DLR and the UNESCO-ESA ‘Open Initiative’

The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt - DLR) is Germany's national research centre for aeronautics and space. It designs and implements Germany's Space Programme activities such as:

  1. Space research and development programme
  2. Space and security research projects under the sixth and seventh EU research framework programme
  3. Germany's contributions to the European Space Agency (ESA) and to the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT).

DLR became a partner of UNESCO-ESA ‘Open Initiative on the Use of Space Technologies to Support the World Heritage Convention’ in the year of 2007. Since then, DLR has been strongly assisting UNESCO through a large number of continuous valuable cooperation projects.

One key element of the current success of the UNESCO – DLR partnership is the tremendous support provided by the German National Commission to UNESCO.

The German National Commission to UNESCO receives proposals to obtain free data from DLR; they coordinate with the UNESCO Space for Heritage programme and make recommendation to DLR.

Some of the joint projects between DLR and UNESCO include:

Monitoring land subsidence in Mexico City

TerraSAR-X image of Mexico City

DLR’s German Earth-observation satellite, TerraSAR-X, imaged the areas on the city’s subsidence. Among other results, images shown the soil have sunk in some areas much as 10 centimetres due to the increasing amounts of groundwater demand. One of the affected areas is located in the Historic Centre of Mexico City, a World Heritage site inscribed on 1987, where two of its most famous landmarks, the Bellas Artes Opera House and the cathedral, are sinking.



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What a Sight - Space Looking out for World Heritage' Exhibition

© Mario Hernández
DLR – UNESCO Exhibition at UNESCO headquarters in Paris

An exhibition of thirty extra large high-resolution satellite images of UNESCO World Heritage sites were exhibited outside the UNESCO Headquarters in March 2009. The exhibition also travelled to several cities inside Germany: Berlin, Stuttgart, Cologne, Brussels and Bonn.

Related articles:
UNESCO article: DLR and UNESCO Exhibition ‘What a Sight - Space Looking out for World Heritage’
DLR article: What a Sight - Space Looking out for World Heritage

Machu Picchu Project

© DigitalGlobe Inc./ DLR
Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu (Peru) is probably the most important urban creation of the Inca Empire. UNESCO, the Government of Peru, DLR and other space partners are collaborating in a joint project using space technologies and remote sensing in in particular provide the local conservation authorities with an effective management tool and address current challenges.

Related articles:
Machu Picchu: Using remote sensing to provide an effective management tool

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