Minimize German Trainee Programme - SAR and Forest Change

Date added: 31 July 2017

Organisation: German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR)

Location: Noordwijk, The Netherlands

Closing date for applications: 06 September 2017

Have you (almost) completed your degree studies? Are you inspired by space exploration and keen to pursue a career in this exciting field? If so, perhaps you should take a closer look at the German Trainee Programme (GTP). Organised by DLR, it offers you the chance to work shoulder to shoulder with experts from the 22 member states of ESA – keeping your finger on the pulse of Europe's space programmes. Over a period up to 24 months, you will actively contribute to the latest research and/or technology projects. This is complemented by a generous scholarship. What better way to launch your career in international space business? The next GTP commences on 01 February 2018.

In this activity, the potential of the Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) systems for deforestation monitoring shall be assessed. The advantage of SAR is its all-weather, day and night monitoring capability and its sensitive to structural changes in the observed scene. In addition systems such as Sentinel-1 offer a high observation frequency. To assess the potential of SAR systems for deforestation monitoring a recently developed statistically-based change detection indicator [1] shall be implemented and applied to Sentinel-1 image time series for selected sites. The aim of the work is to assess the feasibility of this algorithm for deforestation detection and to adopt the algorithm for a future Sentinel-1 deforestation monitoring suite. Challenges in the use of SAR data for change detection to be addressed are the noise and speckle properties of SAR images and natural environmental change (such as seasonal changes in canopy moisture). Finally, the potential of the technique for future SAR missions, such as ESA's BIOMASS Earth Explorer shall be assessed.


  • Master/PhD in Geoinformatics, Geosciences, Geophysics
  • programming experience is required (e.g. Python, IDL, MatLab)
  • a mathematical background and/or knowledge of SAR remote sensing is an advantage
  • German citizenship is absolutely necessary
  • applicants should have just completed (conclusion not older than two years) or be in their final year of a university course at Master's level in a technical or scientific discipline
  • candidates must be fluent in English or French, the official languages of the agency.

Learn more about the role and how to apply.

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