The German EO-Programme in an International Context - Essential Contributions to Earth Science, GMES and GEOSS
The SCIAMACHY instrument on-board of ESA's ENVISAT mission delivered high accurate atmospheric trace gas maps measured in nadir and in limb from space and acted as an important pacemaker for Sentinel-4 and -5. The TerraSAR-X and the TanDEM-X missions as the closest-ever in-orbit formation will deliver a digital elevation model of all land masses that will enable earth system science based on a homogeneous topographic data base. The 5 RapidEye satellites contributed significantly to the European GMES-Initiative and to the Global Earth Observation System (GEOSS) by providing essential data for GMES services and GEOS-SBAs in order to enhance the knowledge about state and dynamics of the Earth's system. With the hyperspectral EnMAP mission, the German-French MERLIN mission and the German-US GRACE FO mission further elements of a German mission portfolio, complementary to ESA's Earth Explorers, to the GMES Sentinels and to the EUMETSAT missions will be placed in orbit soon. In addition, with the in-kind contribution of the MetImage instrument to EUMETSATís post-EPS satellite system this operational satellite series will be able to provide indispensable data for Earth Observation applications.
With the long term data and service continuity as one of the major user requirements the strategy of Germany for its next generation of high resolution radar, Lidar, optical and hyperspectral space activities is of utmost importance. These plans and the role of these missions in the future global Earth Observation System as well as an outline of possible implementation schemes will be introduced.