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

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