Neustrelitz, Germany October 4, 2016
This year marks the 20th anniversary of signing an agreement with Antrix, the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), to receive and distribute Indian EO satellite data on an exclusive basis for European customers. As a consequence of this contract, GAF also entered into a long term cooperation and service agreement with the German Aerospace Center (DLR) regarding the provision, by the latter, of downlink capabilities at its ground station in Neustrelitz. In order to handle the archiving and distribution of the data, GAF formed the wholly-owned subsidiary Euromap and based it on the DLR campus in Neustrelitz. This has resulted in 20 years of close cooperation with DLR and an important presence at Neustrelitz, consisting of a permanent staff that currently numbers 25 scientists and technicians. Euromap has now become a GAF branch, with offices on the DLR campus and in central Neustrelitz.
The creation of this business, which was a strategically important venture that was also initially associated with risks, has not only created a true European outreach but has also fostered links between GAF and DLR, and has had a tremendous positive impact on the economic development of GAF.
In the field of EO data distribution, GAF can be regarded as Antrix’s only continuously active international partner for the last 20 years. So far, the partnership includes six satellite missions, and thanks to both the ambitious Indian EO programme and the common understanding reached between Antrix and GAF, the partnership is set to be expanded further.
During the last 20 years, GAF has acquired and archived more than 1.4 million image scenes covering almost 40 billion square kilometres with medium, high or very-high resolution raw IRS optical satellite data. GAF has provided data products and related services to, for example, the Joint Research Center (JRC) of the European Commission and the European Space Agency (ESA) for the Copernicus programme, and has developed the Euro-Maps 3D Digital Surface Model (DSM) product with 5 m post spacing.
“The access to Indian data is a core element in GAF’s and the Telespazio Group’s policy of securing preferential access to EO data sources that enable the development of innovative value added products, while still acting as a truly independent data broker for all the important data providers in the market,” says Peter Volk, CEO of GAF.
The German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD) is an institute of the German Aerospace Center (DLR). Together with the centre’s Remote Sensing Technology Institute (IMF), it forms DLR’s Earth Observation Center (EOC), which coordinates DLR’s activities relating to Earth observation data from satellites and aircraft. DFD focuses on the reception, archiving, distribution and utilisation of data.
In addition to applied research, DFD has expertise in the development and operation of satellite ground systems.
Antrix Corporation Limited (Antrix) is a wholly owned Government of India Company under the administrative control of the Department of Space (DOS). Antrix is the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Antrix promotes and commercially markets the products and services emanating from the Indian Space Programme.
About GAF AG: www.gaf.de
Founded in 1985 by Dr. Rupert Haydn, the Agrar- und Hydrotechnik (AHT) GmbH, and the Wittelsbacher Bavarian Trust Fund, GAF has developed into a leading geo-information company. GAF has earned an international reputation as a skilled provider of data, products and services in the fields of geo-information, spatial IT and consulting for private and public clients. As a result of a merger with its former subsidiary Euromap GmbH, GAF has become the exclusive supplier in Europe of optical Indian Remote Sensing data from several satellites. The company’s archives contain systematic coverage of Europe and northern Africa from 1996 and onwards, and include raw satellite data from the high and medium resolution IRS missions IRS‑1C, IRS-1D, Resourcesat-1, Resourcesat-2 and Cartosat-1. GAF is also specialised in the production of orthoimage mosaics and digital elevation models from various high and very-high resolution satellite missions. For more than 13 years, GAF is part of the Telespazio Group, which belongs to Leonardo and Thales, two major European technology firms.