The Earth system comprises a multitude of processes that are intimately meshed through complex interactions. In times of accelerated global change, the understanding and quantification of these processes is of primary importance. Spaceborne remote sensing sensors are predestined to produce bio-geo information products on a global scale. The Helmholtz Alliance will therefore complement the high degree of innovation in radar remote sensing technology, which have been successfully implemented with TanDEM-X, and will established a unique chain from satellite technology, mission operation to information extraction and integration into local, regional and global measurements and models. The research activities within the Helmholtz Alliance are dedicated to four specific Earth spheres.
The Biosphere Research Topic aims to integrate and use forest (structure) parameters derived from radar remote sensing techniques in monitoring the state and the properties of global forests with a particular focus on biological properties.
Geohazard risks were increasing in the last decades and are strongly influencing the society. The research topics of the Geosphere are therefore of a very high value not only for basic science but also serve as a preparatory for coming innovative observation technologies with application in the Geosphere.
The overall technical goal in the topic hydrosphere is to enhance the understanding of hydrological processes by optimally exploiting current (e.g. SMOS, TerrarSAR-X) and planned (e.g. SMAP, Tandem-L) satellite missions.
The cryosphere topic aims to improve the understanding of the processes and dynamics of different components of the cryosphere, namely land ice, ice shelves, glaciers, snow, sea ice and permafrost.