Environment, Climate and Disasters

Smart solutions and services for environmental monitoring and climate and disaster protection.


Digital solutions for smart environmental monitoring. Credit: JOANNEUM RESEARCH


We analyse remote sensing data for environmental observation and develop situational awareness systems for disaster control. For this purpose, we develop algorithms for image evaluation, processing chains for data preprocessing and for generating 3D information from stereo image data. In addition to data from optical sensors, signals from SAR (synthetic aperture radar) and Lidar (light detection and ranging) are also processed.

Research focus:

  • Forest monitoring
  • Climate Change
  • Land use monitoring and soil settlement
  • Recycling and sorting of used materials (see Industry)
Environmental monitoring

Activities in the field of environmental monitoring include the development of methods and algorithms for deriving forest parameters at different scale levels for forest inventories, the recording of relevant forest parameters in alpine protection forests, Europe-wide forest mapping in the context of GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security), and tropical forest monitoring for the REDD (Reduction of Emissions by Deforestation and Degradation) initiative.

Services are based on remote sensing data to record the extent of natural disasters for disaster management and for the production of hazard maps for gravitational mass movements such as landslides and rockfalls. The information obtained from remote sensing data is integrated into GIS systems as needed and thus finds its way into a wide variety of spatial modelling for analysis and planning applications. We define processing chains in the self-developed software packages RSG (Remote Sensing Package Graz) and IMPACT for geocoding, derivation of 3D information from stereo data and SAR interferometry as well as for object-based image classification, data filtering and change detection.

ADAM sensor platform for disaster management. Credit: JOANNEUM RESEARCH

ADAM sensor platform


An airborne sensor platform ADAM (Airborne Data Acquisition Module) developed at the Institute, which can be mounted on the wing spar of a Cessna, forms the optimal data basis for services in the field of environmental monitoring and disaster management and enables the acquisition of aerial images (optical and thermal) with a subsequent photogrammetric evaluation chain for the automated creation of orthophotomosaics and surface models. The platform's sensor technology consists of a navigation solution (IMU and GPS), a CCD camera (29 MP), a thermal camera, a data storage device and an accelerator for power supply.