Copyright 2006 - UNESCO

Space for Heritage


DLR at 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 European Union 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.Some of these relevant projects are:

1. Monitoring land subsidence in 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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2. What a Sight - Space Looking out for World Heritage' Exhibition

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 Brussels and several cities inside Germany: Berlin, Stuttgart, Cologne and Bonn.

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3. Machu Picchu Project

DLR satellite has been supporting UNESCO in its work on monitoring landslides in Machu Picchu, Peru.

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