Remote sensing-based national forest damage assessment system

Project duration

2020 - 2022


In the FNEWs project, a national remote sensing-based monitoring system for forest damage is being set up. After major forest damage events, data on affected forest areas and arising damaged wood should be provided. The system should enable an automated and nationwide uniform detection of forest damage. In addition, a monetary evaluation framework for the damage recorded is being developed.

The WSL Remote Sensing Group is responsible for work package 5. Active sensors in the microwave range, such as SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar), are needed to quickly detect forest damage independent of cloud cover. In work package 5 the potentials of Sentinel-1 C-band data are analyzed, demonstrated and operational procedures are designed. Focus of the work is quick detection of windthrown areas. On the one hand, trade-off between accuracy of the detection approach and waiting time for additional (and thus noise-reducing) SAR acquisitions will be investigated. On the other hand, it is of interest what the minimum size of detectable windthrown areas is. This should help to estimate at which point of time which storm damage can be reliably detected. Based on the results of the evaluation, "indication maps" for windthrown areas shall be created.

Further and up-to-date information is available on the project website.